I thought I would offer up a 22ft hull for anyone who wants it (see attached picture, Rhino and ACAD files). I would appreciate if someone with experience of this size and type of design would comment on it. It is not my skill but rather that Rhino (that I used for this hull) is really good at making developable surfaces. Location: LA Developable surfaces Houndie check your version of Rhino, they had a bug un-rolling surfaces until release 3, SR3c. Location: LA 22 dev hull Jeff, I did a quick loft and un-rolled your bottom plate, see if your version of Rhino reads the attached file.
The increase in size when you develop a surface should not be a problem but I am no expert on this. I less suspect the accuracy of the computer expanded plates as much as the nature of hand building hulls without stiff jigs. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals.
Hull Design software I have designed a 4.9m cat on graph paper and I want to design it using CAD software. Location: Cudjoe Key Fl Tom, I went through this software thing for a number of years, and finally realized the only good boat design software is a large piece of paper and a sharp pencil! Location: Denmark Personally, I also prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, but I must admit that it is by no means better than using a computer - only slower! Software for small craft engineering is available, but probably not for craft of the size you mentioned. The price of $150,000 that BillB mentioned is ridiculus, but you must be prepared to spend up to a couple of thousand, though (I should mention here that there are free- and shareware available, too - search for Hullform or PolyCad).
Location: MX Hi Tom, Bill is correct up to some degree, be sure of what you are looking for (or what you want to achive with the software results wise), this softwares are usefull but they are not magic boxes that you ask and they respond, so one quick response could be prosurf and rhino, it has worked for me, and they do most of what i need, this is for hull shape and interior detailing, other good one is hullform and rhino, hullform the pro version is quite complete, it may be little bit harder to use IMO, and again this is for hull fairing and lofting, stability (initial with rhino and prosurf) and complete with hullform, other people will be able to give you their opinions. Location: Perth, Western Australia I have to comment regarding Bill's statements about the high cost and complexity of modern CAD systems.
Similarly, Maxsurf was the system of choice of 7 out of 10 of the syndicates involved in the 2003 America's Cup. I do not disagree that designing with pen and paper is a perfectly valid way of creating a hull shape, but it is slow, difficult to calculate volumetric properties, and inherently inaccurate, requiring the additional step of full sized lofting to create accurate lines to build from. Rather than imposing a fixed style on designs, I would argue that computer aided design methods have resulted in a greater degree of artistic freedom in the design of hulls and superstructures, particularly on luxury yachts that have gone from relatively simple shapes 20 years ago to a wide variety of more organic shapes, made possible by powerful surface modelling software. The pic below, a design by Brett Bakewell-White of New Zealand, is a good example, initially modelled in Maxsurf with further detailing and rendering in Vellum 3D.
I must mention again, there is a BIG difference between Design software and Engineering software.
Back to the reality of designing craft under 100 feet, which are considered small craft by all marine architects, sure one can figure out what size screws to use by eye, or state what thickness the bulkhead skins should be but I have never seen any Boat Styling software come close to doing this.
As far as pencil and paper and clay models, this has worked for a hundred years, and is 100% accurate.
On the contrary, Fastship has a relatively small number of integrated tools compared to Maxsurf.

On the other hand, the Maxsurf suite consists of many well integrated applications using common files and a common user interface, all developed by my company, Formation Design Systems. Like Fastship, we rely on programs such as ShipCam for downstream structural design and production, as this is an area that we consider to be outside our area of expertise, however Fastship has no equivalent to our preliminary structural design program, Workshop.
I should also correct the impression you give that Maxsurf is for small craft and Fastship is for big ships. Location: Cudjoe Key Fl Andrew, now that is the reply Tom is looking for, among the rest of us! You may want to consider drawing and fairing your hull in a CAD program, not a hull design program. It is simple and rather straight, 16deg deadrise, outboard hull with developable surfaces (plywood or alu). I made an effort to use low degree curves to create the surfaces thereby it is easier to keep them fair. Also, you cannot fair control points on the surface membrane stretched between two curves without making it non-developable. Saying its a cone is a little simplistic, see the graphic where I projected the side shell past the chine and sheer of my deeper vee hull. The deviation should be absorbed by most manufacturing process tolerance, I would guess even if you used a CNC machine. The bow waterlines could be slimmed by moving the forefoot aft or a more gradual turn up from the keel. Such assembly precludes the attainment of the tolerance of the NC cut parts during field assembly. I understand it will take a while to design it on CAD but I am deternined to design the catamaran using CAD software.
And there is the added benefit that the software can do the calculations for you (hydrostatics, stability etc.) much, much faster than if done by hand.
The only reason why I'm considering purchasing CAD software is because all the most successful companies in the world, whether it is to do with yachts or to do with cars are using Cad software. Maxsurf costs as little as $700, yet was used to design the hull shape of Mirabella, the world's largest single masted yacht. Each one of these syndicates could afford to choose whatever software they liked, and in many cases they were sponsored by major CAD vendors, yet they chose to pay full retail price for Maxsurf. As a result, few of todays professional designers still do things by hand, and more and more use computer systems such as Maxsurf, and are more than satisfied with the results.
Maxsurf and the like, are fine programs for small craft, and making beautiful displays, BUT they don't ENGINEER the boat! Remember you the draftsman are creating the exact cut lines this way, the computer is always off by some. Proteus, the authors of Fastship, rely on GHS (by Creative Systems) for their hydrostatics and stability, NavCad (by Hydrocomp) for their resistance and propulsion, the US Navy SMP program for their seakeeping analysis, and ShipCam (by Albacore Research) for detailed structural design. Maxsurf is used by shipyards of all sizes, including installations in 5 of the biggest shipyards in Japan - Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Kawasaki, IHI and Sumitomo. Admittedly, in Maxsurf you can set the tolerance to which curves are calculated, and the default is 0.2mm.

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I still draw the basic shapes by hand and transfer them using points into Ashlar-Vellum Graphite ($995). Also the surfaces are of degree 1x4 (using 2x5 control points) which is key to make them easily developable. The expanding plate question is a good one, I have done a lot of large aluminum hulls and do not provide shell plate geometry.
Software that they have actually developed from scratch in-house consists of Fastship and Maestro, their excellent structural analysis package.
The enclosed photo is one of the most recent vessels constructed using Maxsurf and Workshop, one of the largest container ships afloat. If you think you can cut and build more accurately, you can always set the tolerance finer.
The best way to process a developable plate hull is to fair the sheer, and chine (or chine to keel), loft a surface between the two and leave it alone. When I did this edge extension to yours it twisted which is ok as long as those lay lines don't twist or intersect within the section of the plate you are trying to un-roll. I have experience with computers but have only used very basic design software before for other reasons. So if these companies that have turnovers of ?500 million, then they must be doing something right!
Any SHIP BUILDING software costs many thousands of dollars simply because in itself, it is huge.
I am not using the software to design a 80ft yacht, I would be using it to design a 4.9m catamaran. When it looks good on screen, I plot it out on D size paper and take a long hard look at it, just as I would by hand. I have seen many designers try to get flair into the bow of a developable hull since they appear to bow out.
I calculate the areas of the hull sections using the 2D Analysis tool, then I input the areas, waterline halfbreadths and vertical centers of the areas into a spreadsheet to calculate the hydrostatics. Its just due to the bow shape being a portion of a cone, which is single curvature and the only surface it will accept to create flat patterns. I would like to hear others opinions about how much luck they have had with building from a computer shell expansion.
I just want a hull design software that will let me produce a professional hull shape with no major problems, but I don't want to spend thousands on the most high tech software out there. This works fine for small boats and you have the CAD program to detail the rest of the boat, which is really the bulk of the design anyway.

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