Which Software should i use

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Sipoka, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Sipoka
    Joined: Oct 2014
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    Sipoka New Member

    Hi I have been toying with the idea of designing a hull for a 1 man sailing dinghy for some time now it would just be for out on lakes or estuary and was hoping for some advice on which design software is right for just a small boat like that.
  2. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

    That would depend on how much you know about boat design. Sometimes it is best and easiest to work it out on paper.

    I like Freeships, but it wont design the boat for you.

  3. Karsten
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    Karsten Senior Member

    Freeship is great for creating complicated surfaces that look like a boat. It also calculates displacement and similar useful data for you. Unfortunately Freeship is not great for designing all the other bits and pieces of a boat.

    A very popular 3D design program is Rhino. You can import the hull from Freeship and then design all the other parts in Rhino. With a few tricks you get some very nice looking results.

    The big disadvantage of Rhino is that it is not a full blown solid modelling tool but it also is quite cost effective compared to those programs.
    For example if you want to drill a hole through a cube in Rhino you have to draw a circle on one surface, cut out the circle, extrude the circle to create the sides of the hole and then cut the opposite surface. With solid modelling software this would be reduced to a click on the surface and specifying a few parameters of the hole.
    Also in Rhino it is very labor intensive to change things around. For example if you want to move the hole you have to delete the surfaces you created and start from the beginning. With much more expensive software you just change the parameters of the hole and the new hole will be created for you.

    To sum it up you will have to invest some money. I haven't been able to find any reasonably usable free 3D software but I haven't looked for about a year. Unless you want to spent about 10k go with Rhino. It is well worth the investment. Freeship is for free as the name suggests. Use this instead of Delftship because in Delftship you have to pay to export surfaces in a useful format.
  4. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Unless you are very conversant with the intricacies of boat design, the best advice is; Don't!

    True, it would be fun to design your own boat but the fun is very likely to be diminished at the first launch. It would be well to eschew the computer programs and do it the old fashioned way with a large piece of drawing paper(several of them probably), splines, ducks, an accurate scale, and a hand held calculator.

    Better still to buy a set of plans from an acknowledged designer. You will save much grief and probably save money by building to a proven set of plans.

    Frank Smith, above, has made a profound statement; "it won't design the boat for you".
  5. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Rurudyne Senior Member

    While I love the relative ease which Delftship like programs can make attractive boat-like things I must say that with my drafting background I keep drifting back to Hull Form 9 (free at Blue Peter Marine, IIRC). It is an old program and wins no beauty awards, but with it you specify the actual points your hull cross sections pass through rather than control points that are near where the program draws the surface. I say this because drafting on paper with my Rapidograph technical pens actually kinda works that way and so Hull Form was at least intuitive to me where NURBS just wasn't for a while. [/shows age]

    Fairing a cross section with numerable offset points can be a bit tricky and requires patience but the key is to start from one end and work your way down (or bottom up) in as consistent a fashion as you can manage, then repeat top to bottom (or bottom up) as necessary, and necessary, and necessary. Personally I do not use the "lateral control points" -- setting them all at zero -- but only the "vertical control points" because this simplifies the adjustment balancing act and as consequence things are a bit more predictable. It's very visual and hard to describe in words though ... sorry. There's this graph on the edit sections page that when the ends match up forms a jagged line for control points that, never the less, indicates a fair line running through the offset points.

    On the "it won't design a boat" for you end that is just as true of this program as any others. It will permit you to force a heel or pitch angle, or both, to help test static situations which is nice and may be useful to help visualize how things like center of buoyancy, center of floatation, LWL etc shift as a boat is no longer level.

    As for examples to start in already available, if dated, plans you can get offsets from in the size you are talking about things like the Sea Mew or Sea Wren, both published a looooong time ago in The Rudder and which can be found as free PDFs on Google Books or to read on, IIRC, Hathitrust, come to mind. This magazine published many How to Build articles over the years and, while powerboats have certainly changed ... a lot, much of the old small sailing stuff still seems quite nice, at least to my eyes.
  6. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    You never got around to learning about Makehole then ?

    Attached Files:

  7. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    As stated in a few places - there is no such software for "designing a hull for a 1 man sailing dinghy .... for out on lakes or estuary "

    There are many software packages to draw up design ideas, but the problem of hull sizes, shapes, sailing performance, hydrostatics etc will have to be done in your head first.

    First question - what is it that the sailing dinghy you want cant be done by hundreds of cheap, proven designs ?
  8. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Designing anything is subject to your understanding of the concepts, principles and appropriate physics involved (hydrodynamics). Once well "armed" you can select from several software tools that can help your knowledge get applied to paper. As has been stated, no software exists to create a little solo boat, but there are many software packages that can make drawing one more "presentable" (straight lines, no pen smudges, smooth curves, etc.), be this on screen on paper.
  9. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Or maybe the History Command? Like how to alter curves aand auto reloft etc, etc. Or maybe even save certain surfaces/features and copy/paste them in?

    The software is a tool to get somewhere with your ideas. You need to understand the basics first to get the most of any design. The more boats you have been on/in and used in the widest possible sea and inland conditions the better. For all that, paper and pencil on a big (A0) drawing board is not a bad start especially if the (half) sections are full size. Just it gives a real world size relationship, which a screen does not. Very easy to be caught out, unless familiar with drafting.

  10. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

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