We take advantage of the techniques used at the high end of the yacht design industry to generate shapes that fill the requirements given in our design brief. The main objective of these techniques is to automatize as much as possible the iterative process inherent to any engineering problem, especially in selecting the right foil shape for the working regime of the boat. In the case of the appendage development, we work with some of the already well known genetic algorithms to select the foil that fulfills the design requirements. The iterative process imitates natural selection by breeding new shapes from the best foils generated in the previous generation. Our in house software produces random foil shapes each generation that are tested with a CFD panel code, the foil shape of the best of them are then varied for producing different variations or mutations of the original shapes that are tested again. After a few minutes, we can produce thousands of shapes were only the best ones are selected. These newly shapes are then translated to the desired 3D shape of the appendage and tested using some of the best RANS CFD codes available to validate the findings in the 2D optimizations. This way we avoid free improvisation and save time in building prototypes that can be left apart before even being built.
Every design we build is an opportunity to improve the optimization algorithm as we validate our design methodology by logging data on the water. This way we have a rational argumentation for improving our designs in future loops, which is one of the main points defining the sailing lab concept.