It is a state-of-the-art catamaran (twin hulls) with a solid aeroplane wing-like sail and sexy go faster hydrofoils to provide lift, speed and an unbelievable wow factor.
This lightweight rocket ship, which can reach speeds of up to 35 knots, is a smaller version of the AC72, which was used in the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup and the 34th America’s Cup.
It was created in 2015 as a relatively inexpensive boat to transport and sail so that teams could spend time on board to develop the skills needed to understand foil-style racing. It has also been invaluable in the development of the new AC Class which will be used for the 35th America’s Cup.
To make racing as fair as possible the AC45F is a strict one-design, which means each boat is designed to
the same set of rules and built from the same yard.
The components on the boats such as the wingsail, crossbeams (which hold the two hulls together), the spine, and the bowsprit (the pointy spike at the front that supports the forward sail) are also manufacture controlled.
The development of hydrofoils in the last two years has created a totally new style of sailing that has seen even the world’s best sailors – even Sir Ben Ainslie - having to learn new skills.
Gone are the days when it was possible to have the time to discuss tactics on the long run to the next mark.
The America’s Cup World Series use foiling AC45 catamarans, also known as AC45f, a one-design wingsail catamaran with foils designed specifically for the America’s Cup World Series by the Oracle Racing engineering team.
The AC45 was conceived as a smaller version of the larger AC72 class rule which was sailed by competitors during the 2013 Louis Vuitton Cup and the 34th America's Cup.
The AC45f has the following specifications:
Build: honeycomb core & carbon fibre sandwich
Length: 13.45m (44.1ft)
Beam: 6.90m (22.6ft)
Weight: 1,290–1,320kg (2,840–2,910 lb)
Maximum draught : 2.7m (8ft 10in)
Rig height: 21.5m (71ft) without extension, 25.5 m (84ft) with extension
Wing: 20m (66ft) 83.5m2 (899sq ft) wing element with three slotted flaps
Extension: 4m (13ft) high, 8.7m2 (94sq ft) area
Jib area: 48 m2 (520 sq ft), manufactured by a sail loft of team's choice
Gennaker area: 125 m2 (1,350 sq ft), manufactured by a sail loft of team's choice
Builders: Core Builders (NZ), Cookson Boats (NZ)
Crew: 5 + 1 guest