Dead light snobery?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by clodgo, Feb 27, 2008.

  1. clodgo
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    clodgo Senior Member

    First off, what is wrong with round dead lights? Second, I've heard that unless your boat is of a certain length it is not proper to have more than one window on each side. This sounds silly to me.:rolleyes:
     
  2. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Sounds bullocks to me too mate!
     
  3. clodgo
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    clodgo Senior Member

    Thanks, I think round deadlights make sense, water pours off them easily and they look cool. The more light and visibility from inside the cabin the better.
     
  4. westlawn5554X
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    westlawn5554X STUDENT

    mmm... interesting...
     
  5. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    Change in production boats away from round is mostly market/styling driven. Make the cabin more like a living room in a house, sell more boats to people who don't know anything about the sea. There are guidelines for design, but in the case of ports/deadlights, they are just that: guidelines.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Round lights and opening ports were developed as a direct result of needing a light or port, that was equally strong around it's perimeter. Having a hole, filled with glass, let alone opening glass, certainly weakens the area. Heavy cast bronze pieces were the answer, but square corners (ask the British about it on their first commercial jet liner) will cause stress risers and propagate cracks in both the substrate and the light/port frame. Heavily radiused corners much less so and round none. So round it was, not to mention the ease of mounting something round as opposed to a rectangle, which requires orientation with several other elements (eye brows, deck line, trim pieces, etc.)

    Visually, there have been some general guides practiced by designers (and taught), concerning port number, but it's a "feels good - looks good" sort of thing, with nothing written in stone. Along these same guidelines, you'll have roof camber radiuses, roof line profiles in relation to the sheer and bow, coming heights in relation to cabin side, rail cap in relation to bulwark and it's properly scaled crown. The list of these is endless and each have been breached many times, though more often then not, good designers intentionally or unintentionally come close to these "proportion guides" with the development of a design. Amateur designers usually break these traditional proportion guides (typically unknowingly), which to the trained eye stick out like a sore thumb, but to other novices look just fine.

    Times have changes substantially in recent decades, with designers drawing up craft that they can get past a marketing team, even though they don't enjoy the proportions. A fair test of this is found when a designer draws up a yacht for themselves, which usually turns out to be the next classic, timeless bit of craftsmanship. The marketing folks would have the boat a foot wider, the freeboard taller, the cabin more rakish and a double cup holder next to the tissue dispenser in the head, but the designer knew the client and authored up a much better performing and looking vessel, without the restraints and burden placed on them buy the "house experts". There are many examples of this type of yacht and the 26' Chuck Paine "Frances" comes to mind. Simple, elegant, weatherly, fast and capable. Marketable, well not to average production boat standards, though Tom Morris made a fine job of it.
     
  7. SouthernCross
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    SouthernCross Junior Member

    ^ That's snobbery right there.
     
  8. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Might be snobbery, but it is true!
     
  9. clodgo
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    clodgo Senior Member

    I like what PAR says "Round lights and opening ports were developed as a direct result of needing a light or port, that was equally strong around it's perimeter."

    It makes allot of sense structurally but it does look intentionally "retro" on a modern boat. A friend of mine hates them for that reason alone. He can be a little snobby sometimes which make me want to use round lights even more;]
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It's not "snobbery", but blatant arrogance frankly. I've never met a single person, who was particularly well skilled at their chosen profession, that didn't exhibit some arrogance in this regard. Some are more mild mannered or soft spoken, but everyone displayed a level of understanding, that was substantially above average knowledge on the subject and who's work clearly demonstrated this superiority. And they know it.

    Examples would include; complementary stive; properly shaped boot stripes (top and bottom and why it necessary); the buttocks in a short overhang double ender (an easy way to make a pretty stern sail like crap); the flat spot or hollow in the bow sections of a deck crown, that always seems to appear if you don't know what you're doing; ditto the sheer sweep in the same location; again along the sheer, the percentage of lowest freeboard and it's location along the sheer's length, shapes employed in bulwarks, "waist" or cove lines; why a wise designer "flatens" out the curve in deck and roof crown, near the deck edge or cabin sides. I could go on and on. Structure is a whole different set of issues, with similar problems facing the novice designer.

    I blame a lot of this on free or low cost software, that seems to be the rage currently. The software will not correct or properly proportion deck structures, nor offer suggestions to their scantlings. For that matter, it will not remind you that the currently drawn hull, if pushed past a S/L of 3, will require a specific percentage of the bottom planking be increased in thickness. Nor will it explain why you need to place your stringers along the route the diagonals take in the lines drawing, for best use of materials, ease on the builder and a natural increase in loading capacity in the ends of the yacht. Understanding why you need these things is what a true designer is about.
     
  11. SouthernCross
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    SouthernCross Junior Member

    ^ OMG.


    I can tell. :rolleyes:


    Beauty's in the eye of the beholder. Thas all you need to know.
     
  12. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    PAR,

    "complementary stive"

    What is this mate, I must be ignorant, I have no idea nor could find it in Google? Ta.
     
  13. charmc
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    charmc Senior Member

    I think stive refers to the angle of a bowsprit. Not a term you hear commonly, fer sure. :) Not something I'd ever think about, but it could enhance or detract from otherwise good lines.
     
  14. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    emmmm, Ta charmc,

    Must be an American term. I have not seen it Down Under.

    Fully understand that it could look awful if not set right, same as the dolphin striker, often see them set wrong.
     

  15. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Stive is a term used in describing the relationship in booms, sprits, and other near horizontal lines, when compared to horizontal.

    An example that Charlie suggested, is the pretension of a bobstay counteracting the forestay's pull, so the sprit doesn't hog objectionably. In the USA the sprit "stives" with the sheer, but elsewhere it may show considerable sag, to the point of paralleling the LWL in the British Isles. Understanding how much to use for a typical hull form, style or pre-load will not be found in a software package. Another example of this understanding thing is how much for a given hull form, like one with a full bow and generous sweep in the sheer (like a Friendship sloop) compared to the much flatter sheer and finer bow of a classic yacht hull form. The same "rules" apply to booms and these are generally learned or acquired through study.

    Another common "dead give-away" is how the sides of a trunk cabin are treated. A person not familiar with building compound shapes will draw straight sides and same inclination cabin walls. This looks fine on paper or screen, but in 3D has a tendency to "swell" outboard at the ends, which is why an experienced or studied designer will make the cabin sides roll into a slightly tighter radius toward the ends of the cabin or other deck structures.

    The reason we make compound curves in a deck or roof crown is it's easier to plank. A common curve or segment of a circle once again, may look fine on the screen, but when the material is being applied, you'll wish the curve flattened out slightly along the edges (particularly if there is a covering board), to make the application go smoother. The best designers have built their own efforts or worked in the industry long enough to understand these unwritten rules, possibly developing a few of their own.
     
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