Crest of the Royal National Institution of Naval Architects - Click to return to the homepage


Europort Aug-Nov 2021


Cadmatic October 2021


Paper Title: Performance Optimization of Interacting Sails Through Fluid Structure Coupling



V G Chapin and N de Carlan, Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace, Université de Toulouse, France
P Heppel, Peter Heppel & Associates, France


In this paper, the problem of sailing yacht rig design has been addressed through the development of a computational framework based on viscous Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling for the aerodynamic part and on a non linear structural modelling for the structure part. The Fluid Structure Interaction (FSI) coupling used is a loose coupling. The interest but also the expertise needed to use Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations for the aerodynamic modelling is justified through examples and validations with a focus on complex separated flow configurations. The originality of the presented computational framework is its ability to address complex, non linear optimization problems with a derivative free evolutionary strategy. This capability is enhanced by the fact that it is based on a remeshing technique rather than on a deforming mesh one.  After the description of the main elements of this computational framework for Fluid Structure Interaction, it is used for generic sail optimization problems and for the rig design of a 18 footer to illustrates its capabilities and limitations to produce accurate aeroelastic solutions on sailing yacht rigs.


Transactions RINA, Vol 153, Part B2, International Journal of Small Craft Technology, Jul-Dec 2011 

DOI number

DOI No: 10.3940/rina.ijsct.2011.b2.119

Search and Order IJSCT papers

All International Journal of Small Craft Technology (IJSCT) papers are listed in the RINA Publications Database. You can search the database by author name and paper title. Publications may be ordered and paid for online. Other publications are also listed, some of which may be downloaded free of charge. Follow the link to Search Publications & Order.

RINA membership

Metstrade June 2021 New

Uni Stratchclyde June 2021

Teinbridge Propeller

Lloyds Academy Button July 2021

Nor Shipping October 2021 Button