Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Willallison, Mar 15, 2010.


Does the process of producing a complete design invariably involve compromise?

  1. Yes - compromise is an integral part of the design spiral

    36 vote(s)
  2. No - Every aspect of a design can be the optimum

    1 vote(s)
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  1. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I am at my witts end trying to explain to Rick Willoughby that the process of finding the optimum solution to any yacht design process invariably involves compromise.
    He is convinced that every project can be an amalgum of the the 'best of both worlds' (my words, not his)

    More on the subject (much more, sorry) here, starting with post 96:

    Please... either come to my defense, or put me out of my misery....
  2. Obsession
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    Obsession Junior Member

    Maybe the other poster is looking at compromise as in "A concession to something detrimental or pejorative" vs. "Something that combines qualities or elements of different things" - if you want to you can see compromise as a negative connotation (like "rot compromised the strength of the deck" or budget compromised the quality of the boat) But I read compromise as you intended it... as in compromise = balance all the factors to optimize the whole, which is fundamental to any recreational/cruising boat I know of. It would be nice though if I could have the ultimate wave crusher that was also the ultimate fuel efficient, largest accommodation, best headroom, shallowest draft, cheapest slip, and fastest speed all in one with no compromises or pesky "balance" between objectives necessary ;)
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  3. Oyster
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    Oyster Senior Member

    Generally speaking here I will speak about my own experiences. "Compromises" by any meaning requires a baseline both in common sense and fact based evidence to judge a particular item. In the area of boats, I have personally witnessed fools have neither. Have you ever witnessed folks that attempt to put twenty pounds in a five pound recycled bag at the grocery store, especially two of the gallon milk jugs?
  4. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    I read a little and am familiar with his reasoning. Ad Hoc put it pretty good. It seems to be a question of semantics. Your crappy compromise is his brilliant solution. Just know that when he takes the ball and goes home, you have obviously been proven wrong.
  5. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member


    Every reasonable person knows this. Only occasionally there is the unreasonable one that will insist that everybody else get on his wagon.
  6. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    I think there is a bit too much weight being placed on two words: compromise and optimize. As if they never mean the same thing, which they often do.

    The way you put it in your question its clear. But the way its been discussed its not so distinct. From my reading, I understand Rick to be saying the exact same thing as your "Yes" question, but he (still properly IMHO) uses the word "optimize" instead of "compromise".

    To my reading and understanding, Rick is simply "optimizing" across several factors. You call that "compromise" while I agree with Rick that "optimize" is still the appropriate term.

    I never internalized Rick saying he was suggesting your "No" statement, that a proper design results with all factors are at their individual optimum. Certainly, the designs he has built (his actions) do not support your belief that Rick is making such a claim.

    This seems to be simply a misunderstanding, and not an actual difference.
  7. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member


    I think we all understand what the words optimize and compromise mean. To optimize a design in one characteristic inevitably requires that some compromise must be taken in some other characteristic. For instance, I challenge anyone to optimize a boat hull design for both high and low speed.
  8. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    No, I am note sure.

    When Rick is saying "optimize", he is using mathematical variables, and nothing else exists.

    When Will is saying "compromize", he is also using mathematical variables, but he is also using a bunch of parameters with no formal mathematical value. (Should I say experience driven ?).

    Example : optimizing a propeller diameter for efficiency. For Rick, two figures only and nothing else : propeller diameter and efficiency, and it is just a mathematical curve.

    For Will choosing a acceptable compromise for propeller diameter and efficiency : he will look at these two figures, but will also look at a bunch of other considerations not formally mathematically written : Availability of the propeller, cost of the propeller, acceptance for the customer of the draft, noise created by propeller, reliability of the propeller subsystem, damage tolerance of the propeller, etc ...
  9. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    "Balance" is the word I'd use but "compromise" is good too.

    How about "optimized balance of compromises"?
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  10. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Good synopsis. Both have value but to generate a design that will be of practical use, the second must take precedence.
  11. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    :D Your tallent is wasted on us mere mortals Kach!:p
  12. Ilan Voyager
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    Ilan Voyager Senior Member

    That rejoins the praxis and logos philosophical question. Yes any person with some common sense (I mean practical intelligence) knows that in any design he has to compromise with a lot of mathematical and non-mathematical parameters.
    As my pro experience has been in work boats (even a warship is a work boat...), the first compromise is with cost. So the main quest for me is how to get the best (or optimized) and simplest solution to a design problem...a kind of MISS or Occam's razor principle.
    After this first premise, the requisites of the ship (or any object) being defined, all the technical solutions will derive rationally. Evidently the degree of sophistication of the solutions is proportional to the complexity of the requisites.
  13. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    Already "optimum solution" is a compromise. You can't have everything, something has to go or come. Starting with the list of priorities, the economics by itself ask for compromises, the feasibility, the supply possibilities, the changes in circumstances coming in during the initial phase of the design, all that are compromises.
    And as a naval architect if I promess my client I will design the optimum solution of his or her desire, I will lie, because it is impossible.
    Even Rick will change his own mind in three year about what is the optimum boat for himself. Its call research and development. What looks perfect now is not perfect tomorrow. So we HAVE to COMPROMISE. Not doing it is ignorance, and closing the door to better solutions on a given problem on a futur design.
    We can't resolve all the problems on a yacht, we have to decide which one is just a waste of time, which one worst more development and so on. We compromise.
    And as I said, perhaps even not knowing it Rick had already compromise on his own design. Who knows! I hope!
    And who can define the "best"
    The sea is the ultimate judge, jury, and executioner. Better not be to arrogant.
    My two cents anyway
  14. dskira

    dskira Previous Member

    In yacht design, the mathematics are a tool, like hammer on the boat building, not a finality. You need it, but you control it. You don't let the formulas to control you.
    They are part of experiences and research, we should use them with caution and knowledge, not as carve in stone to be followed blindly.
    When you are in North Atlantic in a winter storm, you pray you were right with the mathematics, but also with your general knowledge of what works and what don't!
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  15. Tanton
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    Tanton Senior Member

    I prefer the word "choice".
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