Online speed optimization for sailing yachts using extremum seeking

L. Xiao, J.C. Alves, N.A. Cruz, J. Jouffroy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution to proceedingpeer-review


This paper briefly presents the main points on the development and testing of an extremum seeking controller used to maximize the longitudinal velocity of surface sailing vehicles by changing the angle of the sail. The algorithm is suitable for sailing purposes since it requires only the measurements of the vehicle's velocity and the sail angle. As an illustration, we present a few simulation results on our previously-obtained sailing yacht simulator, which was developed based on a 4 DOF nonlinear dynamic model for surface sailing vehicles, showing that the proposed extremum seeking controller is capable of maximizing the sailing yacht's speed performance through online sail tuning. Furthermore, the proposed sail optimization algorithm is tested at sea on an experimental platform, i.e. a small scale autonomous sailboat, illustrating the potential of the controller.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOCEANS 2012 MTS/IEEE: Harnessing the Power of the Ocean
Publication date2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • technology, engineering and IT

Cite this