Thank you for your interest. Yes you are right, we are just as prone to an engine, grearbox or drive breakdown as anyone else. However we have tried to build as bulletproof package as we can in such a harsh operating condition. I believe we have as close to this package as we can, not only myself but a team of very experienced consultants and engineers are working closely on this to see it a success.
Although I cannot state at this time the tuning motorsport firm they have heavy involvement in F1, WRC, Les Mans and the Paris-Dakar. Their brief is to produce an extremely reliable engine using the Cummins block. Although I am not an engineer, I know a long list of forged and special parts are planned.
Proof of four engines working was at a previous Cowes Torquay race where Buzzi had engine problems on his forth FPT, he was able to run on three and still maintain good speed. I have found when talking to others and from my own experience that the FPT unit, although fantastic on paper is having real problems with cooling. Some at race speeds not getting past 4 hours! I would prefer not to have this expense. Ofcourse, there will be a lot of testing over the next 12 months to create the right package, I am sure the end result will differ from what we have right now, but we have to start that evolutionary process.
I plan to race this RIB for many years to come and she has been designed for this. She will be my pride and joy and I hope for her to be the key contender in marathon events. However we have a long road ahead and many months ahead of work before we get there. This is my full time project now.
Continuing the green eco theme however, we plan to use the boat as a test bed down the line with the UIM for greener technologies. We are talking with a technology body for this. I like to think that racing in Class A, we will be the greenest, most eco conscious team.
She is a significant step on the way to producing a product thatís as environmentally friendly and carbon neutral as possible. It is, however, a high performance competition machine so progress must be relatively conservative. The percentage of Ďbioí will be increased as the materials themselves develop further and we become ever more familiar with them. Our philosophy in every instance is to use sustainable alternatives wherever possible, not only in the boat itself but in its manufacture. I am very keen to see how the bio products compare to traditional composites and resins.
This boat will breakdown at some point while we are racing, itís a complicated beast and at the speeds we will be doing, the stresses on all the craft and its equipment will be large indeed. However, we are forming a fantastic team of people and the preparation is key. We have access to the state of the art support vehicles etc and the best mechanics, so overall we hope that over the long distance races we should be able to finish. If we finish we hope to be high up in the rankings. I have great confidence in my designers and am enjoying this process of learning and discovery new things every day. Itís a great privilege and canít wait to be at the helm of this very fast RIB.
Re fuel, we are in comunication with the UIM on what we are allowed to run, once this is clear and in writing and the boat is built, we will then test the engines full in real world situations to see how she performs, if we did run B100(Full Bio) over B10 (10% bio) we would need to modify the engines accordingly, however we are in close contact with Cummins UK and the states and have built this into our timeline before Cowes-Monaco. I will have more answers when we have tested further. At the moment my focus is working closely with my team to get the moulds CNC'd on the 5 axis machine and the boat in build. That is when the fun begins, hence why I personally have kept the project off forums until my plans are in hardware format. Once she is underway however I will keep you in the loop. As you can understand it is a very long and expensive process so it will take time.
If all goes to plan I would like to be racing at Cowes next year. I hope you can all view her when sheís finished.