Eagle Class 53: Proof of concept begins

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Conceived by professional sailors and designed by an international team of designers, engineers and naval architects, the Eagle Class 53 seeks to provide the most advanced boat without needing expert skills to sail it.

With the latest in foiling and wing technology, the vision is for a computer driven yacht to provide both high speeds and unrivaled comfort and luxury. The project, which began four years ago, sailed recently for the first time in a gentle 8 knots of breeze on flat water off the island of St Thomas in the USVI.

Under the guidance of Tommy Gonzalez and Fast Forward Composites, the most obvious feature is the hybrid wing which can stay in place thanks to its revolutionary ability to feather through 360 degrees when the boat is moored or docked.

“It was a great push, got out a lot of kinks, learned a lot, she glides and moves effortlessly across the water so were very happy,” reports Gonzalez. “It was easier than we thought. I’m exhilarated for the guys who work at the factory and also relieved that the owner is going to be very happy”

Once the team is comfortable and up to speed with the Hybrid Wing and C-foils, the plan is to switch to the T-foils for full foiling.

“We’ve waited years for this,” notes Hall of Famer Randy Smyth who has been involved in the project. “The Fast Forward Eagle Class 53 finally hit the water, the wing up and all the sails up. It was a fabulous day with only three of us out there. It was like a dream come true.”

The boat will now stay in St Thomas and have its final furniture fitted to the cabins and deck area, test sails in all kinds of breeze over the coming few weeks.

Source: sailingscuttlebutt

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