Platform Design Methodology for a Customised Family of Products (Yachts)

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by dimebag, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. dimebag
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    dimebag Junior Member

    Hi All,

    The above mentioned title refers to my final year project where i'm researching for a common platform design for customised yachts, eg. how a similar/identical hull can be used in different types of yachts, from leisure and sailing to racing ones. The idea here is the cost saved on not having to research and manufacture another hull from scratch every time a yacht is built.
    Some of the things i have to do are:
    - Design optimisation
    - Design variables that contribute to performance of sailing, solar and motor yachts
    - Most important design variable for hull
    - Modelling software to model hull and eventually yacht

    My professor has told me to concentrate on hybrid yachts that run on both solar and sailing/motor power. My research is still in the early stage and i need quite a bit of help on this project. I've saw the poll on the forum that most people use Rhino 5 as the modelling software for their hulls/yachts. Any tips on how to start modelling a basic hull or a template/steps i can follow?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance! :)
     
  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A common platform for a racing and a cruising boat would be like a common platform for a Formula 1 car and a taxi. They do have things in common, but the design requirements are very different. I think you need to find which market you are planning on targeting. That will determine to a great extent what the design will be. Each market has unique requirements and restrictions. Do you at least have a size range?
     
  3. mudsailor
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    mudsailor Junior Member

    This only really works on powerboats. There are a number of companies that have 2 or 3 different deck configurations on one hull. The issue is that for any 'real' production yacht the extra cost of a hull design is not that big (especially if production rates require another set of hull tooling anyway). The cost of a different deck/mechanicals/interior can easily cost much more (2x) than a new hull design/tooling that is optimized for its desired use.
    Why create a 'frankenboat' that does nothing well. That being said there are a numbe of smaller boat (around 20') which have a common hull, but a bow rider and cuddy cabin deck,maybe even a fishing configuration as well.
     
  4. kerosene
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    kerosene Senior Member

    Dimebag - read the hybrid/solar discussions on this board. Then get back and politely tells your professor that:

    "besides some very special short distance vessels solar power is not feasible. The added complexity, weight and cost will create a vessel that uses more energy in total than a a well optimized diesel only boat. "

    That is the case. Financially there is simply no doubt about it. But even fuel consumption wise diesel-solar hybrid will use more fuel than diesel only as the boat is forced to be less optimized and carry the penalty in the form of extra weight, high center of gravity etc.

    The only thing good about solar hybrid as of now is that they do make nice prerss releases that get actually published in magazines.
     
  5. Alex.A
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    Perhaps a multihull ? Gary Dierking's wa apa is designed as a tacking outrigger or proa.
    It can also be a trimaran and has even been built as a catamaran.
    Fun for a small boat, to play with different configurations but could it work on a large boat?
     
  6. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    http://[​IMG]

    Study the detailing of the racing yacht ACCIONA.

    Obviously the boat is extreme and not suitable for a production cruiser, but several details like the solar panels embeded into the sheer clamp are worthwhile.

    The hydro towing generators on her stern pick up 20 amps of 24vdc when she is sailing.

    Something to consider is that house services... yacht systems like refrigeration, autopilots, ventilation are the big energy consumers. Refine these systems. For instance Low Solar Absorption Paint to keep the boat cool. or reducing autopilot load by designing a hull form with adjustable appendages that make the boat tracks well at sea.

    Google Acciona sailing and you will find information on her systems. Perhaps even contact the systems designers directly for insights.
     
  7. dimebag
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    dimebag Junior Member

    First of all thanks for all the replies guys!

    I agree with you and i feel they are very different as well, but there are 2 main approaches to platform design which is MODULE-based (eg. 100 structures which can be assembled from 10 main components) and SCALE-based (varying the scale of the hull in this case to fit different types of yachts).
    I will need to delve into further research as to how this can be applied to commercial yachts which i guess are about the size range of 14 - 25m? My professor did not mention any particular size of yachts he was looking at.
     
  8. dimebag
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    dimebag Junior Member

    Is there any particular example or yachts which i can look at and compare? Those that utilise the same/similar hull in different yachts.
     
  9. dimebag
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    dimebag Junior Member

    Will have a good look at that forum, thanks for the recommendation! Hmm, should the yacht have a substantial amount of time in the sun charging the panels, it still isn't feasible? I know purely solar-powered is not feasible as for short distances and in choppy waters a diesel/electric engine is definite required.

    Should the solar panels be placed on empty spaces on an existing optimised design yacht, will it still affect the design and fuel consumption as much?

    Can you explain further the design optimisation for yachts? Be it sailing or racing. Thanks!
     
  10. dimebag
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    dimebag Junior Member

    Hmm you have some interesting points there and thanks for the recommendation!! :)
     
  11. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    A racing boat design that is modular with parts that would work for a cruising boat will be heavy and non-competitive. Why the emphasis on racing?
     
  12. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I take exception to the statement that a solar electric/sail hybrid is not feasible. I am sure I could design and build such a boat but I would need to either adapt my lifestyle to very low energy use, or spend a disturbing amount of money on solar panels, storage and conversion. What I think the consensus is that the market economics of such a boat are of more interest to academia than to the industry.

    The race, cruse family of boats is another questionable market decision. Sailboats mostly race with handicap ratings based on measurements anyway. 'Design to the rule' is discouraged but prevalent. The point I am making is that there can only be one boat configuration that rates well, and I don't think there would be much interest in a heavy poky version.

    So I think what we are saying is that your professor has defined an ambitious project that has no market reality. Scaling a line of sailboats -that's been done already. Race/cruse versions of a boat -that's been done. Multiple power options for a hull -been done.

    My personal opinion about what can and should be worked on is a fast race/cruiser that is a hybrid electric that shifts the heavy batteries as ballast. The around the cans version would not need big solar. It would just charge at the dock.
     
  13. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    It is true that there are friendly club races where members use whatever they own. However, true raceboats are either designed to a rule or for speed. I think there have been some companies like Gulf that build the same basic hull with deep and shallow keels, tall and short rigs, sloop and cutter rigs and fore cabin, center cockpit and pilot house configurations. Solar panels are a cheap way to charge batteries if you keep the load small. I had a couple of boat at the mooring with a 10W charger, and it was enough for running lights and interior fluorescent lights. I didn't sail more than a maybe ten hours a week after dark.
     
  14. mudsailor
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    mudsailor Junior Member

    Look at Sealine yachts, they have a 490 in 2 different configurations
     

  15. Michael Y
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    Michael Y Junior Member

    Pretty big topic, lots of ways to slice it. Since your main goal is to get an 'A' in the course, don't let reality constrain you too much. Some random thoughts...
    1. Boats are already highly modular, in that you can configure them with all kinds of commercially available widgets like tiedown points, seats, steering consoles, chart tables, etc.
    2. You are looking for something different. So think of a standard hull shape that you could drop in pre-built complete sections for engine, berthing, etc. to include mast structure that could transfigure the yacht.
    3. How about multi-hulls, where you keep adding hulls to add capabilities? ;) Lots of flat surface area for solar arrays.
     
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