Florida-based Porta Performance, a division of Porta Products Corp (www.portaproducts.com
) headed by Scott Porta, recently undertook a proof of concept/case study to create a 3-D scan and CAD files of racing boat designs to achieve the most advanced design — both hydrodynamically and aerodynamically — and thereby eliminate the problem of an offshore racing boat at speeds of over 100mph becoming an airplane without wings.
Explaining the dynamics, Mr Porta said: “The engines are supported by a plane of hard water coming from the hull on the bottom of the gear cases, but only until the boat launches and flies.
"At that point, the engines become a thousand pounds of dead weight, the center of gravity shifts, the bow elevates — and the rest is history.”
The project began with FARO Technologies (www.faro.com
), a manufacturer of 3-D scanning equipment that Mr Porta knew had worked in IndyCar with Andretti Green Racing and in Sports Car Racing with Pratt & Miller/Corvette Racing.
Clay Ratcliffe, Porta Performance’s project lead, said: “The FARO Super 6DoF TrackArm Technology was the ideal choice of equipment, as it did not did not require any compromise between the physical size of the job, the accuracy over that volume, any line of sight challenges caused by the size and shape of the subject matter, and the resolution required to adequately capture the complex surfaces.”
With the 3-D scanning of hulls complete, the case study/proof of concept moves to file assembly, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), a 3-D printed model and the wind tunnel for design validation before creating the tooling and moulds.
The aim of the project is to build a full-size race-ready version of a new catamaran to compete in the OPA (Offshore Powerboat Association) World Championship series in 2020.