Boat design help

Discussion in 'Software' started by sarralexander, Jul 31, 2016.

  1. sarralexander
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    sarralexander New Member

    Hello to everyone,

    I am new to this forum and I was thinking about doing boat designing. I am a Mechanical Engineer myself and I am studying on Aeronautics and Turbomachinery.
    So, I was wondering where to start from, what software is needed.
    Solidworks for the object and then ANSYS for more detail? What would you suggest me?

  2. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    JSL Senior Member

    If you can.....Get some books on boat design, get some experience on boats, work in the boat industry, and learn the correct terminology.
  3. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    My advice is do not use any software until you how know to do things by hand.
  4. sarralexander
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    sarralexander New Member

    Thanks for the good advice, seems like I need to look for some books on boat designing. It would be nice if you could suggest me some you already know.

    That sounds correct. I am basically searching for a way to go deeper into it and develop it and be passionate about it. Looks like I need to search for some books.
  5. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Hi Alexander, and welcome to the forum.

    I'd recommend Rhino over Solidworks since you really need a better surface modeller. Solidworks and SW_Analysis are good for machinery (eg steering and propulsion) and detail of specific areas of hull design.
    Rhino is fast becoming the defacto standard for boat design with some good addons and compatible software available specifically for boat design.

    Most design is to pre-engineered design requirements provided free by various class societies or purchased from ISO.

    I wouldn't recommend learning hand methods first. My opinion differs from Tansl's above. The computer has freed us from a lot of drudgery and inaccuracy. Forget learning hand methods most of which are quite anachronistic in the modern world.

    Before recommending books, what type of boats do you envisage yourself designing ?
  6. sarralexander
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    sarralexander New Member

    I was thinking about small speedy boats and also jet ski. I am not that interested for yachts, but I wouldn't have any problem learning how to design them as well.
  7. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    MikeJohns, I do not say not to use some kind of software but it seems illogical that the OP start drawing with Rhino a vessel if not previously known the importance of knowing where it is and how to find the center of buoyancy of the vessel. And most importantly, to know if the position of the center of buoyancy is or is not correct to get the required performance, and how do to change it.
    With any other CAD software the OP could feel more protected but with Rhino he will need to have knowledge of theory of the ship and something else to design boats. What can he practice with Rhino on issues of stability, for example ?. How can Rhino tell if the freeboard in his project is enough ?. Will Rhino tell him to vary the shape of the water line to get a better position of the center of gravity of the floating ?. Would Rhino tell him what's the metacenter and why it is useful to know its position?
    Nor Classification Societies rules or ISO standards are able to teach the elements of ships theory to a neophyte.
    In my opinion it is better to recommend books on ship theory, physics and some math, before talking about a certain sotware that, moreover, is not the most suitable for naval architecture.
    Without knowing anything about that, OP, with the invaluable help of Rhino, will be able just to create a very nice model of some thing no skilled person will dare to call "boat".
    I do not pretend that the OP does multiplications by hand, but I think he should know well the object he wants to design and its properties, before he starts making virtual models. I do not think anyone is able to design something that does not know thoroughly.
  8. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    A good reference for fast powerboats is Performance by Design by Donald L. Blount.

    Rhino is excellent software for creating hulls designs, and is very widely used. It comes with a Hydrostatics command which calculates displacement, center of buoyancy, center of floatation, waterplane area and wetted surface area. Other commands do the intergrations to calculate the volumes, areas, centroids, moments, etc needed for other calculations.

    Add-on software for Rhino such as Orca3D is available which adds further capabilities and simplifies many calculations.
  9. bhnautika
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    bhnautika Senior Member

    Sarralexander as well as David’s suggestion of “Blount”, may I suggest the Eric Sorensen book “Guide to Powerboats” as a good all rounder. Also “the principles of yacht design” could also be handy for the general understanding of things about boats (sail and power). As to workflow do lots of sketches (to scale), don’t discount magazines for information (as they say evolutionary rather than revolutionary) then translate your drawings to CAD.
  10. sarralexander
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    sarralexander New Member

    Thank you all for the suggestions! I hope I am coming back with the terminology so I can start discussing things real soon!
  11. hoytedow
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    hoytedow I'm not a cat.

  12. John Perry
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    John Perry Senior Member

    If Solidworks and ANSYS are what you have available I would say that you already have an excellent (albeit fairly expensive) combination and I don't think you need anything else but clearly others here would not agree with that.

    I think that preferences in software tend to reflect what individuals are familiar with - people tend to assume that what they happen to be familiar with must be what is best for others, without knowing much about the alternatives. I may be as bad as others in that respect.

    Lots of boat design people seem to use Rhino (its cheaper and few make much money from boat design!) so perhaps that is why they so often recommend Rhino to newcomers who actually have a wider choice available.

    One point is that Solidworks is good for parametric modelling and I do like parametric modelling - way to go I would say. Not sure Rhino does that so well?

    I do like Solidworks, but going back ten years or so I used Inventor and then thought that was pretty good. There are ways to make Solidworks do curved surfaces. Also plugins you can buy to enhance the curved surface modelling capability of Solidworks, although I dont have any of those plugins. There are some pictures somewhere here of a 10m LOA catamaran I drew with Solidworks and also a rowing boat that is now nearing completion of real life construction as opposed to virtual construction. Both these were wood epoxy construction and were modelled with detail to the level of every individual piece of timber and metal fittings down to things like pipe brackets, nuts, bolts and washers etc. For the chine hull of the rowing boat the hull panels were all cut by waterjet and fit together very nicely I think.

    Do you have ANSYS as a separate software package to Solidworks? - I thought that the FEA included with the Solidworks Professional package was originally developed from Cosmos, so is not Ansys.

    Maybe see what you can do with the software you have before looking at alternatives.
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