The first AC40 is almost finished at McConaghy Boats

America’s Cup: the first AC40 is coming to an end at McConaghy Boats

by Jul 22 22:17 UTC
July 23, 2022

The AC40 prototype was undercoated before being delivered to the first owner, Emirates Team New Zealand © Emirates Team NZ

The first AC40 multi-purpose yacht for the 2024 America’s Cup is being fitted out at McConaghy Boats factory in China before being shipped to New Zealand.

The AC40 is a one-design hull that will be used by all teams for the America’s Cup preliminary events – the Youth and Women’s America’s Cup, as well as two preliminary events by the America. The third and final preliminary event will take place in the AC75 racing boats that will be used during the 2024 America’s Cup.

AC40s can be modified by teams for testing purposes, which should be the main function of the boats – of which most teams should have two. It is believed that 10 AC40s are on order, priced at just under $2 million each.

The video shows the fairly extreme hull shape at the stern and after the sections where the shear line drops quickly into the transom. The front sections have been seen before and are similar to Emirates Team NZ America’s Cup champion Te Rehutai.

For the first time, we can see the cockpit layout which includes two trenches fore and aft, for the navigation crew, and a second narrower transverse trench for the mainsail traveler and the hydraulic sheet. The crew should be split in half on each side, as ETNZ did with its test boat Te Kahu in the build-up to AC2021.

The deck layout appears to be a big departure from that used in the 2021 America’s Cup, it remains to be seen if teams carry the concept over to racing boats.

Boats should be manually or hydraulically winched and equipped with automated flight controls. However, to test these two functions, you can switch to manual mode.

The raising and lowering of the foils will be switched manually thanks to the power supply. The manual jib winch is located just forward of the crew cockpits.

Emirates Team New Zealand as Defender will take delivery of the first AC40, the Challenger of Record, with INEOS Britannia taking the second, and the others will be allocated in order of entry.

By getting two AC40s each, teams will be able to return to two boat tests, in boats designed to be downsized to AC75 – that they would be in line with, albeit proportionately smaller, the AC75 America’s Cup class.

With two boat trials, they will use a crew of eight on both AC40s, and eight crew is the new crew limit for the AC75s in AC2024.

So far, four challenges have been accepted plus the Defender for a total of five teams – just one more than Auckland 2021.

Earnest A. Martinez