Dare to Say No

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Chris Ostlind, Nov 23, 2009.

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  1. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    The latest issue of Professional BoatBuilder Magazine http://www.proboat.com/ just hit my mailbox. On the very last page is a "let 'er rip" opportunity called Parting Shot. The topic this issue is Dare to Say No and it is written by Cabot Lyman the founding owner of Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding Company HQ'ed in Thomaston, Maine, USA.

    As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Lyman really hits the boat design/build world squarely on the head. Here's his lead paragraph:

    "As an industry, we boat builders and designers of pleasure craft are accountable for the current trends: expensive, wasteful, impractical boats and yachts. How, then, do we lead the market back to affordable, aesthetically pleasing, practical craft?"

    He goes on to list several important areas where he feels that the design/build world can step up and present a wholly more practical environment for the buying consumer.

    Over the years on these pages, I've had more than a few rants about keeping things simple, removing overly complex systems from the design process and start solving problems with solid design and creative thinking and not a wandering, shopping cart trip through the high-tech nautical parts department.

    All areas of pleasure boating are shrinking as fewer and fewer new boats get sold each year. The biggest bugaboo...? Huge numbers of the products offered to the public are waaaay too expensive to buy, maintain and casually engage. They're expensive because we designers are loading up the hull(s) with massive doses of complexity in systems, materials and features, all in an effort to out-luxury, or out-tech the next guy's offering.

    I'd like to see boats that are easier to afford, easier to use, and much, much easier to have a great time while getting out on the water. If a truly powerful technological concept fits the bill of simpler, easier and more efficient, I'm all for taking at serious look at how it might fit into a successfully presented product. I am not wild about technology for technology's sake.

    For too long now, we've been figuratively using a big hammer and easy fixes to design and build our way to better boats for the boating enthusiasts who buy the products. It's well past the time when we should be going back to the basics of simpler, solid design solutions that meet the needs of the boaters as they are and not how we wish they might be.

    The microphone is hot, gentlemen. I'd love to hear your collected wisdom on the issue.
    3 people like this.
  2. boat fan
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    boat fan Senior Member

    Yes Chris .Absolutely right.

    I think the time is fast approaching , where the choice to include the complex
    and expensive ' stuff ' will not be an option for all but the lucky few.Escalating fuel costs will help.
    Builders take note.

    Time for change. Your post is worth points.
  3. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Send a letter to Nigel Calder.
  4. jmolan
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    jmolan Junior Member

  5. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    I have been giving some suggestions to Drbob on a school project discussed here:
    These boats, or something similar, have potential to be nice fishing boats for lakes and rivers. The project has potential to sew seeds for a less wasteful generation than ours and I encourage that.

    There is a problem - I cannot find a commercial marine prop that comes close to being the most suitable for this application. There is nothing that suits easily driven hulls.

    The understanding of what constitutes easily driven hulls and efficient propulsion has been largely lost or buried by modern trends.

    Attached gives some idea of how deep seated the lack of knowledge is - limited understanding of the physics involved and no appreciation of efficient design. If it it hasn't got 1000HP or more it isn't a real boat!

    From my recent experience the area of boating that is growing fastest are those propelled by muscle power. And there is growing interest in electric and solar power. I also see growing number of kite boarders, windsurfers still there and still plenty of sailing dinghies.

    In places like the Gold Coast and Pitwater where the wealthy play in Austraila there are a vast array of large cruisers but the majority sit at their moorings these days.

    Rick W

    Attached Files:

  6. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    This is very amusing post by Rick above.

    It strikes me somewhat odd how someone with zero knowledge of naval architecture shown here:
    can feel "professional" in providing guidance and advice when has no background. It does continue...

    So, when questioned on his "statements" he does a complete 100% about face hoping those who are not deaf dumb and blind not to notice. This is one typical example of trying to sound knowledgeable on cavitation by saying it occurs only on one face then when highlighted by many that the statement, again, is 100% incorrect does the usual about face:

    His usual retort is a childish immature neg hit...er..how is that professional???

    There are endless example of this utter nonsense and very unprofessional behaviour. No need to show all, since one gets the picture.

    But this is summed up in his own words:
    "..The understanding of what constitutes easily driven hulls and efficient propulsion has been largely lost or buried by modern trends..."

    Nothing has been lost at all. Those that do not understand naval architecture/hydrodynamics simply accuse others of their own failings.

    Since every design is driven by the clients SOR. One gives the client what the client wants. The final solution may not be perfect for everyone, but their SOR is not the same...and that is the point of design. Providing a solution with the given requirement, regardless what my personal opinion is, save for technical.

    Amateurs, like Rick, attempt to gain credibility by cutting and pasting endless colour pictures and links to weak very weak websites of technical papers that are often not peered reviewed in attempt to sound "clever".

    A naval architect does neither...since a naval architect gives what the clients wants to satisfy their dream/SOR. Amateurs, like Rick try and impress them with the fancy plots, creating an image of "I know what I am talking about"

    Rick has the same MO.
    Needs wants to be seen as the fountain of knowledge. Has no formal training and gains his knowledge by websites, yet sprouts off to others immediately as being an expert once read said website. When questioned ignores the comments, turns about face and carries on, as noted above. Shockingly blatant arrogant behaviour to endless other experts on this site (even trying to suggest that his position has suddenly been agreed!!) and ignorance of the subject matter at hand. Summed up nicely by baeckmo (a real pro hydrodynamicist) as "....endless fog"

    Rick is one of these "show me your gallery types".

    Well, for someone who claims to be so knowledgeable and expert on all things, what do we see in his gallery, do we see real boats, real designs working around the world, has he written papers that have had peer review and presented in international conferences (demonstrating his fountain of knowledge), for example, just to provide some credibility to those endless colour plots....do i see real high speed boats, no, do i see real high speed catamarans, no, do i even see designs of large high speed propellers in use on high speed boats, no...what about slow speed real boats....no.....just 5m peddle power models. These are good, if you're into 5m models, but it in no way equates to being a professional naval architect and understand what is a naval architect. Strange...for someone with "so much knowledge" and clearly loves showing...there appears to be such a large absence of anything real, other than plots of colour and models.

    But if the other amateurs wish to listen to things way way beyond his knowledgeable base, presented in full technicolour plots...feel free :)
  7. portacruise
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    portacruise Senior Member

    Seems to me the whole point of wasteful transport in general is "show boating". If you have it flaunt it, etc. Fuel costs are unlikely to have any impact on vehicles designed to project personal power and mastery. Many cruisers sit in docks unused because the point is owners can waste as they see fit. Their personal toys have been put aside because the owners are otherwise occupied in some temporary crusade against waste :).

  8. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    But back to Mr.Laymans point.

    The trouble is, in the small but highly competitive market that is the pleasure/luxury, any thing that grabs a head line, as being "better" or "faster" or whatever aids the selling of the boat. As such, using fancy colour plots and high tech programs sprouting out data to give the "air of technological progress" and more....does indeed take one away for the basic gaol.

    However, it doesn't mean the product is any better or worse, just presented differently.

    So whilst i agree with the statement, the only way is for everyone to "play fair" and not use clever marketing to "sex up" the designs. But i doubt this will happen with everyone chasing the same contract. Additionally, when a rich client wants something bigger, faster more stunning etc....who are "we" naval architects to say no? Since to say no, puts us out of business!...we are all part of this client and NAs.

    But the presentations, in magazines etc, if these we more honest and truthful, that would go some way to address these concerns. imho
  9. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    These "show boaters" are slowly running out of friends. Thinking people are not inclined to be so wasteful with diminishing resources and do not encourage it. There is growing social and political pressure to be less wasteful and my kids generation are leading this trend.

    Rick W
  10. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    This proves my point better than anything I could say or add.

    Rick W
  11. boat fan
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    boat fan Senior Member

    Oh , really ?

    Speak for yourself there please.

    Some of us actually enjoy being out on the water.

    Some of us also actually enjoy GOING somewhere in the limited leasure time we have.

    Some of us actually enjoy simple pleasures and less than luxury " showpony "and " wired to the hilt " surroundings when we can .

    Some of us actually care on those occasions weather our fuel bill tallied $ 100.00 rather than $ 1000.00

    Some of us actually also have enough good taste to see that a beautiful boat can have an elegant simplicity...no matter what size.
    You REALLY missed the target..........
  12. mark775

    mark775 Guest

    "How, then, do we lead the market back to affordable, aesthetically pleasing, practical craft?" - "One gives the client what the client wants."
    I don't like anything to do with E u r o s t y l e, motorhome-like construction, nor fads, in general but I love that many of my buds have jobs building this stuff because real boaters simply are not abundant enough to support the industry. The people buying this stuff would spend the money on a Corvette or Lambo if not a floating cat house with RADAR arch.
    Sorry to subject you to this but it is aprapos to the argument at hand... http://www.oceanled.com/ ...now, these things do have a purpose (attracting squid or fish) but pray tell, can you watch the video without laughing? Maybe one of the naval architects can enlighten me as to why a bunch of two inch holes in a row under the waterline wouldn't cause a boat to "unzip" there in the event of the right collision. I believe this is the kind of thing some may be addressing.
  13. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I have yet to receive my Proboat and it doesn't appear to be online as yet, so I haven't had the pleasure of reading Mr. Morse's Parting Shot.
    Like the rest of you, I doubt that I would disagree with anything that he's written.
    Having said that I doubt that the time is upon us where we will return to the simple, affordable, economical boating of yesteryear. For whilst conspicuous consumption may be giving way to the appearance of being 'green' (at least to some extent), the reality is that the boat buying public will buy as much as they can afford.
    Right now, despite the ripples caused by the 'financial crisis', they can afford rather a lot.
  14. boat fan
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    boat fan Senior Member

    No offense Will.....I do hope your`e wrong.

    I`m hoping at least some would buy sensible simple boats IF they were offered.

  15. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    "..I`m hoping some would buy sensible simple boats IF they were offered...".

    I think some actually do.
    But they are in the minority. This is the free market economy. If someone can make bigger, faster, better for the same price or similar...odds are, like in the car industry, the more "features" sell. Restrict the market, then we all drive Lada's!
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