After finishing in sixth place in the Olympic games of Rio de Janeiro in 2016 with his Finn dinghy, the Swedish sailor Max Salminen started to wonder about what consequences the choice of rudder had on his performance. Max has previously won an Olympic gold medal with Starboat in London, 2012. To answer his questions, he turned to SSPA for help. By using simulations and tests the flow properties could be evaluated. Through financial aid from the Chalmers Area of Advance Material science the different allowed rudders could be purchased and tested. In order to incorporate the proper measuring systems a full scale copy of the boat was built at SSPA. The findings from the study showed that different rudders performed better or worse depending on the physical conditions at the race.
As a next step in the project, students from Chalmers in collaboration with SSPA, are trying to develop a completely new rudder. The best one of the traditional rudders is being studied in detail and the new one will be optimized with regards to its weigh distribution and design in order to optimize the hydrodynamic properties. Max boat is seen during testing
in the picture to the left .
During the tests, another interesting difference between the Finn dinghy and the model boat was observed; the structures of the Finn dinghy is rigid, while the hull is soft and deformable. Meanwhile, the hull of the model boat is all rigid. In the end of April, the two boats were tested in the SSPAs 260 meter long towing tank. The results will be analyzed, and if it turns out that soft hull causes a lower hydrodynamic resistance, the results could be groundbreaking in the shipping industry and for Max, who is aiming for a gold medal in the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.