Can everybody design?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ekamarine, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. ekamarine
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    ekamarine Junior Member

    sure, I sent you an email
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    Wasn't the Titanic "engineered"?
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    Joined: Jan 2011
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    I like reading John Welsford's description of how he designs a boat.He knows how its should go,before its built.Me? "if it looks like a boat,and floats? It's aboat".
  5. bntii
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    bntii Senior Member

    And the point here?
  6. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    It is of practical use to the ocean racing industry , which is what is was designed to be.

  7. cthippo
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    cthippo Senior Member

    I know I said I was going to stay out of this one, but, I changed my mind...

    When I was a kid I took a piece of plywood and lashed it down to two inner-tubes. I cut an old tarp in half to make a sail and sailed it around the pond at my mom's house. Was it a properly optimized design? hell no. Did it work? yup.

    A few years later i got a half interest in a fiberglass rowboat with a stove-in bow. I didn't know anything about glassing a hull, so I scabbed on more mat and resin until it kept the water on the correct side, painted it blue, and named it for my girlfriend. Was I using the correct materials and techniques? Defiantly not. Did that boat carry me all over the lake for the next couple of years? Yeah, it did.

    So yeah, anyone can design a boat, and most of the time it will probably float. Odds are it will be over built, inefficient, and excessively heavy because the designer doesn't know how much strength they need and so they will tend to over-estimate it to be on the safe side.

    An NA can calculate loads and scantlings and say that a 3/4" plank is needed here. The amateur will look at it and say "I dunno, 2 inches should be fine". The professionally designed boat will be lighter and more efficient, and probably even safer, but the amateur designed one will float and will give the owner a sense of accomplishment that building from a set of plans can never match.
  8. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Yes it was. rather well IMHO. Designed without the aid of computers, built using the inferior alloys of the day, she had a crew ill-trained in emergency procedures including a radio staff that did not see fit to inform the bridge of multiple ice warnings. Commanded by an apparently senile idiot concerned only with breaking the speed record for an Atlantic crossing she smashed at full speed into an iceberg. Despite all that she managed to stay afloat for more than 2 hours, more than enough time to save her complement of crew and passengers if she had received a single break such as nearby ships coming to her aid or enough lifeboats: a magnificent effort by an unlucky and doomed ship.
  9. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    One important point here there are zillions of amatures out there building contraptions over long periods of time trying to make them work.Very few of these devices ever make it to finality. We only hear about the sucesses. While in comparison the few professionals(in comparison of numbers) are kept busy obtaining an education and struggle to keep employed. Mostly we only hear about their failures(bad news travels fast). Regardless as i have said before the greatest chance of success is the combination of both education and hand skills. Engineer what you want if you don't have or can't obtain the hand skills the product will be of poor quality or never be built. The old saying "Engineers design it and technicions make it work" is not a slur but a fact of co-operation between the two arts.

    P.S. Ekamarine we ( The country of Newfoundland) also fought you at Gallipoli (The royal Newfoundlanders)(A regiment of the Newfoundland army) For those not in the know Newfoundland was an independent country before Canada joined it in 1949 :)
  10. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Newfoundland is still an independent country, as Danny Williams clearly proved during his tenure. It has just chosen to symbiotically reside within Canada to avoid paying for infrastructure costs and having to deal with the rest of Canada as foreigners. Joey Smallwood was a visionary - he figured out how to get all the benefit of being part of a Confederation without any carpetbaggers showing up to tell his people how to live. To date, no one in Quebec has figured out they've already got a better deal than they can negotiate by leaving. (From your "We"-laden post I was not aware that New Scotland had been conquered by the Granite Planet - but I live in Ottawa and we are always the last to know what is going on in Canada.)

    Back on topic, true innovation results from developing new solutions to specific problems. Market acceptance comes from other people having the same problem to solve.

    History is a great teacher of what has worked in the past, and more importantly what has not worked. Education provides guardrails and painted lines on the pavement to help people reach their destination. Education can not tell you where to go, only how to get there without repeating mistakes others have made in the past.

    Experience to me is the most critical component in laying the foundations for design. Breadth of experience actually doing things is a better and more succinct teacher than any equation, tool or third party communication (such as books, design briefs, Google and the Internet). Five minutes of sailing is orders of magnitude more valuable than five hours of keyboard cowboying.

    True beauty and aesthetics result from how well a solution solves the problem it was designed to fix. Few people understand that problems outside the basic need of transport can be quite ephemeral - the real purpose of some boats is to make the owners look rich, powerful, viral and appealing to the opposite sex - hence the industry's addiction to varnish even though better solutions to wood protection exist. I personally feel more sympathetic understanding with brutal steel commercial car ferries - as an engineering professional I get their raison d'etre painlessly. I have much more difficulty understanding the Slip Queens at the yacht club that sit unhappily waiting to dance, ignored by their owners.

    Do I think anyone can design? Sure. Design well? No. Do I think people should try? Emphatically yes - if only to learn how much they need to learn.

    I'm steeling myself right now to take the plunge and design my own next boat - having worked with a Naval Architect on my last two builds I am compelled to move from the back seat making much noise into the front seat.

  11. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    Of course anyone can design, but few can do it well.

    1 person likes this.
  12. viking north
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    viking north VINLAND

    After 30 to 35 yrs. boatbuilding my present build is the first that I have engaged the input of a designer plus all the greately appreciated help of this forum. I am determined to get the most out of this build possible, it will most likely be my last. While I have read all the better books on the subject working and communicating with qualified people has enlightened my knowledge to much higher levels . This along with my hand skills which never has been a problem,( it's genetic my ancestors were shipbuilders) is making this latest build very enjoyable.

    Cutonce, on your other comment re NFLD, it is typical of Upper English Canada, not because you are unkind but un educated in North American history. To the English and French NFLD was the mother country on this side of the Atlantic and like it or not it was the beginning of both Canada and the United States. We didn't have to conquer Nova Scotia it was at one time part of our territory as officially discovered by John Cabot and re claimed by Sir, H. Gilbert. Strong (provinces)(states) make a strong country and you must forgive me for appreciating the lost country i was born in. It's an island thing that mainlanders don't seem to grasp whether it be NFLD. Cape Breton, P.E.I. or Bermuda.
    AND. for those up alongs not in the know we also (Royal Newfoundlanders)fought for and help save Ontario and Quebec from defeat and takeover by our neighbours to the south in the war of 1812. We played such an important role we were presented a honorary plaque which is presently located at either Fort George or Fort Henry, Ont. So we helped save Canada's *** also and whether a province or not we have an earned right to the benifits of the country. As for infrastructure costs NFLD (a have) province is now helping pave the streets in Ontario( a have not province) but we give with pride and not a condesending attitude as we have had to put up since confederation. Even now as we help Ontario and Quebec( both have not provinces) they oppose our progress on the Lower Churchill project.

    To forum members, I apologize for going off topic but had to get that off my chest, Thankyou.

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner.
  13. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    A bounteous wealth of creative ignorance behind that coconut. You could also add the Challenger disaster for good measure. It's urban mythology born of ignorance I'm afraid.

    The initial Titanic design had bulkheads to the weather deck, but then the grand open style of the upper decks was compromised and the stylists got their way over the flooded stability requirements. Management asked for the bulkheads to be lowered, and the rest is history.
  14. bernd1972
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    bernd1972 Holzwurm

    Everybody who understood the principle of flotation can design a boat. Obviously you can expect better results from the pros.
    However, no matter if amateur or pro, not every design is worth beeing built.

  15. hoytedow
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    hoytedow Fly on the Wall - Miss ddt yet?

    Hallo Bernd.

    Your words are true. Not every professional design is good, and not every amateur design is bad.
    I would usually defer to the professionals for their seriously earned knowledge and experience.
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