Computerized flow simulation methods have been developed, refined, and implemented as an aid for hydrodynamic optimization of the 12-metre yacht "Stars & Stripes 87". Forming one element of a triad, computational analyses and Velocity Prediction Program trends were complemented with 1/3 scale towing tank models and full scale field testing. A background analysis of the yachts "Liberty" and "Australia II" provides a foundation for understanding relative performance issues. In particular, the wave resistance and lift-induced drag (vortex and wave) levels are quantified. Techniques involving Fourier analysis, integral methods, panel methods, and finite difference schemes are described. Parametric studies illustrating trends are augmented with a fundamental description of component-induced flow fields. Two appendices provide details on automation of computational model definition and a new free-surface analysis scheme for predicting wave resistance effects due to volume, lift, and heel. It is shown that the primary benefit of the computational effort is improved performance by means of a systems approach involving element decomposition, sub-optimizations, and element linking based on sensitivity information.

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