96 cropA February check on the progress of Ellstrom Racing’s new 96 Spirit of Qatar shows work progressing and the boat taking shape.

The hull is ready for the addition of frames and decking.  All parts have been manufactured and are going on the boat.

Erick Ellstrom says many of the advancements in the new boat will not be obvious to the naked eye and the profile on the water will probably be quite conventional.

96 front cropEllstrom explained, “A good way to think of it is like a computer.  A ten year old computer running a Pentium processer and a new one running Intel’s i7 can look pretty much the same, but the technology and performance contained is much different.”

Advancements will include an on-board computer system by Cosworth which will give the team more complete information on the performance of the boat and do it much quicker than existing systems.

96 sideEllstrom also left the door open for changes in the actual appearance of the boat, depending on how the testing of new concepts goes.

Ellstrom added, “There are some things we want to try that would change the look a little, but we can  go back to a conventional setup if we don’t feel they are making a difference.”

Asked if a redesigned cowling could be one of the things tried, Ellstrom replied, “That could be one of the things we are talking about.”