The Next Big Thing...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by PI Design, Feb 20, 2007.

  1. PI Design
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    PI Design Senior Member

    Smart materials like shape memory polymers will revolutionise boat design. The technology exists, but is a little expensive at the moment. The possibilities they open up are endless. Foils that automatically change section with speed. Hulls that change shape for different speeds. Masts that become more flexible, battens that become stiffer, and curved for different wind speeds. And so on. The technology exists, but is a little expensive at the moment.

    Anyone got any other ideas?
     
  2. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Foils/hulls/masts may be made to change shape, but to which shape should they change?

    Tim B.
     
  3. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Away from the stuff available in the petro-chemically driven plastics industry, I look to a flood of new (and some freshened-up old) bio-based materials for boat builders. The new materials will be made from easily renewable bio-forms that will allow the business of composite manufacture to move beyond petro-chemically based products.

    There are already early, and very promising, signs of soy based resins that can compete with epoxies. Likewise, soy is the key component in many new inks and paints for pigmenting the resin and producing a beautiful outer appearance.

    Bio-based fibers are looking interesting in boat building applications. We are already seeing several interior component elements of modern cars being produced with low cost, bio based fiber sources and the applications will grow from here.

    Electric drive systems for sailboats and even regular power boats will become more and more prevalent. Easy recharge capability will be provided by shoreside solar installations, wind generators and even tidal/wave fluctuation generators. You'll be able to drive down the ICW on the East Coast of the US in your quiet, pollution free cruiser with regular stops along the way for an electrical fill-up, while you have dinner and catch a night's rest.

    Not only is this smart business positioning for a world in which a growing awareness of escalating cost structures based on oil derived adhesives and composite cloths... but it also decentralizes much of the manufacture and distribution of these materials, further lowering costs through greater competition and vastly lower shipping expenses.

    I'm 58 years old and I might not see this fulfilled reality in my lifetime, but my kids certainly will. The person who gets involved at this level of product development right now, will be a very rich guy in the years to come for more reasons than simple monetary wealth.
     
  4. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

  5. ukebert
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    ukebert blank

    It would be easy to make it change automatically as well, wow. You could have a traditional danish jacht, gaff ketch one minute, and have a high performance racing ketch the other... or is that going too far :D

    Definately interesting though.

    How about a high performance hull that changes into a hydrofoil auomatically?
     
  6. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    I heard of a material like that once...what was it called.....oh yes, that's right....wood!:D

    But in all seriousness, surely fuel cells will be the 'next big thing'. And whilst there's talk of their application to motor vehicles, boats seem to represent an even better bet.
    The biggest problem, as I see it, with current electric motor technology is that it relies - as Chris suggests - on recharging from shore based 'supplies'. This does nothing to reduce our reliance on petroleum based &/or (so-called) greenhouse emitting systems. Quite the opposite in fact - it increases them: the modern petrol or diesel engine is a far more efficient and cleaner propulsion system than an electrical one that derives its power from sources like coal
     
  7. jelfiser
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    jelfiser Senior Member

    yes , surely hydrogen wil be the future for boat mototrs ... but as battery it also need to be recharged and need energy to be produced , it's only a way to transport energy ...even if hidrogen is produced from petroleum , it's great cause avoid some phenomena of local pollution ( that's the case of smog in town ) and pollution from petroleum wil be less due to the best efficency and pollution reduction that may have a big central .
    to be short if you use petroleum for producing hydrogen the greenhouse effect will be almost the same , but the air in our town will be better ...
    the bit is producing energy from renewable energy / nuclear fusion
     
  8. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Last Big Thing


    Yes, Will, wood is the miracle fiber it is purported to be....use it all the time, in fact and I'm pretty happy with the potential.

    On the recharging function for electric drive systems.. if we are going to address the potential for the Next Big Thing, as the thread suggests, why would we strap ourselves to the Last Big Thing and suggest that we confine our electrical generation to coal sourced power plants?

    As shown previously, there is a huge unrealized potential in solar stations, wind turbines and tidal/wave energy resources... why address the traditional power plant at all? OK, I'll give you that we could experience another mega-volcano event that casts the world into a sort of, ash-blown winter with little sunlight and seriously altered weather patterns which would seriously reduce any solar-sourced electrical output. It would seem that in those conditions, there wouldn't be much incentive for pleasure boating anyway. Not to mention the need to rearrange one's priorities towards mere survival. ;-)

    Right now, we live in the Age of Oil and to some lesser, derivative extent, the Age of Plastics. If there were any thinking that is worthwhile at present, it would need to address the long-term suitability of the activity (boating) into the next Great Age when the oil begins to run out.

    The door has swung wide open in the discussion for off-shoot threads addressing issues such as fresh water resources, population excess, global pollution hotspots, depleted sealife resources and all the other people pressure driven realities facing the human race into the next millenium.... But, I'm not going to touch those issues on this forum.

    I do have this idea for creating boat hulls from genetically engineered, super-sized gourds that could be grown in any climate of the planet...

    Chris
     
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  9. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Look to the Sci-Fi writters like Isaac Asimov to find out what kind of genetically grown life forms (ships?) we will have.
     
  10. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

  11. yipster
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    yipster designer

    hmm, first time i hear from this amsterdam hydrogen boat
    regular fuel cell techno and subsidised, sorta clean i guess
    what happened to the rubber boat plans for canal tourists :p
     
  12. kach22i
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    kach22i Architect

    Another article on the same effort:
    http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?page=news&newsid=14190
     
  13. jelfiser
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    jelfiser Senior Member

    very interesting kach ... i hope one day to make fuel on boat with hydrogen

    Unfortunatly renewable resoures aren' t competitive with petroleum for cost, that' s why the cost in therms of enviromental damage is never evaluated .
    we need politics for improving that kind of energy resouces .

    about way of producing hydrogen may be of some interest that research

    http://epmb.berkeley.edu:8080/facPage/dispFP.php?I=25

    P.s.
    Once I was told there was a simple way of moving boat using wind force....
    i don't remember .... may be .. sssei... s ah , yes Sails !!! :D
     
  14. Willallison
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Now we are REALLY getting somewhere.... wooden boats with sails!
    What will they think of next!?!:p
     

  15. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Really? You should have told us!

    And here I had it that you were a power boat dude, Will? ;-)

    This kind of thinking will get you tabbed with the dreaded, Retro Dude, title by one of the other guys on the Forum. It happened like that to Randy Hough and he's never been the same. This naming thing has real heft.

    On another note and to pick-up on what you are saying... I'd really like to see plywood get a facelift of sorts. It's more than clear that we can't just keep cutting down tropical forests unless we like the idea of running through the dark with scissors in our hands. I really would like to see a bamboo (or something like it) plywood for marine applications. That stuff grows so fast, is so strong and if we are lucky, can be made to be reasonably rot resistant without big prices or big added chemicals.

    So, yeah, let's start looking through the miracle fiber catalog for replacements for trees that typically take a long time to get to cutting size.
     
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