"Easy to Build" but ugly is a bad idea

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by u4ea32, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Check out this time lapse movie of the Gougeon built i550. Its plywood, with an UGLY (read: hard chine, developable) hull.


    Note how much time is spent with the flat plywood hull construction: 3 seconds out of 3:08 or 1.6% of the time it takes to construct the boat.

    Also notice how much time is spent fairing and putting the outside glass (really, carbon) this hull: from 0:35 to 1:48, 73 seconds, or about 40% of the total construction time: its not the construction of the hull surface, its making the construction strong and fair.

    Therefore, the time actually involved in the hull surface -- 1.6% -- is very small, and therefore designing UGLY to save some time on the hull surface construction is silly.

  2. wardd
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    wardd Senior Member

    it floats
  3. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Nothing new . If you like hands on boat building, build a natural lapstrake skiff. Plywood, metal , composite... are all ten minutes of boat building and one hour of pushing sandpaper , sniffing toxic goo while pulling metal slivers out of your feet. As they say...bust your *** for fiberglass.
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Way too much time spent fairing it for the carbon. Adding carbon to the outside gains you very little structurally. All head gain speed.
  5. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Here is another: time-lapse movie of the construction of the Antrim 49 sailing yacht "Rapid Transit."


    5:23 total, or 323 second film.

    The first 56 seconds (17%) is the construction of the male mold for the hull. Note that the hull was designed with chines as if that would save cost in construction. Note that the builder totally ignores this in creation of the plug. A good example of how builders and designers think differently, and how a designer's attempts at saving effort during construction have zero positive effect.

    Up to the 2:00 mark, so 64 seconds, the core'd carbon hull is constructed and faired.

    From 2:10 to 3:02, or 42 seconds, the deck mold is constructed. Note the lack of difficulty in making the curved deck house and cambered deck.

    Lamination of the core'd carbon deck takes from 3:02 to 3:31, or 29 seconds.

    Total mold construction time: 56+42 = 98 seconds = 30% of total time
    Total hull+deck construction time: 64+29 = 93 seconds = 29% of total time

    Total hull construction time: 56+64 = 120 seconds = 37% of the total time
    Total deck construction time: 42+29 = 71 seconds = 22% of the time.

    The "designed for easy construction" chined hull takes 70% longer that the seemingly hard to build deck, with lots of curves and the aerodynamic deck house.

    Therefore, same designer, same builder: the hard chine, ugly, supposedly easier to build stuff actually takes much longer.
  6. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    Fairing can be done how much you want to... or not at all if one chooses not to...
    Anyway, a beautifull boat :D ...that is is of course IMHO
  7. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Obviously, all of these times do not respect the number of workers, or the cost of materials.

    Its just interesting to see how little time is actually related to the shape of a hull or deck surface.

    Lots of time (and of course staff and materials) goes into all the stuff installed in/on the boat.
  8. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    That's so true...
  9. DCC
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    DCC New Member

    Hi, I'm an new member here and wonder if anyone here is familiar with the traditional style 'Ontong Java" built by well known sailor hans klaas. I spend a lot of time in Thailand and this boat is testament to the fact that you don't need a lot of money or fancy equipment to have a seaworthy vessel that many consider to be something quite special and certainly unique. I am now considering as a first build, the possibility of constructing a catamaran using two suitable donor thai long tails boats and lashing them together with beams (wharram tiki style) as a platform for additional modifications.

    This may be the silliest idea you have ever heard and I welcome all comments on the feasibility of this idea as I know little about boat building and design but do have the spare time, money, fabrication and management skills to complete the project should it be determined worthwhile.
  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    seems to be the same clip ?

    Ans how can you equate the sceonds in the clip to the actual percentage of build time ? Any clip editor will tell you that there may be no correlation at all.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  11. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    you are assuming that the hard chine design is a compromise of not what is opium for the designers goal. The 550 is a planing hull, so hard chines have less drag because they facilitate the hull coming up on plane faster, reducing the drag drastically than when in displacement mode. You can not compare hull designs with a light dingy designed for planing, and a heavy displacement keel boat ocean yacht. The design goals are totally different.

    There are even sometimes performance reasons to put chines on a large displacment hull, and if not going for absolute speed, the performance different on a pleasure yacht is very small. The round bilge displacement hull will behave differently than a hard chine one if different sea conditions, it could reduce heel angle and make the ride more comfortable.

    Construction facility is only a minor part of the consideration on whether a designer includes hard chines or not. These two examples are not even comparable.
  12. Munter
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    Munter Amateur

    Ugly is a subjective term. In boats (perhaps unlike in women), functional is beautiful and so if the i550 works as intended (low cost, thrills and spills sportsboat), then to me it is beautiful.
  13. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    Why do you equate hard chine with ugly? That is only a personal opinion. As said by others, even in cases where the hard chine is not as nice to look at as a more rounded form, there can be other reasons that make it desirable. In many boats, I find a hard chine to be better looking too. Its all in the eye of the beholder.
  14. u4ea32
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    u4ea32 Senior Member

    Well, its not that chines are ugly per-se. It is common that people here talk of certain shapes being done in order to simplify construction, and perhaps the most common such "simple to build" concept is developable, which essentially results in hard chines.

    What I'm trying to do with this thread is to point out what all builders have told me: don't try to design shapes to save cost, design what you want. The contribution to cost due to shape (such as developable surfaces and hard chines) is virtually unmeasurable, to the point the builder IGNORES such shape characteristics when providing the bid to construct.

    The point of these two time-lapse videos is to show that very little of the time involved in construction, and very little of the work people do in construction, is dependent on the shape.

  15. wheels
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    wheels Junior Member

    the i550 is one of 3 boats I've been doing alot of research into. Personally I think it is gorgeous. Angular and aggressive. Not to say that a 40ft sloop isn't beautiful in it's own way.

    you seem to miss one big part of the equation here. Heart. Any knucklehead can slap one together with a couple hundred hours of work. But the builders invest more time energy dedication and love into getting it just the way they want. Wouldn't you want your builder to put that much effort into building whatever design you happen to choose?

    If it gets people interested and involved in sailing it's a great step in my opinion. it's function is to get people on the water. sailing. Fairing and glassing might take some time but it's not difficult. Joe Sixpack can put it together in his garage with his kid helping in a relatively short time. They are fun. They are fast. They are capable. Not all of us want to spend 5-25 years building something for retirement. We want to get on the water and play. its not so much the cost end as it is a time end.

    it's why the little puddle duck racers are so popular/ugly. Sure there is a HUGE amount of compromise in design vs performance. But they work. They are fun. And they get people sailing.

    We understand the desire of some to have every detail hand worked to perfection. There is nothing wrong with that and I truly admire those with the patience and skill needed to complete more traditional build methods. But it's not for me. I want to get out there and get wet :)
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