FAQ

We hope the information below is helpful. Please feel free to ask some more quesitons if you have them.

What did Arup bring to the Arup Skiff project?
We identified that the current Ellway E6 Cherub fits the sailing requirements for ISAF women’s skiff. However, the UK Cherub is a development class and the current format and build process of the UK Cherub could not deliver the one-design limits or production volume of boats required. Taking Kevin Ellway’s hull geometry we have applied our skills in geometric design, composite moulding design, structural optimisation and project planning/management to deliver a revolutionary package to ISAF for the women’s skiff. Although the Arup skiff could race as a UK-Cherub, below the identical outer skin shape it will be far advanced from the prototypes sailing in the trials in Santander.

Who will build the Arup Skiff?
The Arup Skiff hulls, spars and components can be built by any supplier worldwide who can fulfil ISAF’s build requirements. Arup will publically publish the build manual and geometry for the Arup skiff and those wishing for a cheaper version can build a very similar boat and can register/race it as a UK Cherub.

How will we deliver 100 boats?
Arup will oversee the delivery of the first 100 boats to launch the class quickly and allow all competitors the chance to open the training window for 2016 at the same time. If selection is announced in May we have a provisional booking for a delivery regatta in Weymouth at the back end of October 2012.

Arup does not manufacture products. We are an engineering consultancy who design and project manage often large and logistically challenging projects (see our work on the the Water Cube, Bird’s Nest and HS1 for good examples). Our advanced design and freedom to contract will facilitate the delivery.

Why is it so light?
To keep the cost and the strength needed to sail the boat down everything has started light and got bigger.

Is the Arup Skiff a Cherub?
Arup are proud of the Arup Skiff’s link to the UK Cherub Class. The UK Cherub Class Owners Association (UKCCOA) are supporting our bid. Our prototype trial boats are owned and supplied by private owners and measure as UK-Cherubs.

Was it designed for women to sail?
Not specifically, but the competitive range of the UK Cherub fleet is between 100 and 150kg. The 2011 UK Cherub nationals was won by a father and son team weighing approximately 135kg (aged 47 and 13 respectively). Notably, Nicola Bethwaite won the Cherub Worlds in 1996.  

Some of the other trial entrants have started with men’s boats(49er and RS800) and tried to reconfigure them for smaller sailors or a youth boat (29er) with bigger sails. The Arup Skiff benefits from 60 years of development within the Cherub class designing for crews of this weight and strenght. The Arup skiff is about fitness and finess, not brute force.

What does it weigh?
The hull fittings, prod and kite sock are limited to a minimum of 50kg in the UK Cherub rule set. All up the boat is between 65 and 70kg. In full production the Arup skiff will carry lead to achieve a similar hull weight and provide a long competitive hull life.

Why are the prototypes  different?
The Arup Skiffs bought to the trials are both privately owned UK-Cherub E6 Hulls. Built by Aardvark, Bloodaxe and their owners. We have deliberately left some of the possible production options for the women sailors to see and comment on and choose which they like best (i.e. kicker or GNAV).

Why is it Green?
Both Marmite and Eleanor are coated with a 2-part paint. Whilst the production boat can be delivered in Gel Coat, the option of paint vs Gel will be decided by ISAF and the sailors.

What does the T-Foil do?
The T-foil lifts the back of the boat. Lifting the hull reduces drag from the water and makes the boat go faster. By offering this we are proposing to add a new dimension to women’s sailing. This will also add to the television appeal as boats will exhibit different speeds and position changes without changing direction (tacking battles can be hard to follow on television).

Why do you not have a “Twisty Grip”?
The production boat will have a swinging gantry, with T-Foil attack angle controlled by a cleat midway along each gunnel and by twisting the tiller. The prototypes do not have the twist option enabled as in our test sails it distracted the helm. We want the women to sail our boats and experience them, not spend their entire time twisting a tiller.

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