Just how hard are the math in boat design?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by GNicol, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. GNicol
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    GNicol New Member

    Hello all, i am very new to this field and this site. I have a question , i hope some one can help. I have enrolled on a betec diploma in boat design. Being 42 years old , it is a long time since i did any real math, and if i recal wasent that hot on the first time round. My question is just how difficult are the math involed in modern boat desin. Any answers/suggestions will be appreciated.
    Many thanks
    Gary
     
  2. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Gary

    It depends upon the depth of the BTec and also your own current level.
    If you just scraped through CSE as it was then, with say a grade 4, you may find it tough. If you got a cse grade 1 or 2, not so tricky, but may push you a bit. If you got an O'level, as we call them, then you should not have too many problems. If you got an A/O or A'level...piece of cake.

    The BTec, i assume will cover the basics of design, which is not terribly tricky, just some algebra in places, but the rest is simple.
     
  3. GNicol
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    GNicol New Member

    Many many thanks

    Thank you Adhoc for your reply, I did manage a cse level 2, but just to have a reply really helped me, thanks again. I am a firm believer that if you want something you have to be prepared to work hard for it, so back to maths at night school. I don’t know what it is about boats, but until last year i had never even been on one, but before you know it , you’re hooked. Maybe it’s the freedom and beauty of the actual design?
     
  4. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Gary

    well, i hope that long may it continue...welcome aboard as such.
    If you have any questions during your BTec, just ask away.
     
  5. joz
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    joz Senior Member

  6. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    Gary, welcome aboard the forum :)

    The math needed to design a small boat of a relatively well known type is involved, but not overly difficult. "Complicated" doesn't sound right to me.... "tedious" might be more like it. If you can do algebra at a high-school grad level, can solve a system of linear equations, and are familiar with the basics of differential and integral calculus, you shouldn't have too much trouble learning the additional math skills needed to do boat design calculations.

    An engineer's eye for forces, moments and load paths is essential. Some people find this to be almost intuitive; others find it tremendously frustrating. You'll only know once you try, under the guidance of a good teacher.

    Now, if you're really into cutting-edge stuff, I'm afraid the engineering gets insanely complicated in an incredibly short time. Computational fluid dynamics, finite element analysis and other cutting-edge engineering techniques are friggin' complicated- there's no way around it. Thankfully, most of this nasty computer stuff is usually only needed if you're pushing the limits of a racing class, big ship or megayacht, in which case you'd be one member of a large design team including programmers and mathematicians. The calculations for a "normal" boat of "normal" size can all be done on a pad of paper, although preferably with some mechanical assistance (calculator and planimeter come to mind).
     
  7. joz
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    joz Senior Member

    Gary

    I agree with Marshmat

    The maths that is required is at least 2 years of high school maths, being 42 yr old should not stop you from wanting to study yacht design, if you are somewhat afraid then enrol in evening classes to do remedial maths to gain your confidence. Which ever school that you choose to study yacht design in their text should have examples on how to work out the calculation, if you get stuck then you can email/phone/fax your teacher and ask for their help.

    As far as calculators just a cheap scientific calculator will do and for a planimeter I suggest you get the Lasico L-10 which is the easiest to use and the cheapest.

    I hope that helps.
     
  8. Paul Kotzebue

    Paul Kotzebue Previous Member

    You can design small boats with high school level math. A designer's intuition is just as important as the ability to crunch numbers. But .... if you want to be able to design relatively large and complex craft, or understand the engineering principals of hydrodynamics, structure, and mechanical systems, you will need another two years of college level math courses.
     

  9. HakimKlunker
    Joined: Aug 2009
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    HakimKlunker Andreas der Juengere

    Hi GNicol,
    you see: we all agree that the basics are not too complicated. Majorly the high performance end becomes challenging. You say that you are new to boats; perhaps you have already figured out your tasks?
    One suggestion if you want to go professional: Keep in mind, that often people's lives are in the hands of designers and builders as they are exposed to our thoroughness...
     
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