Two sails allow the "Mayflower" three different sail configurations
Work is being carried out on crewless sailing boats around the world, the most famous projects being the Roboat from Austria and the American Saildrone, which has already mastered a 2100 mile Pacific cruise from San Francisco to Hawaii. But measured against the plans of Plymouth University, the projects look like toys.
The deck area between the hulls is relatively high and therefore does not offer so much surface area for swell
With a length of over 32 meters and a width of almost 17 meters, the "Mayflower" is the largest project of its kind. Planning, construction time and testing are geared towards the autonomous crossing of the Atlantic in five years. Then the unusual trimaran will follow the example of its famous namesake and sail to Plymouth in Massachusetts on the anniversary of the 400 years earlier crossing of the original Mayflower from Plymouth in England to Plymouth in Massachusetts. The implementation of the ambitious project called Mars should be made possible through the partnership of Plymouth University with the MSubs shipyard and the design office Shuttleworth Design. The million dollar project is part of a university campaign called "Shape the Future" - "shape the future".
The 32 meter long sailing robot "Mayflower" from Plymouth University
The first pictures show a trimaran with very slim hulls, a large curved deck area and two sporty masts inclined aft. The decision to let the unmanned watercraft sail was made by the brothers John and Orion Schuttleworth not out of a love of sailing, but out of technical considerations: "The premise of wanting to use renewable energy was reflected in the construction of the trimaran. The area, which would be necessary for solar cells to keep the boat under engine, is simply too big. The attack surface for wind and waves would endanger the safety at sea calm weather by 40 percent."
Brett Phaneuf, the Managing Director of MSubs, has big plans: "The question arises: If there is a rover on Mars that independently collects data for research - we cannot sail across the Atlantic in an unmanned watercraft or even around the world? We hope to clarify this question with Mars."
The shipyard manager calculates about ten days for the crossing. But speed is not the goal of the mission, "Mayflower" is supposed to collect data and provide empirical values for autonomous sailing. The measured values are collected by drones on board.
More information: www.shuttleworthdesign.com
The video from the Furtwangen University of Applied Sciences with the Relationship project from 1997 offers a glimpse into the past of unmanned sailing.
Unmanned sailing in the late nineties