Ergonomics/Human Factors in boat design - of all types

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by wood3154, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. wood3154
    Joined: Oct 2013
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    wood3154 New Member

    Hello all,

    This is my first visit to the forum, with my primary aim of understanding where you all stand on the inclusion of Ergonomics/Human Factors in boat design.

    I've read a thread from 2002 which has provided me with some degree of insight into the thoughts of a few, however I'd like to understanding what issues there may be with regards to boat usability, whether this is in the performance boat environment where efficiency, high performance and the minimising of exposure to injury are the requirements, or whether it's usability in luxury yachts - I'd like to know your thoughts.

    I'm looking at moving into a consultancy role in providing Ergonomics expertise into the development of high performance and luxury yachts; you can see my experience in the area on my Linkedin profile: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=161600011&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

    Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards
    Chris Wood - Human Factors Specialist
     
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Certainly is a callenging field of inquery. Ergonomics is everything.

    One cause of seasickness is disorientation and fatigue.

    You reach for a handhold and it is not there. You perform a task but you cant develope the correct posture, mechanical advantage. You sit down but when heeled you have to foot support.

    The list is endless.

    Its a tribute to the designer when he gets most of these issues correct
     
  3. wood3154
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    wood3154 New Member

    Thank you for the reply, Michael.

    I currently work in civil aviation, looking at aspects such as fatigue, and have previously worked in Defense, which again had to consider all elements you've mentioned. I'd now like to apply this knowledge to yachts and boats as I agree its a challenging field, and I enjoy a challenge!

    Chris
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I dont know how ergonomics as a profession is incorporated into the yacht design field.

    Traditionally it was the skill and experience of the Naval Architect.

    Perhaps in thier studio they employ specialists
     
  5. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    In any dinghy work I've done I have just used basic 'ergo' data plus experience to get things to work. On small say sub 5 -6 meter dinghies there are also a lot of historical precedent and/or sources of good ideas and principles. Trying to right a boat in a 3m sea and 35Kn is a bit different to being on the bridge of a 100,000 ton craft in a restricted channel.

    On these small things the only way is ultimately build the prototype and sort it out if your best guesses are not right. One I am told that can be problematice despite it being easy to calculate is c/board height when capsized ie boat on side. Some designs for a variety of reasons behave better than others.
    On large vessels I would hazard a guess at visibility and good instrumentation being key components, but not my area of expertise. There are historically documented problems concerning certain aviation instumentation.
    It is a massive field, from canoe, coracle, rowing skiff to super tanker. Each area has evolved its own solutions. My own personal take on modern performance craft would be looking at minimising injury in the 30kn to zero type crash with crew being slung forward on trapezes. Also the danger in these v quick cats - Artemis, woke anyone who was not watching up. You can get fractured carbon tubes being thrust towards bodies too. Then theres hydroplanes flipping and deep V hulls barrel rolling etc

    BTW I am an industrial designer with 20+ years commercial experience though only a very small ammount in the marine field. Was part of a team that won the Silk Cut Nautical award a few years back for an instrument we (our consultancy) designed for Brookes and Gatehouse.
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Its the day to day ergonomic blunders that drive me crazy.

    Radar is an important tool. On watch the radar is always on. A watchman doesnt sit on his butt in front of the radar, he paces back and forth in the wheel house keeping a sharp lookout and monitoring the vessel in general.

    On this boat the radar seat backrest...nice and comfy...obstructs the watchkeepers view of the radar from 90 percent of the wheelhouse.

    An ergonomic blunder that makes me ANGRY.

    When I get my hands on the bugger who designer this installation I gonna burn his house down
     
  7. SukiSolo
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Yes, and how hard is it to mock up the wheelhouse and windows with cardboard a few battens and maybe some cheap ply? You get all the elements for a few hours work and learn something. Dead right Michael, well said, it is amazing that there are still ergonomic anomolies out there. Why are some car dials worse than in the 80s'? Doh!.

    But the difference is the naval architects and designers who notice these details and keep them in their store of knowledge. That's what a client should be happy to pay for.
     

  8. wood3154
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    wood3154 New Member

    Sounds like there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed. Very often the integration of ergonomics/human factors is conducted at the wrong stage of a design and this results in those basic principles of being able to view regularly used equipment, such as radar, not being considered properly. As with many areas of design, gathering a detailed understanding of the requirement and then approaching the development of a solution to this requirement with a pragmatic view is very important.

    Thank you both for your input, its very much appreciated.

    Chris
     
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