I came a few months ago to talk about VRC-A class, a class for autonomous sailing boats (without crew).
I will come to you today to talk about OpenSailor, the first sailing boat that will meet the VRC-A class measurement rules.
OpenSailor is an autonomous sailing boat - unmanned - capable of covering several hundred nautical miles in complete autonomy (nautical and energetic) ... This is a monohull of slightly more than three meters which has forms similar to an Open 60. Because we are enthusiasts with a limited budget, we build it from a canoe that we have cut and constrained.
From the energy viewpoint, OpenSailor will carry the equivalent of 200 Ah battery wich will be refilled by wind and solar energy.
OpenSailor will carry everything needed to be aware of its environment (wind,atmospheric pressure, wave,...), position (GPS) and its physical behavior (speed, drift, heel, trim,...). It will be able to adapt to weather conditions (sail trim, reefing, cap,...) to go to a point defined in advance.
The yacht is currently under design and construction, and all the design documents (available under a CC: BY-NC-SA license) will be on the site www.open-sailor.com progressively following our steps forward!
We are at the beginning of the project, but here's a first provisional schedule:
- July 2012: first navigation in "radio controlled" mode on Lake Geneva
- July 2013: first autonomous navigation, probably St Malo -> Jersey -> St Malo or Les Sables d'Olonne -> Douarnenez