Sailing Formula 2020 by Riemer Halbertsma

At our company we always host one or more interns, with a mutual goal: they can learn from us and we from them. We aim for a diverse group, different backgrounds in study and nationality. In 2020 student Riemer Halbertsma of NHL Stenden’s HBO Maritime Technology study programme joined us. With his research assignment for the SKS, he has won the Maritime Students Award of the Royal Dutch Association of Marine Technicians (KNVTS) in June 2021. 

For the development of the Sailing Formula 2020, the SKS had formulated a graduation assignment and submitted it to NHL Stenden University. The idea behind the assignment was to understand and describe not only the block proportions of the skûtsjes (length, width and draught) but also the hull shape parameters. Skûtsjes are 100 years old and no skûtsje is the same. Riemer succeeded in finding a relationship between hull shape and sail area. That information was incorporated into the Sailing Formula 2020, which was adopted at an extra general members’ meeting on Friday 11 December 2020.

  • Riemer wins Award

In 2018 the SKS (Sintrale Kommisje Skutsjesilen, responsible for the water sports event in Friesland) and its members decided to revise the then current Formula 2016. The reason for this was that a number of skutsjes could not ‘come along’ with the rest of the fleet, so that it appeared that Formula 2016 did not result in an ‘equal starting situation’. The idea is that a (sailing) formula ensures that the ‘quality’ of the vessel and the size of the sail area are correctly matched so that every participant has equal opportunities. With this knowledge, an investigation was started in September 2019 by Riemer Halbertsma in cooperation with Conoship.

During the research it turned out that Formula 2016 with the use of only length, width and draft as input can make too little distinction in different hull shapes. After all, different ‘shapes’ of ships can be modelled within the same block dimensions. Subsequently, it was investigated which shape parameters could be added to the 2016 Formula as a correction factor in order to be able to make this distinction properly. This resulted in the conclusion that the 2016 formula can be expanded by adding the block coefficient and the wet surface as shape parameters. With these new parameters, a correction factor was developed as an addition to Formula 2016, resulting in Formula 2020.

In different ways (VPP & CFD) the quality of Formula 2020 has been tested and approved to be offered to the members of the SKS. On Friday 11 December 2020, Formula 2020 was officially adopted by the members and will come into use in 2021 with a 1 year transition period.

  • Skutsjesilen

All images courtesy of SKS

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