Originally Posted by mydauphin
I understand your reference to to X-planes, and sure that is fine for playing around but I don't think anyone would design a plane based on it.
But people have! Before we had modern computers capable of CFD and such, blade element analysis was considered accurate enough in the subsonic realm to design real planes. No it's not state of the art now, but to me it's similar to saying you couldnt design, say, an engine, without a computer... I respond well what did they do before computers then...
I'm not expecting any such software to be a perfect simulation of anything. But as a realistic form of play it still might lead to insights, since I know of no other way to play what if games as easily.
Would I depend upon it for a final hullform? No, that's not what I implied i'd do either. Just a tool for things like seeing the difference of placing weight up on the bridgedeck of a catamaran instead of down in a trimaran's center hull in a sea state 5, or wondering what happens if i double the power, or trying different ways of tackling large waves. Doing things I would not want to try in real life and getting a simulation of plausible results.
Maybe there's nothing out there remotely like X-Plane, but if there is some not well known sim software that others know of please post ideas. (by sim i'm meaning "you pilot/steer the boat you designed calculating at least buoyancy on the structure and wave mechanics" enough to gain a more than completely zero insight into how an actual boat of that configuration/design would handle... ie valuable as a simulator training effect... not something like MatLab or FEA CAD stuff)