one time many designers had research and development projects that were quite
varied, and if they owned or were closely associated with a yard they also did
some prototype development. With changes in tax laws, R & D have
progressed at glacial speed. Typical research projects were measurements of
rolling and pitching in a seaway, wave slope versus stability, experiments
with different diameters and pitch propellers on the same hull, reduction of
vibration, and a host of other projects to enable us to design and build
better vessels. At times we also compared models of different shapes, towing
them simultaneously in smooth and rough water. Crude? Yes it was; however, for
just a few dollars, by making a slow 3600 turn in open water, we
could observe more of the behavior of the model in natural seas than could be
obtained from multiple runs in a towing tank with simulated waves costing
thousands of dollars. When we needed resistance and other critical
information, we went to the tank, especially when the contract had penalties
and bonuses based on speed, fuel consumption, and other things computed during
the trial runs of the vessel.
most of this is simulated on a computer and much of the input is based on
unverifiable assumptions and as, the saying goes “garbage in garbage out”
is fact not fiction. I have yet to sail in a sea such as those generated by a
computer.The ones I seem to
encounter are confused, more often than not, and the swell, wind wave, and
current are crossing each other. Perhaps I have found a new ocean? The same
goes for any other problem, be it via a computer or slide rule, for when a
statement is made “we assume this and that” the result will be garbage.
of the other fields that designers are involved with include:
1.The preparation of drawings for publication to illustrate historical research done by others.
2.Hydrodynamic analysis of certain types of vessels as an aid in selecting a rational approach for
designing and constructing a replica.
3.Preparation of working drawings based on the lines taken from a half
4.Advising on technical language used by novelists.
6.Plans and contract reviews.
my own case, I also design and have manufactured anchors for sailing and ocean
voyaging vessels. The picture shows four 45# anchors ready for shipment
to a schooner and a junk. These anchors will grab and hold in most bottoms. It
must be remembered that a sailing vessel has but one chance with the anchor;
otherwise, it not only has to retrieve the anchor under sail but also fall
off, tack, or wear around in order to make another attempt.
have not been able to comprehend the idea and practice of designing and
building of supposed replicas where the only similarity is the profile and the
deck outline. Invariably a cut-down rig is substituted. All these changes are
done under the guise of that was the way it should have been done or, after
all, we have to meet the Coast Guard regulations. If the original were
successful, who is to say in hindsight that it ought to be changed and how it
should be changed?I have
difficulty also in accepting the idea of throw-away boats and engines that are
encouraged by our tax laws. This encourages lack of maintenance and cutting
corners in construction and the use of engines not as robust as they should
be. This also encourages the regulators to dream up more regulations. There
have been more regulations passed and enforced during the past 30 years than
the total dreamed up in the previous 300 years. I was brought up with the
notion that what you build to the best of your ability today will still be
serviceable for your grandchildren.