Posts Tagged ‘SpeedDream’

VIDEO: SpeedDream Flies its Keel

Raw (unedited) footage of SpeedDream27 flying it’s keel in sail trials off Rockland, Maine.

Vlad Murnikov’s has set out to build the fastest monohull on the planet. SpeedDream27 is the prototype.   According to SpeedDream’s creative and marketing director, Brian Hancock, “This prototype that we have built is really to test three things: the extreme (flying) keel, the true wave piercing bow, and the athwartship step in the hull. The main idea really is to build a boat that is efficient with low drag rather than just piling on power.”

Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be the official sailmaker to SpeedDream.

Brian Hancock explains the feeling of sailing SpeedDream during the sail trials:

“The day we first sailed SpeedDream stands there alongside the very best days of my life. It was cold and dreary, very little wind and no prospect of things clearing for a while. We sailed away from the dock like a pure thoroughbred ought to, but did take a tow to get us into deeper water where we had more space to sail. Finally with the sails up and dripping, we sat going nowhere. It seemed like an unfair hand to be dealt after all the work and planning. But then a tiny breeze picked up, it’s dark patch working it’s way toward us over a glassy surface. SpeedDream felt the puff and heeled slightly. The boat moved effortlessly forward leaving barely a trickle as a wake. Then more wind came and as it increased we hit the button that would activate the keel canting mechanism. The rest was pure magic. SpeedDream sailed one and a half times the speed of the wind perfectly on its lines, and the keel, the one first sketched on a napkin two years earlier, was right there flying alongside in close formation. It was almost as if we were sailing in one of our own renderings. Indeed we were sailing in a dream, but rather than one of those elusive nightly visits, this was a tangible dream; a SpeedDream.”

You can follow SpeedDream’s progress through the SpeedDream blog or via the SpeedDream Facebook page.

Sailing World: Is SpeedDream Just A Dream?
The Daily Sail: SpeedDream 27 Launched


Like what you have read? Click here to Subscribe!

Grace with Speed

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Doyle Sailmakers, Inc.

96 Swampscott Rd.

Salem, MA 01970

Google Map

Please join us for refreshments and an entertaining Grace with Speed – Sailors’ Night at the Doyle Sailmakers loft in Salem, MA.

Chris Museler, a freelance journalist, will bring us up-to-date on the evolution of classic boat racing.  His presentation will allow us to all watch the summer classics racing off of Marblehead with new eyes.

Brian Hancock and Vlad Murnikov will present SpeedDream – a different way of thinking about boats and their relationship to wind, water and ultimately the speed at which they sail.

Join us for an evening of great sailing footage of Grace With Speed!

VIDEO: CFD Analysis on SpeedDream

Extensive CFD analysis has been done on the SpeedDream27 prototype by Doyle Sailmakers’ Tyler Doyle to understand how the complexities of an innovative design such as SpeedDream will work in ocean going conditions. Tyler’s CFD analysis has been very useful and groundbreaking.

SpeedDream 27′ Prototype Wave Simulation. RANS CFD simulation calculated using Flow 3d.

The Future of High Performance Sailing

The Future of High Performance Sailing

Thursday, March 1, 2012
Boston Yacht Club
Marblehead, MA
7:00 PM

SpeedDream’s Vlad Murnikov and Brian Hancock are speaking at the Boston Yacht Club, Marblehead, MA – Thursday March 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM. All are welcome. There is no cost to attend. View invitation or continue to read below to learn more.

Doyle is proud to be the sailmaker for SpeedDream

Join the team behind SpeedDream, the quest to build the world’s fastest sailboat, for an informal, in-depth discussion about the future of sailing. Vlad Murnikov, lead designer of the innovative SpeedDream100, and Brian Hancock, multiple circumnavigator, are the force behind this new Massachusetts-based project to build a monohull that can sail faster than the fastest multihull.

Murnikov was the project leader and designer of Fazisi, the Soviet Unions first, and by happenstance last Whitbread entry. Hancock raced three Whitbread races and was co-founder of a new global around-the-world race, the Portimão Global Ocean Race. Together they are SpeedDream.

They will be joined by Cam Lewis, SpeedDream’s skipper and one of the fastest American sailors having been aboard Commodore Explorer when they became the first boat to circumnavigate in less than the mythical Jules Verne 80-day barrier.

What is the future of the Volvo Ocean Race? Can SpeedDream be the first boat to crack 1,000 nautical miles in 24 hours? What does this all mean for club
racing? How does it relate to high performance cruising?

Design features of SpeedDream are being applied to all aspects of sailing. Come and enjoy this lively presentation and see how it all relates to you and you own sailing enjoyment.

SpeedDream is on a mission to build the worlds fastest sailboat. We believe that SpeedDream will be the first sailboat to sail over 1,000 nautical miles in a single day. Computer models suggest that the boat will be capable of reaching and sustaining speeds approaching 50 knots.

Here are some of the innovations behind SpeedDream.


The telescoping keel on SpeedDream cants over 82 degrees meaning that when the boat heels more than 10 degrees it flies clear out of the water. Maximum righting moment; no drag.


The foil to leeward will increase righting moment by 25% and will offset up to 50% of boat’s displacement when sailing over 30 knots.


The sculpted wave piercing hull is designed to slice through waves and shed water as quickly as possible to minimize the effect of it’s weight on the deck.


A creative canting mast that tilts to windward for a better angle of attack for the sails. With the mast vertical it reduces heel and adds power.

Hope to see you at the Boston Yacht Club, Thursday March 1, 2012 at 7:00 PM for the The Future of High Performance Sailing presentation.

VIDEO: Doyle, Official Sailmaker to SpeedDream

SpeedDream is the brainchild of Vlad Murnikov, a radical boat designer originally from Russia, now living in Massachusetts. SpeedDream is the result of a quest to build the fastest monohull on the planet. Doyle Sailmakers is proud to be the official sailmaker to SpeedDream.

SpeedDream was featured in the BBC program – The Science of Speed. Enjoy this short clip from the program.


SpeedDream Blog

SpeedDream Website

1,000 Miles in 24 Hours?

By Brian Hancock

Could a monohull ever crack the 1000-miles-in-a-day barrier? Brian Hancock, SpeedDream‘s Creative and Media Director tackles the question in this thought provoking article.

It’s funny how a single phone call can change your life; twice, two decades apart. In the fall of 1989 I was living on Cape Cod minding my own business when I got a last minute phone call. Last minute meaning that less than 48 hours later I found myself on a wet ride racing from England to Uruguay aboard Fazisi, the Soviet Union’s first, and by happenstance, last Whitbread entry. There was no time for much thought, indeed the only thoughts I can remember having were how stupid I was to sign on to a boat where no one spoke English and few of the crew had ever been offshore, in any boat, let alone a new, untried, untested maxi-boat. The other thing I was thinking was how unbelievably fast the boat was and despite looking radically different from the rest of the fleet, and in doing so garnering some less than complimentary comments from the assembled crowd, Fazisi was romping along effortlessly near the front of the fleet. We ended up in Uruguay 28 days later, in 6th place, beating seventeen other well prepared, well paid teams. It was a spectacular success.

The brains behind Fazisi was a mild-mannered engineer from Moscow. Vladislav Murnikov had by sheer force of will conceptualized, created and was campaigning the first of its kind sporting entry to peek out from behind the Iron Curtain. The hammer and sickle on the pennant snapping briskly in the breeze behind the boat looked incongruous against a sea of western excess. Fazisi was a clear sign of what happens when creativity dares to flourish outside the box. In Murnikov’s case he was quite literally outside the box, or more to the point, inside Russia where there was little access to modern yacht designs. He was having to create his entry from a blank slate and when you placed Fazisi alongside the Kiwi ketch Steinlager, the overall winner of the Whitbread that year, you would hardly imagine that they were designed under the same set of rules. Had Fazisi enjoyed the same budget as Steinlager and the same crack Kiwi crew, I have little doubt that the Soviet boat would have won the race.

Fast forward two plus decades. I was driving down I-95 in Florida when the phone rang. It was Vlad, only this time instead of in halting English he spoke fluently, and more important, convincingly. He had streamlined his thinking, and his name, and had a new idea that he wanted to run by me. “Brian,” he said. “Do you think that a monohull could ever sail a 1,000 miles in a day?” I was sure that I had heard him right and I was equally sure that he was out of his mind. But Vlad didn’t get a boat built in a country where there were no boat builders and race it around the world on a handful of rubles without being persistent.

“Listen,” he said. “Twenty years ago we set a second-longest day run on Fazisi by sailing 386 miles. Now Ericsson in the Volvo Race has set a record of 600 miles. Think about it. It took two decades to improve the performance of a monohull by 50 percent.” I did some mental mathematics and drew the same conclusion. “So I was thinking,” Vlad continued. “In twenty years, with the same kind of progression, boats should be capable of covering 900 miles in a day.” What Vlad said next so epitomizes the kind of person he is. “So I was just thinking, why wait twenty years.”

His words hung in the air and then drifted out the window into the warm Florida night. I was not too sure how to answer but shouldn’t have worried. Vlad didn’t expect an answer. In fact he was not calling me to debate the possibility of a 900 or 1,000 mile day. He had already concluded in his mind that it could be done and was on to the next issue. He needed someone who could articulate his vision to a broader audience. “So Brian,” he continued. “I want you to join me in this. I don’t have any money but I think we could be a great team. I will design the boat and you will sell the idea to the world.” Well, call me crazy, and for sure anyone who drops everything for a wild wet ride with a bunch of unwashed Soviets on a barely tested boat has to be crazy, so I answered the only way I could. “Count me in Vlad. Let’s get together next week to discuss our partnership.”

In the more sober surroundings of his home office Vlad explained his thinking. On his screen and on a lined notepad were a few rudimentary sketches of a futuristic looking boat with something that looked like the bulb of a keel flying alongside it in parallel formation. Upon closer inspection I saw that it was indeed a bulb attached to fin attached to the boat, canted way to windward and flying clear of the water. To add to the oddity, to leeward was a funky looking foil with a winglet that looked just like the wing tips of the Boeing 767 I had flown back to Massachusetts. Perhaps the thing that struck me most was the long, wave piercing bow, the sculpted deck and the cuddies back aft designed to protect the helmsman from fire hydrant intensity spray. It had not escaped me that someone was actually going to have to sail the boat at an incredible rate of speed for a long period of time to break the 1,000 mile barrier and it might just be a tad wet. I was picturing myself lashed to the steering station when Vlad interrupted my thoughts.

“Listen Brian, there is nothing here that has not been done before. I don’t believe in reinventing things. I just like to look at thing differently. Turn them around a little. Think about how they might work in a different application. This boat may look a little different but it’s actually quite conventional. Let’s look at it one idea at a time.” So we did, starting with the keel because a keel flying alongside a boat was too big a deal to ignore.

Think of SpeedDream not as a monohull. Think instead of a boat that is single-hulled yet has the stability and sail power carrying ability of a multihull. The keel, when canted all the way over represents the windward hull, only it does not have the windage and drag of a conventional catamaran hull. Using a combination of hull shape and leverage Vlad has come up with a keel that can cant to 75 degrees. On most conventional boats, such as a Volvo 70, the maximum cant angle is around 45 degrees. The angle there is limited by the complex hydraulic mechanism needed to move the keel to windward. On SpeedDream the hull in the area of the keel is a flat planing surface and the lever arm of the keel fills the interior space. A motor mounted on the top of the keel strut rides a specially designed track atop the semi-circular bulkhead. The motor can ride it all the way to the cabin floor while outside the boat the keel cants to 75 degrees. Heel the boat more than 15 degrees and the keel flies clear of the water.

There are a number of reasons for flying the keel, other than to freak out unsuspecting sailors sharing the same body of water. One of the key elements of speed is power, in this case a powerful sail plan. In order to support sail area you need stability. On a conventional monohull you can design a beamy boat, pump water to windward, place 20 of your best friends on the windward rail and cant your keel. This does indeed add stability but think of all that extra weight it adds and weight, as we all know, is a speed killer. Multihull sailors have long looked down their noses at the lead sleds with a certain amount deserved disdain. Who would want to drag around a chunk of lead just to be able to carry a lot of sail. There is a diminishing return on that line of thinking. A catamaran, after all, does not have any lead. Their beam provides the stability and once the windward hull flies free of the water, they achieve a massive righting moment with relatively little wetted surface. Power, reduced drag, what’s not to like?

What’s not to like is the shape of the leeward hull. By design multihulls are slab sided with round bottoms. This is not particularly efficient but it gets a lot worse when the windward hull lifts out of the water. The force drives the leeward hull deeper into the water creating speed robbing drag. What you really want is a flat planing surface, well, exactly what SpeedDream has. At an optimal angle of heel of between 20 – 25 degrees, the hull shape of SpeedDream is narrow and flat, a perfect low resistance planing surface.

To add additional stability and to compensate for the fact that there is no keel in the water to provide lateral stability, Vlad has created a striking looking leeward foil. If the flying keel didn’t turn enough heads, the funky foil will, but its purpose is more than simple sex appeal. British designer Hugh Welbourne was the first to really pursue the idea of the leeward foil. His DSS system features a foil, which sticks out horizontally from the hull, slides through the water providing resistance to the boat trying to heel, and better yet, it provides lift. “You see it’s not a new idea,” Vlad chimes in while I turn the page on it’s side. “Foils provide lift no matter what angle to have them at.” It’s true, Vlad calculates that the leeward lifting foil will offset up tp 50% of boat displacement when sailing at 30+ knots, while increasing Righting Moment by another 25%. “I am more concerned about the foil providing too much lift than anything else,” Vlad continues. “I want this boat in the water not flying out of it and crashing.” Rather than add daggerboards the curved tips of the lifting foils provide lateral resistance and the whole mechanism is moved from side to side in a horizontal, rather than vertical centerboard case. “Again, not a new idea,” Vlad says with a slight smile.

By this point I am drinking the coolaid. There is an earnestness and sincerity in Murnikov that, when combined with a sharp mind and some free thinking, is hard to resist. I like what I have seen so far, but the appendages are not all of the story.

“The concept behind SpeedDream is not power,” Vlad states. “it’s efficiency. That’s the problem with most boats these days. Designers are adding power on top of power. It’s not their fault. They are designing boats within the constraints of a rule and most rules limit length. When you simply add power you end up with a machine that trips over itself. Like a Ferrari engine in a VW beetle. At some point you are going to have some problems.”

I look at the slim, slender, almost graceful lines of SpeedDream and I start to see what he means. The boat is narrow with an extremely fine entry. “It’s a wave piercing bow,” Vlad says. “It’s designed to slice through waves rather than bounce over them. Take a look at some youtube videos of the Volvo Ocean Race boats. They look amazing. All that spray everywhere. But think about it. You have a boat that carries its beam a long way forward. Then it suddenly tapers to sharp bow. Slide the boat down a wave at 30 knots and see what happens when the bow, quickly followed by all that beam, hits the wave ahead of it. No wonder there is all that spray. And it’s dangerous. Knee deep water cascading down the deck. And think of the weight of all that water. For the period of time that those thousands of gallons of water are on the deck of the boat they are adding weight and robbing speed. Doesn’t make any sense to me.”

I rotate the SpeedDream rendering on the screen and look at the boat bow-on. It’s razor sharp and stays that way for almost its full length. This thing is going to slice its way around the world carving up waves and passing through them with barely a trace. Then I look closer at the sculpted deck. What I had mistaken for sexiness was in fact pure functionality. The stylish curves and elegant lines are designed with one purpose in mind; to get rid of water as quickly and efficiently as possible. From the bow aft there are a number of water breaks that deflect the water as rapidly as possible back into the ocean. A gallon of water weights seven pounds. I hear stories of Volvo sailors cutting their toothbrushes in half to save weight but I wonder how many of them consider how inefficient it is to carry even an extra cup full of unwanted water on deck for a moment longer than is absolutely necessary. And that kind of thinking extends all the way aft. The cockpit sole is mesh allowing water to pass immediately through onto a sloped area that deflects the water out the transom. “Much faster than cockpit drains,” mused Vlad.

SpeedDream carries a surprisingly conventional rig. I point to the modest three spreader mast and Vlad shrugs. “For now let’s concentrate on the hull,” he says. “I want to get that right first. We will build a scaled down prototype to test some of the ideas in a real sailing environment. We will refine the appendages and work around some of the problems we encounter from a boat sailing at these high speeds. The prototype will be around 36 feet and even such a small boat will sail at well over 30 knots without too much difficulty. Once we get that right we can start to think creatively on the mast.” In his note pad I see drawings of the mast canted to windward. The combination of a flying keel, canting mast and funky lifting foil all attached to a slender, stylish body does look a bit unconventional, but then what is convention?

I am absolutely sure that the 1,000 mile barrier will be broken. Developments in sail technology, materials and the skill of the sailors themselves is increasing exponentially. What’s hindering progress are rules. Rules that limit creativity. Rules that in my mind are producing boats that are borderline dangerous. You can’t have a boat driven by sheer power. Vlad’s analogy of the Ferrari and VW makes sense. In car racing they limit the power, not the body designed around that power. The sooner we all start thinking creatively, the sooner we will have boats that sail faster, easier and safer. SpeedDream is a step in the right direction, but it’s only a first step.

SpeedDream: Mono vs Multi

Most people would agree, a monohull can never outpace a multihull. Well, we are here to prove that that idea wrong. SpeedDream will outpace the fastest multi’s. Find out how…

The attached article was written by Brian Hancock, SpeedDream‘s Creative and Media Director, and published in the sailing website

SpeedDream: Mono vs Multi