Symmetrix Composites, American Magic partner for America's Cup

Prepping the U.S. challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, Symmetrix applied its large format 5-axis CNC machine to produce the patterns and molds within sub-millimeter accuracy. 


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PATRIOT, American Magic’s second AC75 foiling monohull

PATRIOT, American Magic’s second AC75 foiling monohull, practices on the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand, the site of the 36th America’s Cup next March. Photo Credit: American Magic

Symmetrix Composite Tooling (Bristol, R.I., U.S.) a full-service composite tooling manufacturer of complex and innovative designs, announced a supplier/technical partnership with New York yacht club American Magic, a U.S. challenger for the 36th America’s Cup next March 2021 in New Zealand. Using Symmetrix’s large format CMS Poseidon 5-axis CNC machine, the company produced the patterns and molds for American Magic’s two AC75 foiling monohulls as well as the towering, 26-meter tall mast.

While building custom boats from molds is nothing new, says Symmetrix, the technology implemented in this build was innovative. By using the 26-meter-long by 6.2-meter-wide milling machine the team at Symmetrix was able to produce full-scale master patterns to within sub-millimeter accuracy. The patterns were then used to create high-temperature carbon fiber molds from which the hulls of American Magic’s two boats were built. According to the company, this process allowed the build team to maximize the dimensional accuracy of these tools for yachts competing at speeds reaching 50 knots.

“Accuracy and reliability are an important part of building an America’s Cup-winning design,” says John Barnitt, president of Symmetrix Composite Tooling and a three-time winner of the America’s Cup. “Timelines are compressed when it comes to build schedules and the testing phase, so a good collaboration is vital to the synergy between suppliers and the team. We’ve had that with American Magic.”

The technical partnership between Symmetrix Composite Tooling and American Magic first began when the company helped create a mast for the team’s testing platform, The Mule, in 2017. The plugs and molds were developed for the first hull, DEFIANT, that launched in Rhode Island in September 2019, followed by the second and final hull, PATRIOT, which launched October 16, 2020 in New Zealand. 

“We are proud to officially partner with Symmetrix, who participated in creating all three of American Magic’s boats,” says Rob Ouellette, COO for American Magic. “Having Symmetrix located just down the street from our production facility in Bristol made this a natural partnership, but in truth we could not have found a better tooling supplier anywhere in the world. With the help of Symmetrix, we have been able to add another chapter to the long and proud history of America’s Cup boatbuilding in Rhode Island.”

Barnette adds, “The program checked all of the boxes for Symmetrix — the size and shape of the hull, geometry verification, tight tolerances, matching thermal expansion and, of course, the tight timeline. This is a fantastic, results-proven partnership for Symmetrix Composite Tooling.”