Designing a sailing dinghy for expeditions

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by BoraBoats, Feb 25, 2019.

  1. BoraBoats
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    BoraBoats Emilie

    I am an industrial design student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and I am currently working on my master thesis. For the master project I am going to develop a concept for a new sailing dinghy. The dinghy will be designed for expeditions and exploring nature, not for regattas. I have no previous experience with boat design, so there will be a lot to learn during this process. I will try to make use of the skills I have as an industrial designer and I will therefore take a user centered approach and focus on ergonomics, aesthetics and user friendliness. I will not look into all of the details of the hull construction or rigging, but I will do enough research and calculations that I can prove that the final concept is viable. I will most likely not end up with a finished design, but a concept that can be realized if I decide to continue working on it after finishing my degree. The deadline for this project is in the beginning of June. I would like to share parts of my process with you guys and hopefully I can get some feedback in return.

    Best regards, Emilie
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I think that the description is too broad. A dinghy for a single person will not accommodate three. Does it need to go on open waters which will dictate a higher freeboard and more weight, or does it need to be dragged over sand bars? It is probably unrealistic to design a new sailing dinghy in such a short time. If you are not looking at details on hull construction or rigging, it is a concept and not a design. Even for a Naval Architect this would be a daunting task. I suggest you narrow your thesis to an aspect of a dinghy. However, if you are not familiar with boat design, this is a bad choice for a master's thesis.
     
  3. The Q
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    The Q Senior Member

    The most famous dinghy expeditions were done in a Wayfarer Dinghy by Frank Dye, IIRC He at some point sailed from the UK to Norway and also on another trip up to Iceland. There were also many trips round the UK and down the east coast of America..
    Reading his book might help you define what you want to design...
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias=aps&field-keywords=frank+dye
     
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  4. BoraBoats
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    BoraBoats Emilie

    Hi, Gonzo.

    You are completely right that the description is too broad. I have been working on narrowing it down and I will post something about it later. As I stated, I will not end up with a finished design, but a concept.
     
  5. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Hi Emilie, welcome to the forum . . :)

    Here's Reuel Parker's take on the concept for some inspiration...

    Reuel Parker Marine Sea Bright 18' × 5' 1" × 8½" ¹ (5.49 m × 1.55 m × 0.22 m ¹) Specs ²

    ( Edit: ¹ center board up. - ² ‘‘Displacement ± 400 lbs (181 kg)’’ is meant to be empty weight I think, see the second link below ‘‘Weight 350 to 500 lbs (159 ~ 227 kg) depending on construction & use.’’ )

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    - WoodenBoat Sea Bright 18 has more (clickable) drawings on line and some additional info.

    - Related built by Parker MarineConstruction PagesSea Bright 14

    - General info on the type: Traditional Small CraftBarnegat Bay Skiffs / Jersey Beach Skiffs / Sea Bright Skiffs
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2019
  6. BoraBoats
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    BoraBoats Emilie

    Gonzo, I do not agree that it is a bad choice for a master thesis. I have had many talks with my supervisor and he is very supportive and engaged in the project. Having the ability to get into a completely new field is crucial for becoming a good industrial designer. One day you might design a bike, another day you might have to work on a medical device for a hospital, or packaging for food.
     
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  7. JamesG123
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    JamesG123 Senior Member

    I would think the hardest part will be avoiding being derivative or completely repetitive of other designs. This isn't exactly novel ground as there are hundreds of designs for dinghy sized sailboats some of them set up for "camping/expeditionary" use.

    Besides combing the Internets for prior art, I would suggest renting/borrowing a dinghy, or at least a canoe, of the size you are contemplating if you don't have any boating experience. This way you can see/feel how they act and what limitations they impose upon design. Doodling on paper is one thing, how something bobs in the water is quite another.
     
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  8. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    Emilie, I think right now you or anyone else can team up as an apprentice for some time with Reuel in his build of a 53' Sardine Carrier Yacht which will serve for cruising and as his retirement home, there's much to learn there about boating, boat building, and about boat design in general, just a month or even only a few weeks would offer valuable learning, I'll think.

    Parker Marine53' Sardine Carrier YachtSpecsConstruction
     
  9. BoraBoats
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    BoraBoats Emilie

    That sounds so fun! But I don't think I have time now that I am working on my master thesis, I need all the time I have until the deadline. I do have some experience with boat building from before. I studied traditional clinker building for one year. But that is a lot different than how modern dinghies are produced today, so I don't know if it will actually be that helpful.

    By the way, I am also a big fan of Leo and Tally Ho!
     
  10. Angélique
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    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    I think learning traditional clinker is valuable because you've learned how wood will behave and what curves it will take, etc..

    I'm glad you like Leo and Tally Ho too, here's a thread with some chats about it, and anyone can team up as an apprentice with Leo as well . . :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
  11. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Random questions:

    Any size or weight limits or targets? How many people? How much equipment for how long? Sleep onboard normally or camp ashore? How seaworthy? Is beaching the boat important? Cost target? Production series build, one-off professional build, amateur build? What style - traditional, contemporary, ??? How important or unimportant is speed? Auxiliary power - paddle, oars, outboard?
     
  12. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

    Emilie - interesting project. Theres a great deal which is naval architect territory, but the ergonomics alone are interesting. This is the type
    of sailing I do - in an outrigger sailing canoe.
    D Cockey is asking the right questions. Weight is Critical - being able to handle the boat on the beach- carry or trolley- makes a huge difference. Sleep on board or not? Sleeping on board in a small boat is not to be taken lightly- uncomfortable motion in waves, fear of the anchor dragging, claustrophobia if you have a (weight adding) cabin...
    Most canoe sailors camp on the beach. some use boom tents on the boat. A cabined boat which say two people could carry up the beach, giving both options would be a very sweet spot that would be very hard to achieve weight wise.
    Checkout Colin Angus' sailing row cruiser:

     
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  13. BoraBoats
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    BoraBoats Emilie

    Good questions. I am going to give you a short answer and hopefully give a better explanation for why later. I have been working on this project for one and a half month, but I have done everything in Norwegian. I am planning to post a summary of what I have done here in English, part by part, but I need some time for translating.

    1. Any size or weight limits or targets? - Max. hull weight 60kg. Most important is that it is easy to handle for one person.
    2. How many people? - Max. 2 people.
    3. How much equipment for how long? - Not decided, but should be able to bring all you need for camping. Maybe 30-40 kg.
    4. Sleep onboard normally or camp ashore? - Would be difficult for two people to sleep onboard such a small boat. Still it would be nice because it is not allowed to tent everywhere in the world. I will try to see what is possible here.
    5. How seaworthy? - Seaworthiness is more important than speed. Should be able to sail in exposed waters.
    6. Is beaching the boat important? - Very important.
    7. Cost target? - Not decided, but should be able to compete with what’s on the market.
    8. Production series build, one-off professional build, amateur build? - Production series.
    9. What style - traditional, contemporary, ??? - Modern, sporty
    10. How important or unimportant is speed? - Most important is that it is fun to sail and that it can handle both strong winds and light winds.
    11. Auxiliary power - paddle, oars, outboard? - Paddle or oars, only human power or wind power.
     
  14. BoraBoats
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    BoraBoats Emilie

    Thanks for the tip! Have you checked out LiteBoatXP? It has a little cabin with room for two and weighs about 180 kg rigged I think. It also participated in race to Alaska.
     
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  15. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A master thesis usually takes a year or so. Since your thesis has to be done in a hurry, designing something on an area you have knowledge would be more profitable. Realistically, a novel design would take a knowledgeable person a year or more. It is unrealistic to learn boat design and then create an improved sailing dinghy in four months. As an example, try a stability calculation on an existing design. Maybe use a barge type that has a rectangular section for simplicity. If you get through that, one of the simpler parts of boat design, then move on to the harder items.
     
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