Looking for the right path to design and build

Discussion in 'Education' started by ben_morel, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. ben_morel
    Joined: Oct 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canada

    ben_morel Dreamer

    How much work for Westlawn

    A question for Will, and all of you,

    Will explained Westlawn is a lot of work.
    I have a familly and a lot of work.
    So my plan was doing westlawn part time.
    Can you please give me more details concerning the work load for westlawn.
    How many hours per week for how many years?
    Type of work: is it mostly reading and Computer based work?, or a lot of drwing work?
    Is it a work you can split in 1 or 2 hours per day, or do you need long long duration without interruption (for drawing for instance).

    This question because it is quite easy to find a couple of hours in the evening.
    But with a familly and 3 young boys, it is difficult to find 5 or more hours without interruption.

    Thanks,
    Benoit
     
  2. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    Ben,
    Through the 4+ years that it has taken me (or will have shortly) to complete the Westlawn course I've finished building a house, had two children, moved to another house and started renovating it. As you can imagine, it's not that often that I can find 5 hrs straight to sit down in front of a computer (or drawing board). I manage 2 -3 hrs at night, after the kids (and wife) have gone to bed.
    When I started, it was not a requirement that you do any computer based design at all - and certainly from your point of view, you can draw one boat quicker by hand than the time it will take to master CAD and produce the same boat. Having said that, it is now a requirement of the course that about the last 2/3rds is done using CAD - this is because in professional practice you most definitely need to be profficient in the use of CAD.
    I'd suggest talking to the school for more course specific stuff - they're easy to talk to and happy to help.

    One other thing - it's true that by doing something like Westlawn you will learn how to design in materials other than those you will end up building in - but unless you understand the advantages and disadvantages of all the different building techniques / materials, how will you know which best suits your own project?
     
  3. cyclops
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 1,059
    Likes: 5, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 38
    Location: usa

    cyclops Senior Member

    Willallison has hit the bulls eye of the do it your self problem. Unless you are a wood-steel-Aluminum or fiberglass old fart like me. You have a great deal of materials and all their interacting characteristics to learn. After you acquire the knowledge you need, some special equipment is needed, other than the familiar tools of the old 4 materials. Never, has the "do it your selfer ", felt like the last dinosaur on earth. Progress waits for no one.
     
  4. ben_morel
    Joined: Oct 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canada

    ben_morel Dreamer

    Family life balance

    Hi All,

    I am going to contact the school for more detail.
    But Will, can you also share your experience with me.
    Your family life looks like mine. So Your experience must be valuable for me.
    When you say 2-3 hours per night. Do you mean each night?
    Can you please give me the average workload of a typical week?

    I understand all the benefits I could have from the westlawn in terms of knowledge, and that's why I am interested in it.

    Will, are you already working in the Naval industry?
    What are your plans after westlawn?

    In Westlawn web site, they say that the course should take 2400 hours.
    So it is 600 hours per session.
    so an average of 12 hours per week during 4 years.

    Will, does it correspond to your experience ?

    Thanks,
    Ben
     
  5. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    Recently the school introduced a time log for students to fill in and submitt with each lesson - they would have a much a much better idea than me how long it takes to get through the various bits.
    Having said that, I guess 12 hrs per week would probably be about right - perhaps somewhat on the high side. It really depends on the level of knowledge and experience that you already have. I was brought up around boats and have been drawing them since before I could walk, so a lot of the techniques and information were already familiar to me. On the other side of the coin, my computer skills could at best be described as limited, so mastering CAD has been (and still is) the greatest challenge for me as far as the course goes. If you have some experience - particularly with AutoCAD (or its equivalent) then you'll be way ahead of the eight ball. In talking with other students CAD has been the biggest hurdle for them too.

    Setting aside the final exam (because as part of it I'm trying to design the boat that I'd like to build, so it's taking a LONG time...) I rarely found that the time required to do the course was too difficult to find. There were times when I'd sit down religiously each night and do 2 or 3 hrs work. There were a few occaisions when I didn't get anything done for a month or more. Occaisionaly, I'd find a weekend where I had the house to myself and I'd manage to fit in a full days study... but that has certainly been the exception rather than the rule.
    No, I'm not in the industry - well I am sort of - as a consumer!!:D I work in a family business which deals in industrial chemistry. Drawing boats (and playing in them) is my 1st love (closely followed by the wife and kids;) ) so with any luck I'll be able to pursue it, if not as a full time career then at least as a serious professional hobby....
     
  6. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
    Posts: 2,457
    Likes: 64, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 711
    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    There are so many good books...
    There is a tiny book written by a Teal, "How to design a boat", with a lot of practical advice. Then it depends on what kind of boat you want and the materials you will use.

    Rhino is great if have you a clear picture of the hull form, I mean as a sketch or in your head. Prolines and Naval Designer is maybe better for initial design, where you try different shapes and look at the hydrostatics. RhinoMarine is a nice add on to Rhino, giving you more hydrostatics and a quick method for sectioning (takes 5 minutes manually in Rhino).
     
  7. ben_morel
    Joined: Oct 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canada

    ben_morel Dreamer

    Enough time for Westlawn

    Hi Will and Raggi,
    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    For my part, I don't have a huge background in the boat design. It became a Hobby, and maybe more than just a hobby...
    I read a few books like "Design of sailing boat" - Pierre Guttelle, and others...
    Concerning the CAD, as an engineer, I have experience with Autocad and Finite elements methods.
    and I am now working in the Computer technology.
    So I don't think CAD will be a major issue.

    Yesterday, I sent a mail to Westlawn, asking for more details concerning the course schedule and workload.

    I would like to do westlawn not to work in naval industry, but just because I want to know as much as possible. My goal is really to design and build my boat. I am pretty sure I can do the design on my own, just with books, but maybe it is not the right way to master a subject. And doing self-learning can be very time consuming also. I don't like the "try and error" strategy for a sail boat ;-))

    and I want to be able to explain to my family how I will be able to manage everything before taking this engagement. I don't want to realize after 6 months that westlawn is to time consuming for my family. The try would be expensive in that case.

    Thanks,
    Benoit
     
  8. JasonR
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, VA

    JasonR Junior Member

    Benoit -
    I don't know the number of Westlawn folks at this site, but I am a new student in Westlawn (only a few months). I have to say that my experience so far has been very positive. It appears that I share a similar profile to you and Will - I have a good day job, but really like boats and want to design my own boat from the ground up. If at some point down the road a can make a dollar or two at it, then all the better. Frankly, the biggest stress so far has been on deciding which software to use! So many choices and such incomplete knowledge. (And I'm not to even allowed to use CAD for my Westlawn work at this point.)

    Good luck in whatever you decide.
    Jason
     
  9. ben_morel
    Joined: Oct 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Canada

    ben_morel Dreamer

    Close to decide

    Hi All,

    I am very close to the decision now.
    And I think I'll go for the westlawn.
    For the last step, I try to organize my life so the impact won't be too important.
    Westlawn replied to my mail. They suggest :
    400 hours to module 1
    1000 for module 2
    1000 for module 3
    350 for module 4

    Will, Is it relevant with your experience?

    Jason, just for the information, which software did you choose finally.

    Ben
     
  10. JasonR
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, VA

    JasonR Junior Member

    Ben -
    I haven't picked software, yet. One of confounding problems is I really like the mac world I've lived in for 20 years. If forced to go the PC route, I will do it, but I would prefer not to. But even in the PC world there are so many choices.

    Great info. on the time estimates - I hadn't seen the estimates before. It will be interesting to see if they agree with what Will has seen. Of course, there is 'extra' time involved like fretting and testing software, learning CAD, and reading boatdesign forums that probably aren't in the estimates.

    jason
     
  11. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
    Posts: 2,457
    Likes: 64, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 711
    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    For MAC: Take a look at TouchCAD from ludesign.se, many posts here also.
     
  12. JasonR
    Joined: Sep 2005
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Richmond, VA

    JasonR Junior Member

    Thanks Raggi_Thor. I haven't tested it yet, but watched one of the demo movies. Looks promising. It also, appears to have a good reputation. I am in no rush, so I will wait awhile until I purchase. For example, the lattest Ashlar newsletter mentions (as does the Boatdesign participant Timm) that they are developing more vehicle design features, including those for Yachts.

    jason
     
  13. chandler
    Joined: Mar 2004
    Posts: 378
    Likes: 2, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 16
    Location: U.s. Maine

    chandler Senior Member

    I'd suggest multisurf for software,Skenes elements of yacht design will give you pretty much all the math you'll need and chapelle's yacht design and planning will give you the step by step. Depending on how technical you want to get.
    Gutelle is fine if you want something really fast and are into hydrostatic mumbo jumbo. I like gerrs elements of boat strength but for some reason Mcnaughton recomends against it, perhaps because he published his own book on scantlings, You know anything about that Raggi?

    Ultimately, with your engineering background, find an existing design you really like, read a couple books and modify the design to suit your needs.
    Chandler
     
  14. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    I would imagine that the time estimates that Westlawn have given you are based on the time sheets that students have submitted, so they are probably a good average. In my case, I'd be surprised if I'd spent 1000 hrs on each of modules 2 & 3, but I guess if you take into account learning CAD (which the time estimates are s'posed to) then it may have been that long. Mod 4 is the only one that I've actually kept track of my time in: I'm approaching a couple of hundred hrs and I'm almost 1/2 way through the final exam, so 350 is probably pretty close to the mark (assuming I pass of course!!:D )
    As far as software goes, you'll need AutoCAD, plus a hull fairing program. I like Multisurf the best, but it's hellishly expensive - over the top for an owner builder for sure. Maxsurf comes pretty highly recommended though I haven't had much experience with it myself. Prosurf certainly represents excellent value and will more than do the job. Download a few of the demo's (free) and see which suits your way of thinking (and budget) best.
    I'd also recommend getting Rhino as a general 3D modelling tool. Most hull surfacing programs are crap when it comes to modelling anything other than hulls - like superstructures etc. Many use it for the hull modelling as well.
     

  15. Raggi_Thor
    Joined: Jan 2004
    Posts: 2,457
    Likes: 64, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 711
    Location: Trondheim, NORWAY

    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    I'm not sure why MacNaughton doesn't like Gerr's book.
    Maybe it is based on (too) detailed estimates on loads, that we don't know for sure? I'll ask.

    Software:
    Prolines and Naval Designer is quite inexpensive in their basic versions.
    Then you have FreeShip, I am testing it right now and it looks quite all right.

    A reasonable package would be, Freeship (or simmilar low cost program) for initial hull design and hydrostatics, then move to Rhino for detailed modelling, then section everything and move to IntelliCAD (AutoCAD clone) for detailed 2D drawings and cnc files (suppose you want to have all internal structure ready cut, it costs about the same as large plots on mylar).
     
Loading...
Similar Threads
  1. topwatertiger
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    1,096
  2. BostonJohnny91
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    1,774
  3. Zarko_B
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    2,787
  4. Spudboat
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    1,783
  5. Novice_Nautique
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    1,543
  6. Elen
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    2,303
  7. goldhunter_2
    Replies:
    18
    Views:
    4,252
  8. grantlen2211
    Replies:
    18
    Views:
    4,999
  9. brivido
    Replies:
    7
    Views:
    4,361
  10. brivido
    Replies:
    1
    Views:
    2,002
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.