The story of Radboat® began over 10 years ago with a seemingly simple idea: make sailboats as fast as possible by maximizing their efficiency. This line of thinking ultimately led us to a near optimum design solution we call aeroballast, which is rather unconventional looking by way of traditional yacht racing yet belies a hidden elegance all the same, namely speed. The potential of this concept to not only set records but also sail in the open ocean gave rise to an even bigger idea: merge high-speed sailing with traditional yacht racing. You might expect that this is already the case, that the best sailors are sailing the fastest boats and, therefore, setting records on a regular basis; but this is just not the case in the current sailing landscape. Part of the issue lies in making really fast boats really seaworthy, which is why the modern era of record setting has been characterized by boats and sport craft ill equipped for offshore racing. Aeroballast, on the other hand, is inherently seaworthy thanks to its compact structure and sophisticated controls, which is why our ultimate goal at Radboat is to design the fastest production sailboats for sport as well as the open ocean.
Our founder, Alan Kruppa, took a critical look at the aerodynamics and hydrodynamics of existing high-speed sailing record holders and found a way to improve upon the state-of-the-art with a concept called aeroballast.
The novelty of the aeroballast concept was soon apparent, and after some refinement, a patent application was submitted.
No, it is not radical boat. The name Radboat was inspired by the name of the street where the founder grew up, Radhost, which is located just outside the small town of La Grange, TX. Its sister city in the Czech Republic, Frenštát pod Radhoštěm, is located below Mt. Radhošť, which was historically associated with the worship of the hospitable yet monster-like god Radegast.
In the ensuing years, the theoretical foundation was developed for the efficiency comparison presented in our White Paper.
After theoretically validating the performance benefits of the aeroballast configuration, the primary focus switched to developing practical solutions to the stability challenges unique to this high center of gravity design. The solutions developed at this time laid the groundwork for real-world validation using a scale research model.
Radboat LLC was officially founded with a singular purpose: to design the fastest sailboats in the world.
This speed record is based either on a 500 m average speed from triply redundant GPS units or a fixed 500 m course. It is commonly referred to as the Outright Record because these short bursts of speed are mathematically guaranteed to be faster than any sustained speeds over longer distances.
This speed record is identical to the 500 m record except that the average speed is based on an increased distance of 1852 m. What it demonstrates is that a boat can sustain speeds for close to a minute rather than just achieve short bursts of speed for about 15 seconds.
This distance record is for distance traveled over a 24 hour period. What it demonstrates is that a boat can not only sustain high speeds but also that it is seaworthy, which is of particular interest in the high-speed sailing community now because previous record holders have been limited to calm sea states.
Alan brought with him a lifelong fascination with sailing when he first arrived at the U.S. Naval Academy in the summer of 2000, where he would later learn how to sail—to Bermuda, among others—and graduate with a degree in aerospace engineering. Soon thereafter, he earned his Master's degree in the same from the University of Maryland. The challenge and promise of high-speed sailing is what grabbed him when he later transitioned out of Navy service into the private sector. He has spent the last ten years developing the initial aeroballast concept into a working prototype by developing elegant solutions to the launch, stability, and control challenges unique to this pioneering concept.
Radboat® was founded with the singular ambition to design and build the fastest sailboats in the world for sport as well as the open ocean. If that idea excites you, too, then we should talk. While we develop our proof-of-concept, we are actively seeking partnerships involving technology licensing and sponsorship for speed record attempts. And we are soliciting volunteers from universities in close proximity to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. If any of this piques your interest, please email or call at the number below.