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case study

BAR Technologies uses Siemens Digital Industries software solutions to create a new class of sport yacht

Siemens solutions help take racing performance into the leisure sector

BAR (Ben Ainslie Racing) Technologies

BAR Technologies provides a wide range of engineering consultancy services with an emphasis on high performance and super yachts, leisure marine, heavy marine and data and electronics. The company uses bespoke in-house tools to provide its customers with maritime innovation.
Portsmouth, United Kingdom
NX, Simcenter Nastran, Simcenter Products, Simcenter STAR-CCM+, Teamcenter
Industry Sector:


The digital modeling and simulation tools and techniques that we have established over several years were critical to the fulfilment of the brief.
Simon Schofield, Chief Technology Officer
BAR Technologies

Sleek, racy and efficient

With an optimized hull and dynamically adjusting foils that enable greater efficiency over a wider range of speeds, it’s a boat designed for both performance and comfort. The Princess Yachts R35 was made possible by BAR Technologies, which uses highly specialized techniques and processes when designing an America’s Cup racing yacht. BAR Technologies is now offering its unique expertise to customers across the marine industry.

Princess Yachts first approached BAR Technologies with the aim of creating a completely new design that would attract people who had not previously considered buying a boat. The new design was to be an entry-level purchase: a day boat that was exciting yet easy to drive. Paul Mackenzie, director of product development at Princess Yachts, explains: “We have a very high percentage of return customers and once they are in the Princess family they tend to move up our range, so introductory boats have always been important. However, most people who buy a Princess are already boat enthusiasts. We were looking to expand our potential market, closing the gap between boat owner and car owner, with a product that could be positioned alongside a super car.”

Simon Schofield, chief technology officer at BAR Technologies, adds “Our brief was to devise a technically driven design with increased efficiency and accessible performance, yet retain the luxury and quality that Princess is known for. The digital modeling and simulation tools and techniques that we have established over several years were critical to the fulfilment of the brief.”

The integrated virtual environment at BAR Technologies uses solutions from Siemens Digital Industries Software. These include NX™ software for product design,Teamcenter® software for data management and the Simcenter™ software portfolio, which includes Simcenter™ Nastran® for engineering analysis and Simcenter STAR-CCM+® software for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis.

Sleek, racy and efficient

A new application for foiling technology

“On an America’s Cup yacht the hydrofoils are there to lift the hull out of the water,” Schofield says. “On this project, the foils are combined with a unique hull form to support a portion of the displacement. Additionally, these foils are automatically adjusted to provide active roll and pitch control, providing better seakeeping characteristics and lower fuel consumption.” From designing and optimizing a racing yacht to very tight timescales, BAR Technologies has developed various innovative processes. For example, the team has a unique method of using the scripting capabilities of NX to generate numerous potential hull geometries, then harnesses the power of Simcenter STAR- CCM+ to optimize the hull through rapid static and dynamic simulation.

The hull and foil combination is developed using a tailored optimization methodology. This approach is based on large-scale batch creation of parametric geometries using NX modeling and scripting capabilities, highly refined Simcenter STAR-CCM+ simulations, and advanced artificial intelligence neural networks. “Within NX we parameterize the hull and foil geometry and use a scripted process which allows automated creation of thousands of geometries within hours,” comments Paul Gliddon, naval architect at BAR Technologies. “As part of this process, Simcenter STAR-CCM+ CFD simulations are automatically undertaken on these geom- etries and the resulting CFD data feeds our neural network-based optimization techniques. This enables us to accurately predict and interrogate the performance of millions of potential hull forms extremely quickly.”

A new application for foiling technology

Collaborating with precision

Pininfarina, the Italian company known for luxury automotive design, styled the exterior, producing surfaces that BAR Technologies parameterized using NX. The Princess Yachts team, which also used NX, designed the internal systems. BAR Technologies’ responsibilities included structural engineering, which relied on Simcenter Nastran.

Development depended on extremely close collaboration, with Teamcenter managing data transfer between Princess Yachts and BAR Technologies. The data sharing integrated complex electrical and mechanical fit-out such as the foil components and associated control systems. At the same time, it was imperative to maintain the ergonomic characteristics and luxury feel of a Princess design.

To maximize the time available for hull optimization, BAR Technologies undertook structural engineering and detailed design in parallel with the optimization process. Through the parametric capabilities of NX, the team was able to refine the master assemblies with the latest optimal geometry until very late in the design process with the knowledge that detailed design elements and drawings would be automatically and accurately updated.

Collaborating with precision

A first for the maritime industry

The project took 18 months from concept through prototype testing to the highly anticipated launch of the R35 at Cannes in September 2018. “This is the first small boat that Princess Yachts has produced in a very long time and we are delighted,” comments Mackenzie. “A huge amount of excitement was generated by the launch and we have a very healthy order book. From a brand perspective, the R35 has been incredibly successful in opening Princess Yachts out to a wider audience.”

“With the R35 we achieved a reduction of up to 30 percent in fuel consumption at cruising speeds, with no impact on top speed,” says Schofield. “In addition, the actively controlled hydrofoils allow for greater accessibility of performance. With a choice of sport and comfort modes, the skipper can tailor the seakeeping characteristics of the vessel to suit conditions.”

Leveraging PLM tools and techniques

“Technology from top-level racing gives this boat the edge,” says Mackenzie. “Using foil technology for the first time was a huge step for Princess. The R35 was also our first boat to be made in full carbon fiber for better strength-to-weight ratio, and the first in a long time to use petrol for stronger performance. In addition, we produced a prototype, which is unusual in the marine industry. Given the extent of collaboration and refinement, we achieved a huge amount in a very short time. We have learned a lot from the specialists at BAR Technologies and we continue to work with them.”

BAR Technologies continues to develop its intellectual property (IP), design tools and techniques with the aim of remaining at the forefront of marine design technology. “One of our particular strengths is our optimization processes, and the Siemens suite of tools is fundamental to these,” Schofield concludes.

Technology from top-level racing gives this boat the edge.
Paul Mackenzie, Director of Product Development
Princess Yachts