Numerical prediction of the best heel and trim of a Laser dinghy
Paper in proceedings, 2016
As the Laser Olympic dinghy is one of the highest-level sail racing classes in the world, there is an interest in obtaining physical facts around the experience that already exist. For this reason, a numerical investigation has been carried out to find the best heel and trim angles in upwind sailing. Flat water is assumed. The core of the work is a newly developed Inverse Velocity Prediction Program (IVPP) that computes the required wind speed for a given boat speed. Input to the program is both available towing tank data and CFD results. By keeping speed constant interpolation is avoided in the very non-linear resistance-speed relation, reducing considerably the required number of CFD computations. Another reduction is obtained by a special technique for avoiding interpolation in leeway. Systematic CFD computations are carried out to find the optimum trim versus heel at the speeds 2, 3, 4, 5 knots. Using this relation the required wind speed at the four boat speeds can be expressed as a function of heel only. The heel angle corresponding to the smallest wind speed is the best. Knowing this, and the corresponding optimum trim, the position of the sailor is computed. It turns out that the predicted best positions correspond well with practical experience. However, the results highlight the benefit of a small heel in higher winds, which often is regarded as undesired by sailors.