New supplier for Oracle Racing

Naiad Inflatables of Newport is proud to announce that it has recently signed an Official Supplier agreement with ORACLE Racing, the champion America’s Cup team based in San Francisco, CA. Naiad has been appointed to construct four support vessels for the Defender’s AC45 and AC72 yachts. Because of the high speeds of the race yachts, all of these new race tenders use Naiad’s proven and highly efficient stepped-hull design. These complex hull forms allow Naiad to maintain high rates of speed while retaining a deep-V shape and minimizing drag for maximum fuel efficiency. The hull designs for all vessels originate from Naiad Design, LTD of New Zealand, which has designed and produced RHIBs for private, commercial, and military use for more than 30 years. In the past, Naiad Design has also produced designs for support tenders for America’s Cup Competitors.

Naiad RHIBs have seen consistent duty as America’s Cup tenders dating back to the 1992 event in San Diego, CA. Naiad Inflatables of Newport produces Naiad hulls under license at our facilities in Portsmouth, RI. ORACLE Racing’s AC45 tenders are based on the Naiad 10.0-meter stepped-hull platform. These hulls are designed to accommodate up to 700 HP.

ORACLE Racing’s pair of AC72 tenders are a new 12.9-meter stepped-hull design developed in conjunction with US engine manufacturer, Cummins Marine Diesel which was selected for this project for their highly efficient Common Rail diesel engines. Utilizing twin Cummins QSB 5.9-liter, 480 HP marine diesels coupled to Mercury Racing’s new NXT1 diesel stern-drives supplied by Cummins Northeast, these 50+ knot vessels are the core of ORACLE Racing’s support fleet. The QSB drives offer the latest in American diesel technology providing outstanding fuel economy and ultra low emissions, certified to EPA Tier 2.

Designed specifically for towing and race support of the AC72s, which will be launched this summer, the Naiad RHIBs are fitted with the B&G Zeus12 MFD, combined with B&G Broadband 4G radar and structurscan, to ensure that ORACLE Racing has the very latest in marine electronics technology. 4G radar was selected as it has the lower emissions than a cell phone. Zeus offers high performance, ultra-bright, robust chart plotting, and AIS interface.


These vessels also feature hydraulic bow thrusters, cuddy cabins with storage and head facilities, and seating for six crew. Crew connection points will be provided for laptops and equipment. Integrated crew communications systems and shock mitigating seating systems are being considered. Built in the USA, these vessels can be USCG certified for passenger-use under MTN-01-08.

The first hull, 12901, is currently well under construction at the New England Boatworks facility in Portsmouth, RI. The plate for the hull of 12902 is being cut and will be on site in early February. The cuddy cabin will be painted at Diversified Finishes in Bristol, RI. All outfitting, mechanical, and electrical installations will be completed by Naiad Inflatables of Newport’s facility in Portsmouth, RI.

12901 will undergo performance testing in Narragansett Bay in late May 2012 prior to being delivered to ORACLE Racing in San Francisco.

Naiad Inflatables of Newport maintains a factory 10.0-meter demonstrator on site that will also supplement the ORACLE Racing fleet at certain venues. Currently equipped with twin 300 HP Mercury Verados, this vessel was originally produced for performance testing and is capable of 58 knots.

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