The stability and the dynamic behavior is an integral part of designing hydrofoil supported sailing vessels, such as the America's Cup (AC) 50 class. The foil design and the control systems have an important influence on the performance and stability of the vessel. Both foil and control system design also drive the maneuverability of the vessel and determine maneuvering procedures. The AC50 class requirements lead to complex foil control systems and the maneuvering procedures become sophisticated and multifaceted.

Sailing and maintaining AC50 class yachts is a complex, expensive and time-consuming task. A dynamic velocity prediction program (DVPP) for the AC50 is therefore developed to assess the dynamic stability of different foil configurations and to simulate and optimize maneuvers. The goal is to evaluate certain design ideas and maneuvering procedures with this simulator so that sailing time on the water can be saved.

The paper describes the principal concepts of developing a AC50 model in the DVPP FS-Equilibrium. The force components acting on the yacht are defined based on physical principles, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and experimental investigations. The control systems for adjusting the aero- and hydrodynamic surfaces are modelled. Controllers are utilized to simulate the human behavior of performing sailing tasks. Maneuvers are then defined as sequences of crew actions and crew behaviors.

In the paper examples of utilizing the DVPP in preparation for the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda are described. The DVPP is for example used to investigate the effect of different boat set-ups on stability and handling during maneuvers. With the sailing team, maneuver procedures are developed and tested. Procedures such as dagger board and rudder elevator movement and crew position are investigated and evaluated to minimize the distance lost during tacking and gybing. The DVPP is also employed for trajectory optimization during maneuvers.

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