sea and wind are intimately associated, essentially in the yachting spectrum. a ship has to deal with these elements and it can be the plaything of their power, but also can take benefit from their energy. ancient civilizations were smart enough to achieve this balance. through his design, mathis ruhl encourages naval design to be smart again and imagine how to improve the efficiency of a sailing ship with today’s technology.

‘wind motion 70t’ model designed by architect mathis ruhl



french architect mathis ruhl‘s latest naval project is about efficiency and self-sufficiency. it investigates the optimal shapes for the hull and for the rig to suit a 70-meter autonomous yacht program.

sea and wind are primary factors to consider in naval architecture

mathis ruhl’s latest naval project is about efficiency and self-sufficiency

it investigates the optimal shapes for the hull and for the rig to fit the program

rig criteria diagram

wing types diagram

wing efficiency diagram

configuration diagram



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

  • As someone enthralled with Hinckley’s Bermuda 40, I was prepared not to like this; such is prejudice. This is a great concept. Well thought out. Yet, I am more than nervous about a reverse stem hitting a container mid-ocean. It would be a shame to lose it on the first voyage.


    JimCan says:
  • Thank you Jim for your open mind, as I am myself fond of classic sailing boats.
    Regarding the reverse bow hitting a container, I would say on the contrary: the long narrow empty front volume, is perfect to act as a sacrificial crashbox. The boat should be able to sail even after loosing it.

    Mathis says:
  • Mathis,
    You are correct in demonstrating the achievable reduction in wing/sail area with higher cl values. I have worked for sometime for Ocean Foil, researching and designing wing sails for merchant ships. A solid wing sail with a flap can , for the same area of a sail,approximately double the lift and with a clean wing design reduce the drag. Or as you have shown a wing with a flap can dramatically reduce the area required for the same lift values.

    I have sailed a wing sailed yacht and the fine control possible is a major safety feature. In a critical situation south of Biscay (extreme weather)we had the option of getting the boat into Figeira Da Foz. To do this we had to turn to windward to enter between the breakwaters.
    We where motoring with the wing sail feathered for zero drive, our speed over the ground was close to about 1 knot.
    I gave the rudder of the wing sail 1.5 dergees of deflection and left the wing flap at zero angle. The result was 5 knots over the ground. Try doing that with a conventional rig in extremely bad conditions.
    And all controlled from the helm / pilot position. The only problem I found difficult was managing to drink a cup of tea with the boats motion.

    Robert Vincent says:

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