The first AC40 is expected to be ready to be shipped from McConaghy Boats China facility in July, to the Emirates Team New Zealand base in Auckland for its on water commissioning in August 2022.
Each successive boat will be rolled out in five week increments thereafter as the Challenging teams take possession and prepare to hit the water.
The British AC40 will be the second off the production line and will be with the team before the end of the year.
The AC40 hull shape is based on that of Te Rehutai, the ETNZ AC36 winning yacht, but is already a generational step forward incorporating a number of developments learned after the completion of AC36 last year.
The seven axis CNC machine at McConaghy Boats production facility working 24/7 carving out the tooling for the hull of the new class.
In light winds the AC40 is expected to be able to sail at up to 26 knots at 46º upwind and 30 knots boat speed at 138º downwind.
At the upper limits of 20 knots TWS, the boat speeds are expected to escalate to 39 knots upwind at 41º and 44 knots at an angle of 155º downwind.
The focus is firmly on rolling out the fleet of AC40’s. Currently there are already eight AC40’s under order with McConaghy’s, with teams lined up awaiting possession.
Due to labour resource constraints in New Zealand, without partnering with McConaghy’s and utilising their overseas production capabilities ETNZ would not be able to fulfill the orders in time.
Specialised elements like the rigs are being built by Southern Spars and the foil arms are being produced at the ETNZ build facility. while McConaghy Boats in China are producing the hulls, decks and fit out as well as North Sails Marine group with the aero package.
Due to the AC40 being a ‘production boat’, the process has been a bit different to usual for Head of Design Dan Bernasconi.
Because the production process is so rapid in this case they have had to finalise a lot more of their hydraulics, electronics and system designs in respect to those areas up front and make sure they are spot on.
The America’s Cup teams will be using their AC40’s for testing, development, Match Race training, and preliminary events.
They will be used for both the Women’s and Youth America’s Cup’s as a key tool for creating the pathway into the America’s Cup for women and the next generation of foiling sailors.
This pathway made all the easier with the added benefit of the availability of the AC40 simulator developed by Emirates Team New Zealand for pre- delivery training.
As a further step on from this, the AC40 and the simulator will be available to private owners, who could be looking for a new challenge in a dynamic boat that is right up there in terms of performance close to that of the AC75 America’s Cup powerhouses.