The fastest sailboat in the world

Design Spotlight: The Sailrocket 2

Cars By Photo by Sailrocket 2

One look at the Sailrocket 2 shows that your teacher wasn’t full of s**t when he said physics can be fun. This 600-pound carbon sailing vessel is truly a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its British sailing team (and the badass sailor that steers it). Reaching a certified speed of 54.08 knots (62.2 mph) and a later-clocked top speed of 64.78 knots (74.5 mph), the Sailrocket 2 holds the Outright World Speed Sailing Record as certified by The World Sailing Speed Record Council. We once had a poorly crafted paper airplane achieve a flight time of 2.5 seconds as recorded by the Poorly Crafted Paper Airplane Flight Council. Still waiting for the certificate in the mail.

Read more and see a photo gallery of the Sailrocket 2 after the break.

Sponsored by Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, the Sailrocket 2 employs unusual design techniques — a sail that’s separate from its the ultra-light hull, for instance. That sheet and is angled at 30 degrees, helping the boat to reach nearly 2.5 times the speed of the wind and aligning the opposing forces of the wind and water. The boat carries two in a pin-thin tube that sits at a 90 degree angle to its wing-like foil arm. Speaking of foils, the Sailrocket 2’s fins are designed like aircraft wings to battle a neat little phenomenon known as “cavitation”: when incredibly low pressure can give water the force to damage just about any material, and can create monstrous drag. Science!

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