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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. When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. This item will be sent through the Global Shipping Programme and includes international tracking. Items delivered internationally may be subject to customs processing depending on the item's declared value. Seller has stated it will dispatch the item within 1 working day upon receipt of cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. Will usually dispatch within 1 working day of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Hull Designer is a simple, interactive, visual 3-d hull design Windows program for modeling and developing panels for hard chine construction.
This tutorial is very usefull for designing your own boat and even for redesigning other boats according to their boat plans which you can find in the DIY Boat Plans for Boat Building guide.
Be careful not to open the Hulls generated .dxf file – if you do that you’ll get a 2d line drawing, not the 3d segments.
Thanks to Rick Malagodi for providing this great tutorial and a wonderful boating page you can see here. When at rest, a surfers weight is borne entirely by the buoyant force (also depending on how much beer you drank the night before). At low speeds every hull acts as a displacement hull, meaning that the buoyant force is mainly responsible for supporting the surfer. A fluid flowing (water) past the surface of a body (surfer + surfboard) exerts surface force on it. In contrast, the buoyant force decreases as the hull lifts out of the water decreasing the displaced volume. This is the reason that surfboards with lots of rocker need more speed and their no rocker cousins scream across the water.
The major difference between a planing surfboard hull and a displacement hull is the way in which the surfboard travels through the water. At high speeds a displacement hull’s tail will sink down lower and lower as a result of the “hole” created in the water as the surfboard moves forward.


A planing hull, on the other hand, will have a flat or concave bottom contour and plane up on top of the water. Displacement hulls push through the water as they have no hydrodynamic lift, or the surfboard does not rise out of the water as speed increases. The hull design (shape) does not limit the maximum attainable speed but does affect the power required for it to get on plane (on top of the water). Semi-displacement or semi-planing hulls have features of both planing and displacement hulls. There is not one hull design characteristic that differentiates semi-displacement from semi-planing hull. The greater the hydrodynamic lift and higher the hull design speed the more likely it will be referred to as a semi-planing hull.
I came across this blog post by Steven Mast of Mast Surfboards and it is an excellent discussion of the topic. Old, soft edged boards are the same, as are any true displacement hulls being produced today. Now I’m sure I’ll get some flak for this, but displacement hulls, by their very nature, are not as fast as planing hulls (editors note: .
Another thing I’ll take flak for, and I’m saying it anyway, Greg Liddle did not invent the displacement hull surfboard. All displacement hulls, although arguably not “modified transitional displacement hulls”, whatever that means. I (even after researching and writing it) have to reread it sometimes to understand it too. I am totally with you on this, my experience is that a board reacts differently in a turn vs. Putting an edge on a tail does not automatically turn the board into a PH—totally agree. All surfboards (regardless of the intentions, theories, or fantasies of their designers) plane on the wave face. Most simmons hulls I see are single concave, but I spoke to a guy in the water who was riding one with a v hull.
Location: England Carlson Design Hull Designer This one seems to be coming out on top of your poll for best low cost boat design software. My main objective is to develope the hull and side panels of three existing hulls from half breadths and heights so I can scale and tweak them to build them in plywood composite. 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. User ID - guest, password - guest) and you can access our FAQ, manuals, and tutorials for all programs. I still draw the basic shapes by hand and transfer them using points into Ashlar-Vellum Graphite ($995). Estimated delivery dates - opens in a new window or tab include seller's dispatch time, and will depend on postal service selected. Find out more about your rights as a buyer - opens in a new window or tab and exceptions - opens in a new window or tab. Contact the seller- opens in a new window or tab and request a postage method to your location. Delivery times may vary, especially during peak periods and will depend on when your payment clears - opens in a new window or tab. By using it you are able to find Center of Boyancy, Center of Lateral Area, Length Waterline, and righting moment (pitched or heeled) among other calculations. This design does not ride high on the water like a planing hull, instead plowing through and parting the water.


There are displacement hulls, planing hulls and as usually is the case, some variant of the two. The very nature of the release provided by that edge, by definition puts that board into planing mode. As soon as they get going, the tail end of the board starts submarining and they can literally walk to the nose and go.
As soon as you put an edge at the tail, you release the water and the board begins to plane.
They may “feel” faster in a section, but without the release, they are constantly dragging more than a sharp edged board would. He refined it to an amazing degree, made it work in a short package, championing it when it was completely against the trends of the time, but have you ever seen a Weber Foil? But i still don’t understand the general accepted theory that as soon as you put an edge on the tail it turns into a planing hull.
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. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. You can also create patterns for stem, stern, bulkheads, up to 10 chines, and up to 8 frames for construction. Open the Crossroads generated .dxf file into your AutoCad and there you have the 3d version of your Hulls design. It contrasts with the drag force, which is the component of the surface force parallel to the flow direction. Think of an ocean liner moving through the deep ocean versus a speed boat racing around a lake. The modern surfboard, most “hulls” included, balance these principles to achieve the desired effect or feel. On the contrary, I think his boards are brilliant and have been a huge design influence for me. A displacement hull works more by pushing the water around it’s hull and through the rails and tail, where as a planing hull works more by channeling the water directly through the hull.
Put the spoon face up (like a v-hull), and the curvature of the spoon allows it to wobble effortlessly. 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.
A displacement hull has a theoretical hull speed, above which the water actually sucks the hull deeper into the water (I’m simplifying here).
The feeling of a well balance hull is one of the great pleasures of surfing that most people fail to credit.
A small amount of edge in the tail of a displacement hull will not convert the entire board, it will still act as a DH. 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.
Surfing one well takes a different approach, especially if you are stepping off a thruster.
If you were going for a hard back foot turn with little else board in the water than the tail only then you could call that planing, otherwise it would still feel and act like a DH majority of the time. 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. At anything above the theoretical hull speed, the boat begins to submarine, actually being pulled deeper into the water.



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