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still asks a great deal of its manually driven power-delivery systems.


For the 2015 TP52 season we got the opportunity to work on three new projects; working in a virtually constantly overlapping set of programmes was a chal- lenging task! With the 52 Super Series being such a high-level competition, we wanted to pull out all the stops and create something special for our clients. The first task was development of a very specific pedestal that would incorporate an integral overdrive unit. We were looking for big gains; with our target to be consid- erably lighter, more free-running and more efficient under load.


At dinner with my principal engineer, once again we started sketching new ideas, in particular focusing on cycle gear hub prin- cipals and hi-load planetary drive units. We went aggressive (again), opting for a single device that totally replaces chains and the conventional lower shaft assembly compo- nents. Housed in a new pedestal casing and driven with a single narrow carbon tooth belt, the M2-PPD pedestal is over 2kg lighter than its predecessor and brings a significant difference in operating performance – exactly what our business is all about. Another area in which we have now acquired a solid amount of experience is spinnaker takedown systems. Since the first full-blown TP52 unit for Artemis in 2010 we’ve followed a path of trying to incorporate some of the boat’s primary structure into our installations, allowing that structure to earn its keep by perform- ing more than one role. On Judel-Vrolijk’s 2015-generation TP52 design the hull-to- deck structure beneath the cockpit features a panelled truss layout; we adapted one of these truss beams into a stressed member chassis to carry the takedown wheel drive. A single acting command delivers instantaneous direct engagement with the mainsheet winch or takedown drive.


30 SEAHORSE


Top: On the tools… Jon Williams ‘in situ’ building the full-scale central hull engine bay mock-up ahead of successful load testing of the Oracle USA 17 trimaran’s BMW turbo diesel power plant and cooling system. Heart of the matter (top left), an M8-CX fully lubricated cross-axis gearbox for Comanche. In-deck moulded winch base (top right) with modified internals on a 2015 TP52. The progression towards synthesis (right), a TDX-4 spinnaker takedown system and TP52 primary structure working for each other. Left: a 1200Nm capacity ‘X’ configuration gearbox for the Persico-built Maxi 72 Momo


And onward


We started 2016 by finally getting the chance to work with Micky Costa and the Robertissima team on their new Maxi 72… stay tuned for that one. I’m also excited by a new transmission group we are working on for the AC50 and Imoca 60 classes. Being aimed essentially at one or two- man crew systems, the new transmission configurations will also be ideal for short- handers ranging from Class40s up to the


new-generation Multi 100 solo trimarans. Finally, I’ve purposely avoided develop- ing our own winch until we had the trans- missions fully sorted. The bottom line is that winches are serious pieces of equip- ment with a heavy burden of safety as well as delivering reliable performance. But now the time is right, 2016 is going to be big year. Huge thanks go out to everyone for their belief and support in what we do. Jon Williams, Somerset, UK


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