M32 Class Newsletter

M32 Class Newsletter
December 14, 2019 Mattias Dahlström
Aston Harald Composites is back to the production of M32

(Hönö, Sweden December 12th 2019) – Aston Harald Composite diversified from the M32 product one and a half years ago, with a focus towards the automotive and marine industry. The customer stock has been growing due to well-reputed companies such as Koenigsegg and Nautor’s Swan.

Håkan Svensson, CEO of Aston Harald Composite: “The M32 was the first product of Aston Harald Composite. With the M32, we could show the world what this company was able to produce, and from that day, we have attracted all different companies with high demand in carbon fiber structures and products. Now we have also invested in a new carbon fiber press, putting us in front of the market as one of the leading carbon composite factories in the world. We see the M32 class growing around the world and the production of M32 boats is back on at the factory. The aim is to finalize 14 new M32s at the beginning of 2020.”

The decision to begin the production of 14 new boats is coming from a growing M32 class around the world. As of October, the last new M32 # 62 had been delivered, so it’s a natural step for the company to start up production again of new boats and spare parts.

“It´s great to see the production again of the M32 catamaran. If I should be honest, I wasn’t sure that we would see new produced boats again in the factory. If you look at the production and the profile of the company today, we mostly see parts for the automotive industry. With the M32 class growing in Europe and the USA and a new mast design on the market, this attracts all types of sailors to the M32. This also puts a demand on the manufacturer to have new boats ready for sale.” comments Jakob Wilson, M32 Product Manager.

At the same time, the production of the new M32s starts, the second batch of the new masts are in the lamination process. The first batch of 12 masts was delivered for the North American Championships in November. The upcoming masts will go to existing owners and be sold with the new M32 boats. With the new M32 boats and masts produced, Aston Harald can deliver a brand new boat with the new mast design from either Hönö, Sweden, or Newport, Rhode Island, on the day of order.

Sanremo Set to Start European Series

(Sanremo, Italy December 13th 2019) – The European Series will kick off with two warm-up events in Sanremo in March and April, as well as Sanremo in May when the official Series starts. Sanremo offers excellent facilities, good sailing waters, and a friendly Mediterranean atmosphere both in the town and at the Yacht Club Sanremo. And yes, it’s Italy, so you will not be disappointed with the culinary experience!

The warm-up events are run as a proper regatta with the same 3-day format as the Series. However, more time is set aside for training and briefings where teams, coaches, umpires, and the race committee helps to explain the finer points of M32 racing to new teams and as a refresher to the veterans. The boats can stay assembled in the marina between the events, and this offers the perfect training opportunity to get ready for the European Season.

The season continues going North to Amsterdam and Marstrand before going back south for another event before the season closer, the European Championship on Lake Garda. The venue for the Europeans is the beautiful Riva del Garda, which was the place for the last very successful World Championship of the class.

Fleet growing for the Miami Winter Series

(Miami, USA December 11th 2019) – The Miami Winter Series continues to be a successful series with record fleet numbers expected this winter. The Series is becoming a natural get-together for the US fleet, and several European teams are joining the fun this season. The sheltered Bay of Biscayne offers superb multihull conditions with flat water and good winds. The racing style is the standard M32 style with an intensive afternoon of short races and reaching starts. All the fleet is moored together at Shake-a Leg, and that is also the place for the after sail, socials, and letting the other team, know how good you really are.

The Series consists of three events, one each in January, February, and March. April hosts a bonus event, the M32 Sandbar Cup, for those teams who want to stretch the Miami season a bit longer. The Race Committee, umpires, and the safety team are the same throughout the winter to maintain high and consistent quality. M32 North America will also have staff on-site to help with any service and to assist new teams in joining the class.

Last season’s winning team Don Wilson’s Convexity went on to win both the World Championship and the North Americans, so there is no doubt that Miami is the place to hone your skills in a competitive fleet. With new teams joining and the growing fleet, Convexity will have to keep with top-level performance to defend the title and keep hold of the elusive Miami Rooster Trophy.

Join the fun with an M32 Demo

The M32 Demo boat is the perfect way to get introduced to M32 racing in a way that is tailored to your background in racing and other classes. Maybe you have your own racing team and just need a few hints on M32 specifics, or maybe you need help with setting up an M32 experienced crew and start from the beginning with multihull racing.

This is the way most of our class members got introduced to the boat. The most common answer to the question -”Why did you start racing the M32?” has always been, “I tried it, and then I was hooked.”

For 2020, the demo boat will be available on the first regattas of the season to give you a chance to join the fun later on. Additional Information at [email protected]

The Story of the M32 Mast Development

(Newport, USA December 11th, 2019) – The first actual race for any sailing product is always a bit of a nail biter. The M32 North American Championships held in November was the first event that the new updated mast design saw competition. The twelve masts were delivered to Miami, having been developed by the class over an 18-month process. A boat or rig is never fully pushed to 100% until it sees racing conditions; in this case, it was two thumbs up! We discussed with Dave Doucett of M32 North America about the development process of this upgrade.

Q: Why the change in rig design?
A: The M32 is a simple, high-performance catamaran designed by Goran Marstrom in 2011. The original design specification was intended to race in short-handed distance events. The M32 has now evolved into a boat that is sailed by a crew of five. Attracting top-level world-class owner drivers, professional sailors and top-level amateur sailors that push the boat much harder than the original design blueprint. The M32 class association identified the demand for a rig that evolved with how the boat is now raced hard on a short AC style racecourse. In the winter of 2017, we started the first steps in the new design

Q: How did the class help develop the new design mast?
A: The development of the new rig design has a unique story starting by working with Scott Ferguson and Ted Hackney, both with America’s Cup engineering backgrounds. We set up one of the top M32 programs, Team Convexity, as a testbed with load cells and cameras onboard. From this data obtained from on water testing and with Scott’s input, we uncovered many of the forces applied at the high new level at which boat is being sailed. Kåre Ljung, one of the key engineers of the M32, developed the new rig with that data in mind, and with the spirit that we did not want to deviate from the original simplicity of the existing design. In the fall of 2018, Aston Harald delivered a new test rig to Miami. We decided that the most effective development program was to get the mast out sailing in the hands of some of the best pro sailors during the four-event winter series. The winning team at each event was offered the test rig for the next event. After five events and five test teams, we incorporated the design feedback and moved to the final design and production.

Q: From a design perspective, what’s new?
A: Aston Harald Composite and M32 co-designer Kåre Ljung have designed and built a new mast with the same overall tube size as the existing rigs, but with updated geometry. The hounds, diamonds, and code zero have been moved towards the gennaker halyard exit point. The mast junction and spreader fittings moved 500mm upwards, and the mast joint 500mm higher. The new mast is only ~2 kg in weight added by an innovative carbon structure in the sidewall preventing the bending side moment caused by the high loads of the gennaker luff cable.

Q: What other equipment upgrades?
A: As technology trickles down from America’s Cup and Grand Prix racing designs, we have now incorporated this new technology into this mast. The new design incorporates ECsix future fiber rig for the diamonds. The combination of strength, aerodynamics, and durability make it a great product. The bundled-rod construction makes it flexible and immune to fracture from compression. A Karver Systems external gennaker halyard lock has been incorporated into the updated mast. This lock reduces the overall mast compression from a loaded gennaker halyard and has the additional benefit of eliminating halyard stretch. This lock will also increase the safety factor of the mast.

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