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Oracle's Racing Yacht Took 85K Hours to Build

More than 15 designers and 50 boat builders had a hand in the vessel that could reach speeds of up to 60 mph.

Last week, and with less than 100 days until the start of the 35th America's Cup in Bermuda, Oracle Team USA debuted its new yacht, which they hope will claim a third America's Cup win.

They call it "17," and more than 15 designers and 50 boat builders had a hand in the 50-ft (49.21 ft, 15 m) vessel that that could reach speeds of up to 60 mph (97 kph), even though it is entirely manually powered. As a matter of fact, the team has already put in 85,000 man-hours of work.

BMW aided in the development, assisting with the aerodynamics and lightweight construction,

Catamarans in the America's Cup are allowed to foil, which means that they can fly across the surface of the water on daggerboards. This is why aerodynamics play such an important role in the team's success, and BMW can offer some tribal knowledge from the automotive industry.

BMW was also instrumental in designing  a new intuitive steering module that is modeled after the steering wheel in a race car, but, possibly due to the proprietary nature of the design, photos of it are hard to find.

Oracle will spend the next few weeks launching and testing the craft. According to Scott Ferguson, the team's design coordinator, development won't stop until racing begins with the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on May 26, 2017.

The boat was christened last week by team member Luciana Corral. 

This is IEN Now with David Mantey.


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