Design and Test of a New Generation Carbon Keel Fin for Ocean Sailing Boat
Andrea Avaldi, AB Structures
This presentation describes the design and construction process of a new generation IMOCA 60 carbon canting keel fin. Current canting keel technology is far from being an established and safe world, especially in the racing environment. Some metal canting keel fins have structurally failed in the last few years leading to boats sinking and causalities.
The keel fin of a modern racing boat is a fundamental ‘safe life’ component. The fin connects the bulb to the boat, and produces lift like an airplane wing . The fin component is normally built out of high strength steel alloy. Due to recent improvements in design methodology and the availability of innovative carbon fiber composites, we have now designed and implemented a full carbon keel fin.All structural load cases imposed by the specific IMOCA ocean racing rule have been tested for the Open 60 ocean racing yacht. Prior to the build of the real component, a quarter scale model prototype of the fin has been realized and tested in order to verify the manufacturing technique and to test fin’s structural reliability.