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Nissan designs A Class catamaran

Fri, 12 Aug 2011

Nissan has today announced that it has designed and built a catamaran as the latest part of its non-automotive design and development program.

Matt Struble, who led the design and modeling team at Nissan Design America (NDA) in San Diego, will be racing the Class A Catamaran in the 2011 World Championship from August 13 through 20 in SkĂždstrup, Denmark.

The team sought to improve and smooth all aspects of aero- and hydro-dynamics of the vessel, with the boat's composite structure designed and built in-house. Struble explained how this will be all-important when it comes to the race itself:

"We weren't trying to create something that already exists, but something groundbreaking," Struble says. He highlights that this particular project was unique because "you have to create it in your mind, but also physically manufacture it and follow through. It was great for our team to see the project from start to finish."

In the design and creation of the boat, it is also hoped that the experience will aid the design teams by expanding design ideas, importing them from outside the automobile world. Experience in using new materials, spraying techniques and model finish applications will also aid designers in creating better, more accurate models using the new techniques.

Rich Plavetich, general manager of design business at NDA, hopes the team will gain from the experience.

"This has been a great opportunity and experience for the team, whose core business is model building, data development and digitizing," he explains. "The goal for the team is to timely achieve accurate models to enhance the overall business of design."

"The knowledge and skills acquired from this experience will be incorporated into the future Nissan and Infiniti vehicle design development process."

Matt Struble holds the current title of A-Cat US Champion. The Class A Catamaran is controlled by a single sailor and is the smallest in size in all Catamaran race boats.

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By Rufus Thompson