Should amateurs design boats?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by river runner, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    If the Titanic had been designed and built with top closed bulkheads the ship wouldn't have sunk, or if it had much more slowly which may have saved lives.There is a LOT to be said for positive buoyancy.
  2. SheetWise
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    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    I think he set the bar a bit higher than that, but you're right.
  3. latestarter
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    latestarter Senior Member

    True, but that it is with hindsight.
    A designer can only work with the knowledge of the time.
    Progress is usually as a result of learning from the previous disasters.
  4. FranklinRatliff

    FranklinRatliff Previous Member

    It has even been suggested that if Titanic had hit the berg head on instead of sideswiping it the ship may have stayed afloat.
  5. tom28571
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    tom28571 Senior Member

    If you are a true genius like Rutan and working in a field where there is no established experience, it does not matter whether you are considered a professional or not. Being an amateur or a professional really says very little about your competence.
  6. FranklinRatliff

    FranklinRatliff Previous Member

    X-15. 199 flights.
  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    hear hear - just made the same comment in "Jib Question"

    I am also in favour of shooting "left brain,right brain" quoters - a concept that was proven as rubbish ten years ago.
  8. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    My take on this -

    The designers HAD the knowledge at the time - this principle had been known for centuries. Most engineering projects reject known safety features based on expense.

    Engineering safety has little to do with educational levels- its mostly a product of public outcry on the financiers of engineering projects.

    It's all about how much money the investors are forced to invest in safety out of fear for future litigation.

    The current "low end" of the logic (for boats) is the people smugglers operating out of Indonesia and in the Mediterranean.
  9. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have heard this speculation before but I think that would not likely have saved it. consider the total amount of kinetic energy that the hull would have to absorb. it would have shattered it the full length. It would have gone down faster and likely lost almost everyone on board.

    IT was a series of poor decisions that added up to a disaster like Titanic. Any one done differently would have not killed so many. One really poor decision that hardly gets noted was the hull steel, the mill could not supply the quantities of the new alloy specified, so they substituted another more common one with the same ultimate strength, but not as tough (it was same strength but brittle). So the side swipe ruptured hull rather than bent it inwards. That too would have prevented the loss of the ship. No one was aware of the substitution until they located the wreck and brought samples of the metal up and had a lab test it, they found it was not what was called out on the plans.

    Perhaps the professionals that designed knew more than you would give credit for, but the metal salesman made a fatal error and understandably kept mum about it.
  10. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    If you want to be seen as a rebel or bad boy-you have plenty of rep points-you'll need to come up with something better.
    Many posters have much fewer or none,or are even negative.

    As for the rest of your post..honestly there's no point in addressing much of it. Like these guys said-if you want to do it-do it.

    Myself,I'm fortunate to be very very good at market trading.
    So many people have asked me how and what to do- I tell them to forget about it as they have a 1-2% chance of being successful.
    Then,when pressed and nagged into giving advice-I would steer them into trying the easiest way-again with warnings to not even try it.

    So they ignored me,tried the difficult stuff,did all the wrong things and invariably lost lots of money.
    And guess what? It was all my fault somehow. Go figure that one out.

    So if I was a NA and someone asked me for design advice,there's no way in hell I'd do it.
    All it would take is for some guy to design his own boat,go out and drown his wife and kid,and then say to the Coast guard investigators " well this NA on boatdesign gave me this advice"

    There's been a few guys on here bent on speed records or designing whatever- I do my public service and advise them to bump up their life insurance and check the coverage. At least their family won't starve.
    I suggest you do the same.

    FWIW my uncle designed and built his own around the world sail boat.They disappeared.
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  11. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I have heard that you can insure someones life with you as the beneficiary without their consent.

    I have just thought of an innovative way to make some money ;)

    PS - was there any indication that your Uncles boat was deficient ?

    In that same year, there were many drownings on commercial boats.
  12. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    WOW! The OP opened a can of worms. Spirited commentary ensued.

    Way back in time I worked in the engineering department of a very large steel fabrication firm. The owner decided that he needed a houseboat and that we'd build it right there in the plant.

    He knew what it should look like and proceded to draw some sketches with dimensions. I was given the job of producing the detailed drawings per his design and specs, the bill of materials, and purchase requisitions. The twin 40 foot hulls were made with 7 gage steel plate (3/16) with too few frames and stringers. The hulls had a perfectly straight run that terminated in square transoms.

    I protested the design principals loudly and damned near got fired for pretending to know more about boats than the boss. It had two big V8 engines to power the "fast houseboat". The beast was way too heavy for the hull design. I knew that because I had done all the drafting and material analysis. I was also familiar with the Archimedes pricipal which the boss did not want to hear about.

    Sure enough the monstrosity drew twice the water that he had envisioned. Top speed with a good tailwind was about 8 MPH. The boss insisted that it ought to plane because those two engines made a lot of power. It threw a collossal, and thoroughly objectionable, wake and sucked up eye popping, wallet flattening, amounts of fuel. It never ever approached a plane. In todays dollars its build cost would have come to about a quarter million.

    I certainly wanted to have a tee shirt printed that said: "I told you so". I did not get the tee shirt because I needed my job. In the bosses mind, a boat was simply a bottom with sides attached. What could be simpler than that? That is the siren song that lures some unsuspecting souls onto the rocks. He could have saved a bunch of money and a world of embarassment by spending a few hundred dollars with a professional designer.

    The boat ended up on the hard and became a cabin at a backwater fishing camp. Never to be wet again. And no one lived happily ever after Well it did make a nice little fishermans shack.
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  13. liki
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    liki Senior Member

    The distinction between an amateur and a professional is that the professional earns his living out of it. Some professions require formal qualifications to become a professional, most do not.
  14. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Thats why they are the boss !! they know it all !!

    Love that story !!! dont ya just love those kinds a people . !!!:D

  15. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I was quite young,have only vague recollections of the boat and my uncle.
    He was told it wasn't good enough by several people apparently-one of them my dad.

    But there are differences between outright foolishness and just getting calculations wrong-however they often end up with the same result.
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