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Thursday, April 06, 2006

A Smart Design Makes for a Smoother and Easier Build

That I am convinced. Even moreso since attending the Professional Boatbuilder Exhibition in Seattle last week. There I talked to a number of composite material manufacturers like Alcan/Baltek and Nida-Core, as well as some local distributors of materials to the boatbuilding industry. Also, I attended a day long seminar describing the coming of the "total networked boat". It is not here now, but will be in the next couple years on a large scale production. We are talking the network integration of engine, house and navigation/infotainment systems. This stuff is really cool and makes so much more sense than traditional systems. We are definately considering this for the Westsail. Hardware is available NOW and more will become available. More details on that in a later post perhaps. So, more on design... Spent a lot of time on the drawings this week. With the floor timbers in, at their designed heights, we can get real measurements off the hull to make a final determination if the things we have in the drawing will "fit". This week we are focusing on the main salon. After going around and around on a few things, the final plans turns out very similar to the original. Primary difference: we want a dishwasher. It looks like we will have room for one of these with a couple inches to spare. To determine this I printed out the main salon plan in 1:1 scale tiled over several sheets of 24"x36" paper, then laid it out on the main salon floor. This helped me "walk through" the salon to get a feel for the size of things and make sure everything lines up properly. 3d Modeling... I am also playing with "Rhinoceros" 3d modelling software. It is pretty cool. I can get some nice 3d renderings of the interior with this software. More details on that later.