Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 02-05-2006, 07:21   #46
Registered User

Join Date: May 2006
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 3
Hi Steve,
Probably you should contact Wubbo Ockels (yes the astronaut) in The Netherlands. He is currently working on a project called Ecolution: a sail-by-wire yacht of 77 foot. All technology should be redundant, and it must be possible to sail it with two people.
He teamed up with 2 shipyards (Marvis en No Limit Ships). The design is by the famous Gerard Dijkstra. The county of Groningen subsidises the development by donating 40.000 euros.
The dutch yachting magazine "Zeilen" (www.zeilen.com) recently featured a story in the paper edition.
__________________

__________________
JanPeter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 15:24   #47
CF Adviser
 
Intentional Drifter's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Pac NW
Boat: Boatless, for now, Cat enthusiast
Posts: 1,283
Sometimes, stuff just happens. For example, one of the finest yachts made, an Oyster 72, dismasted in the 2005 ARC.

http://www.maxingout.com/captainslogarchive26.htm

While obtaining a new mast and getting it stepped and rigged will never be an inexpensive proposition, I have to think it would be easier than what these people had to do.

ID
__________________

__________________
Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
Intentional Drifter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2006, 15:49   #48
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tasmania
Boat: VandeStadt IOR 40' - Insatiable
Posts: 2,317
Images: 91
I have a friend who recently acquired a Swn 65' (lucky man). He is in the process of refitting, after which, he and his wife intend to operate it as a charter boat. As far as I know, they intend to have only 2 crew. They are certainly happy to sail it 2-up. Of course, it has all the bells and whistles - everything that opens, shuts or beeps, but even so, it is an awful lot of boat!

I should, however, add the caveat that my friend has a Master3 ticket and his wife is just about to get her Master5 ticket...so they have a fair idea of what they are doing.
__________________
Weyalan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 02:34   #49
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Currently based near Jacksonville FL; WHOOSH's homeport is St. Pete, FL USA
Boat: WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 591
Steve, just so you know we can be on the same page, I couldn't agree with you more about the Bonanza being anything but 'twitchy'. 'Rock Solid' comes to mind. (It's those Doctor/Dentist infrequent fliers, don't you know...)

You are struggling to accept the variability in reliability of shipboard systems for smaller vessels. As I said in my first post, using aviation as an intellectual scaffold from which to deduce what to expect in larger, complex recreational boats can be very misleading and systems reliability is a good example.

In reality, commercial aviation products aside, boat manufacturing & systems in the size range we're discussing and general aviation manfacturing are in one sense similar in scope. Discounting the blooming self-build industry, the similarities are that they are both cottage industries. A few manufacturers exsit for each major system (powerplant, electronics, airframe re: GA aircraft; hulls, spars, major electronicsj, stabilizers, etc. for larger recreational boats). However, the former industry is stiffly regulated WRT both manufacturing and maintenance. There are loopholes and loose practices along with much bureaucracy in the GA fleet but generally speaking its an industry where safety, engineering and proven technology shapes the GA experience. One level up from that is the aviation infrastructure in much of the First World, where weather is monitored, traffic separation is available and flights are (almost always) shaped to avoid weather systems because the aircraft's speed vs. the front's speed lies in the a/c's favor.

None of this is true in recreational boating, where every larger vessel is a 'one off', where naval architects may not even have any formal schooling beyond a correspondence course, where mandatory design standards and engineering practices often to not exist, where there are no mandatory service requirements nor formal maintenance certification called for...and you can guess what I'd say about being at sea, moving slow, and where the only way to control the ship is via its systems. The two - aviation and offshore boating - may look from a distance to be similar, or at least insofar as one being the basis for extrapolation to the other, but they are as similar as cheese and chalk.

BTW I'm in a shipyard at the moment, which is a fascinating place in general tho' this one has both commercial and recreational workloads and so it's doubly so. I really wish I could offer you a cup of coffee and a stroll around the yard. There's a lot of heavy metal here plus numerous fiberglass sailboats, they each have a story, there's not a one that doesn't suffer from some form of major grief, and I know it would be both fun and interesting for us both to share the walk.

Re: MTBF and reliability, it occurs to me there is one iconoclastic group of boat builders that we haven't specifically mentioned to you and, within what's reasonable to expect from high labor, non-regulated manufacturing practices, they perhaps come closest to what you're looking for. These are companies that have been founded by individual single-minded entrepreneurs who, thru-out the various divestiture/acquistion cycles in business, have held onto their businesses, had firm ideas about the engineering and build practices necessary, and have ended up producing boats that are consistently successful in the marketplace but only by occupying niche markets - they are definitely not cookie-cutter builders. Two that spring to mind based on your previously stated posts and possible goals are Amel (French) and Hallberg Rassy (Swedish). Two others, smaller and lesser known, are Malo and Najad (both Swedish). I would add Contest (Dutch) to this list except the current organization is newly formed and so not the Contest (Conyplex) that earned the original reputation. Having said that, however, it's the same workers and that says a lot. All these boats are built by strong-willed, somewhat iconoclastic sailors (not just businessmen) who sail their own boats across oceans, are high quality products offering sophisticated high-quality components and systems, and deserve their repsected reputation (at least IMO). None of them are problem free, they all have weaknesses that are a function of a small builder only being able to house so many skill sets, and they are all equipped with systems dependent on many individual components assembled by mere mortals...but that's just the nature of life, I'm afraid. You might look at a few of these products and see what you think...altho' I still hope you'll do so while also viewing that Nordhavn.<g>

Jack
__________________
WHOOSH, Pearson 424 Ketch
http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/WhooshSection.htm
Euro Cruiser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 03:50   #50
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,579
Images: 240
Sailboats are not Aircraft. It might be illustrative, of the vast differences between Aircraft & Yachts, to examine cost per unit weight* - where a small (GA) used airplane might run something on the order of 10 times the “per pound” cost of a similar vintage sailboat.

* A couple of 1974 models:
2800 Lb. Cessna 180 - over $100,000 (upwards of $35/Lb)
9600 Lb C&C 32 - over $30,000 (upwards of $3.25/Lb)
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 04:08   #51
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 192
also compare the maintenance schedule of an aircraft v. that of a boat. And the fact that a boat can be in on passage for months at a time, versus hours for a plane.
__________________
Moby Dick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 13:02   #52
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 23
I am not comparing boats to airplanes; rather I am voicing an opinion that the up time reliability on boats and boat systems is quite short in relation to other industrial segments. A hydraulic system on a machine tool in production runs three shifts a day; let’s say it cycles a thousand times an hour, if that required major repairs every few years it would be outrageous. On one hand the boat is working 24 hours a day every day on the other the hand, the cycle times are low relative to other industries using similar equipment. Environmental factors are certainly in play on a boat, but the conditions alone don’t explain many seemingly premature failures.

What I am trying to express is; that with the technology we have today these thing should perform better, in the 1970’s we accepted that a car would last 100 thousand miles on average. Would anyone today deem a car lasting 100 thousand miles a reliable car? The “science” in boat engineering sounds more like Kentucky windage then empirical data. Small boats are not built to any standards; do some builders follow IMO certification requirements like ABS or Lloyds? Building a vessel that weight 20 or more tons with up to10-20 souls on board ought to be a bit more structured. Naval architecture may be unregulated but structural and systems engineering is rather black and white. This reminds me more of the housing industry then any other form of transportation; you select a builder and take your chances, from pre-fab to ultra custom.

I find it interesting that during these many refits folks just replace what they had, albeit with newer equipment but not looking at improving the ultimate results. Or that others forsake systems to achieve a perceived reliability that may or may not be valid. I have been reading several sailing logs on the Dashew’s web site; young couples built a 56’ boat and choose not to install any refrigeration. While I admire their spirit I don’t agree with that logic. The idea that anything mechanical or automated is just a failure waiting to happen is in my view a Chicken Little outlook. Having all the bells and whistles is not for everyone however; they can monitor and perform rote tasks that free the crew of trivial duties. Along these lines I am not advocating disregard for oversight, having a checklist of levels and values to confirm on a scheduled basis. Cost considerations are a major factor in the equipment we select and the compromises we tolerate, with this in mind, where would you have made other choices if you could do it all over?

It seems that many of you are reluctant to embrace systems that could greatly reduce the workload under way because they may break. That is a valid concern only if the systems offer no redundancy. Using hydraulic sail handling gear as an example; all offer some form of mechanical backup and most have more then one power source and control point. Cost consideration aside why would you eschew a resource like this? Would you buy a car with out power steering or air conditioning because they may not be as reliable as vehicle without these features? The same question could be asked of a whole boat power monitoring system; while it could fail, during the time it is functioning it performs all the mundane tasks you assigned it. I agree that adding layers of complexity do add risks they also offer real benefits that may far outweigh the negatives in the big picture.

Jack; I would enjoy kicking tires at that yard with you; I will take a look at the boats you mentioned. As for the Nordhaven I am still having a hard time seeing myself driving a trawler J

Steve
__________________
Capnlindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 13:42   #53
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
I am voicing an opinion that the up time reliability on boats and boat systems is quite short in relation to other industrial segments.
Name any other "other idustrial segment" imersed in salt water and subjected to the large large forces of a sail boat under normal use that lasts longer with less service required.

Quote:
I find it interesting that during these many refits folks just replace what they had, albeit with newer equipment but not looking at improving the ultimate results.
Specifically what do you refer to? What did you see and what should have been done? You make the claim that they have acted improperly.

Quote:
It seems that many of you are reluctant to embrace systems that could greatly reduce the workload under way because they may break. That is a valid concern only if the systems offer no redundancy. Using hydraulic sail handling gear as an example; all offer some form of mechanical backup and most have more then one power source and control point.
OK, what is the mechanical backup for a hydraulic winch and what would be the alternate power source? More than that what is the non alternate power source?

Quote:
Cost consideration aside why would you eschew a resource like this?
OK, cost considerations aside - it wouldn't fit inside my boat nor could I supply the hydraulic pump the power required. In the real world cost consderations are never an aside.

Quote:
I agree that adding layers of complexity do add risks they also offer real benefits that may far outweigh the negatives in the big picture.
Cosider sailing as a pleasurable pass time (the bigger picture). Consider the service requirements of the "real benefts" (negatives to the big picture). Consider the costs of the benefits (more negatives). Consider the extra weight, power and storage requirements (bigger boat).

What I seek is a point that maximizes the "bigger picture". Adding more benfits is no assurance that the bigger picture has got any better.

There are many that would say that the less is more approach yields the bigger picture. To require less is to have more time.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 16:20   #54
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pblais
Name any other "other idustrial segment" imersed in salt water and subjected to the large large forces of a sail boat under normal use that lasts longer with less service required.
I'd have to agree with this - I think the captain is underestimating the effect of a harsh environment on maintenace and longevity and reliability. GA aircraft systems, for example, are bounced around as much or more than marine systems, but they aren't in a constantly wet and corrosive environment.

On the other hand, to continue the aircraft comparison, marine systems also aren't likely built with reliability being as important a concern, since most failures aren't as likely to put the people on board in immediate peril in comparison to failures on an aircraft.

Additionally, compromises in design would have to made in consideration of weight. A redundant system or an overengineered system is going to be heavier than a single system or one engineered closer to minimum requirements. The extra weight would compromise the overall performance of a boat.

A better reliability comparison might be with RV systems. Most items aren't life-or-death critical, and so they aren't as reliable. If GA aircraft were built with as many convenience and comfort features as the average RV or cruising sailboat (refrigeration, generator power for TVs and stereos, cooktop, oven, microwave), those features probably wouldn't be much more reliable than they are on boats or RVs.

I once heard someone in construction say he could give a customer any two of fast, good, and inexpensive, but not all three. You can probably also build many things to be any two of lightweight, reliable, and inexpensive.

Having said all that, I have to say also that this has been one of the more interesting threads I've followed in the last few weeks. Great posts by all.
__________________
JGarrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 16:37   #55
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Galveston
Boat: C&C 27
Posts: 724
A couple of notes. Most commercial boats do have specific production requirements to be legal in the United States and are provided by the US Coast Guard. For home built boats to be legal in many states they must be safety inspected by some state agency, for example the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department here in Texas. Beyond that individual manufacturers use Lloyds, etc for standards.

As for performance, especially comparing boats made in different years, one of the big problems in the industry is that old boats often perform better than later models. An example would be the C&C 27 which killed two or three later C&C models because they just were not a significant improvement. Performance is measured in so many ways with a boat that "improvements" are meaningful in depenence on the user. Many boats (even crusiers) were built to specific racing rules and those rules will have an effect in how well the boat performs. On the durability front I challenge anyone to pick on the Westsail 32 hull. It was grossly overbuilt. Buying a similar hull today would cost a significant amount of money because the cost of resin is so high relative to 1972. That is one illustration of how a manufacturer may have built a more durable component in the past than they do today. If a builder's customers are looking for a big boat to do some minor harbor hopping they will build down to that spec to improve the price. The reasons why boats and components are better or worse at different periods has a lot to do with changes in performance requirements and materials markets.

Finally this may not be practical but sailors have an understanding that cruising is repairing our boats in exotic ports. We expect every thing on the boat to break, right or wrong. It is not if but when. Roller furling has been around a long time but it was slow to catch on. It took several decades of development before everyone agreed that roller furling was better than hanked on sails. There may be better devices to make sailing easier but after getting caught with a jammed roller furler (read any gear/any problem) in a bad blow many people are just really conservative.
__________________
Pura Vida is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 16:47   #56
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 341
Send a message via Skype™ to gosstyla
Steve, here is another site I think you may find interesting:
http://www.runningtideyachts.com
__________________
gosstyla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2006, 18:39   #57
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 23
Again you all have been very thought provoking in your responses.

I will address Paul’s questions first and again I am not comparing boats to aviation or more specifically GA in my questions rather generally expected life limits of machinery and equipment.

Name any other "other idustrial segment" imersed in salt water and subjected to the large large forces of a sail boat under normal use that lasts longer with less service required.

I am not saying environmental factors are not an issue but in comparing say Supply Boats to sail boats they have about a 20 life span and work daily. No they are not sail boats but they do live in the same conditions and operate in less than ideal conditions. While I agree the salt water is a major factor in this there are materials and methods to combat the effects of the ocean.

OK, what is the mechanical backup for a hydraulic winch and what would be the alternate power source? More than that what is the non alternate power source?

Hydraulic winches do have mechanical cranks as backups. Just because the winch powered doesn’t mean it has no redundancy or means to be used manually. An alternate power source could be an engine driven pump or a generator driven pump or another power-pack or any combination of these. The system can be a simple or complex as you choose. I would ideally use two power-packs and either an engine or gen aux pump. The control stations are usually duplicated in at least one many times two or more locations.

OK, cost considerations aside - it wouldn't fit inside my boat nor could I supply the hydraulic pump the power required. In the real world cost consderations are never an aside.

Perhaps your boat is too small to use hydraulic systems; you could use electric in that case a battery bank would work in conjunction with a charging system. Cost is a factor in what we buy; but is also part of the ultimate value that product offers. On a small boat with manageable forces any boosted systems may be overkill on a larger boat even one small enough to work manually a powered system may be desirable to other users at a much higher price. The value is that the whole boat is worth more because it has this feature. You may argue the merit of this yourself but others may covet it and pay dearly for it.

Cosider sailing as a pleasurable pass time (the bigger picture). Consider the service requirements of the "real benefts" (negatives to the big picture). Consider the costs of the benefits (more negatives). Consider the extra weight, power and storage requirements (bigger boat).

Sailing should be a pleasurable experience and the bigger picture in my view is to reduce the load on the crew to enable that aspect of sailing to be meaningful. Using automation, System monitoring and powered controls allow the people sailing to do all the critical tasks and make the correct decisions without being consumed by rote tasks that are easily monitored and controlled. How many sailors would depart on a long cruise without some form of autopilot or wind helm. How many would even consider having a boat without an automatic bilge pump? The things I am talking about while not presently must have in sailing will over time become generally accepted like the autopilot and bilge pump.

What I seek is a point that maximizes the "bigger picture". Adding more benfits is no assurance that the bigger picture has got any better.


This is part of what I wrote above. While you see no benefit to any of this remember the days before GPS or Loran or even Omega. The Biggest Picture is this, removing time robbing routine tasks that can be conducted by simple commands using technology we have today that is mature and proven reduces the stress and fatigue level on each crew member and gives these same people more time to perform meaning tasks, sleep better and longer, eat in a more relaxed environment and reducing the physical strain. All these factors and many more contribute to a fresher crew that is more able to deal with factors they can’t control like weather, sea conditions, and most importantly emergencies.

There are many that would say that the less is more approach yields the bigger picture. To require less is to have more time.

The minimalist approach is fine if that is what you want, I am not saying my way is the only way or the right way. Toss the engine, batteries, generator, radios, GPS and, refrigerators and get back to roots sailing. Sitting at the horse latitudes for days or weeks at a time and wondering what storm looms over the horizon. You can sail to anywhere in the world on a 20’ boat with nothing more than a sextant, charts and, dry food, everything else is just fluff. Would anyone here care to do a cruise under these conditions?

With regard to some other comments; first RV’s are a good comparison in many ways and I did refer to them earlier. The RV market is so broad but in the upper end of the market they have been doing a similar transformation to what I am talking about. Manufactures using chassis and drivelines from heavy trucks and passenger buses to build RV’s that only a few years ago would have been unheard of. The RV power management systems are what I thought of when talking about this in boats. While they may not be bullet proof they are rather reliable and cheap enough to double up for redundancy on board a boat. Most of the things I have mentioned are not pie in the sky they are working in other places day in day out. Perhaps no one has yet to make the connection to the small boat market.

I do enjoy the discussion here very much. You guys keep telling me why it can’t be done and I will try to tell you how it could be done easily and reliably.

Steve
__________________
Capnlindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2006, 05:07   #58
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
How many would even consider having a boat without an automatic bilge pump? The things I am talking about while not presently must have in sailing will over time become generally accepted like the autopilot and bilge pump.
I would agree with the above as they have over time found a permanent place on most boats mine included. There are limits and the fact that they take time to become accepted has as much to do with the item design and cost as it does with the idea of usng it in the foirst place. It is fortunate we work that way. You have to know how to use them, maintain them, and pay for them. They do carry responsibilities at some level no matter what they are or what they do. Nothing on a boat can be installed and forgotten.

For me electric power is a precious supply that is difficult to make in large quantities or quickly. Devices that might save effort but use power have a negative side effect. If I incease my power consumpption I have to replenish the supply. The process to do that requires effort and increased support apperatus and cost. For the most part it means more fuel but it also means running the engine. I already have a wind generator and a solar panel and adding a second solar pannel would be good but the space required to do has other issues too. The passive power I can make is small compared to the total amount I use but it can stretch an anchorage a few days in favorable wind conditions. It's the best balance I can come up with.

I don't want to spend any time repairing and maintaining a generator or the increased cost and space required. By my conservation I can be fine the way I am and spend less time being a slave to my increased technology. If I were to invest in lower power consumption I could in fact gain a great deal. From my point of view adding devices that require more electric power has no real return unless it uses a very small amount of power and requirres a tiny space to store and little to maintain at a low cost. It has to meet all the criteria not just some. Your solutions give up on as many as they address.

The one concession I have made is an electric windlass. It's my electric winch. If I put all the chain in te water with the hook it's about 400 lbs. Here on the Chesapeake the bottom is quite often a sticky and smelly black mud. Pulling in the rode and cleaning it off isn't an easy job and the windlass is used with joy. So in that case I have found the balance. It runs for only a few minutes while the engine is engaged and it's done. I could use it for other creative purposes but so far have not. That being said it's had it's downsides as well. The gypsy bit me last year and the orignal owner failed to install it properly and I failed to seriously double check it. It added a lot of expense in repairs as well as trtime to complete the repairs. It's not something I would choose te repeat evenm if it has benefits.

Quote:
I do enjoy the discussion here very much. You guys keep telling me why it can’t be done and I will try to tell you how it could be done easily and reliably.
Not everything that can be done needs to be done. You say it can be done easily and reliably. I gaurd that it can lead to greater expense and more work. I think you tend extoll the benfits quickly without the depth of the consequences and requirements. You could sell used automobiles for a living.

Sailing really is mostly about showing up. The more you show up the more you get. There are many ways to get there. If you find a way you need to avail yourself.

Quote:
I do enjoy the discussion here very much. You guys keep telling me why it can’t be done and I will try to tell you how it could be done easily and reliably.
That really is what Cruisers Forum is about. Talking about sailing is what we do best here and a lot of people can join in the fun. I'm not hearing much that is easy or reliable yet.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 14:04   #59
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 23
Paul and everyone following this thread.

I don’t know how to take the used car salesman reference. You are telling me how you feel about your own situation, which is fine we all have our own limits and restrictions. Not withstanding your own needs the idea of using monitors and labor saving devices are possible and practical. Remember this idea of using technology is not based on the needs of a small in this context under 40’ blue water cruiser. Smaller boats don’t have the space or capability to adopt these kinds of systems, a good battery bank is a big part of the whole picture. While cruising and living aboard may be two different kinds of uses for a single boat; having a large enough boat minimizes the compromises of each demand. Using labor saving systems also make it much more manageable under most conditions in all modes of use. Never installing something because it can fail is a poor excuse, in most cases you merely revert back to the “good old days”.

The idea that a basic boat with few systems is the way to go is based on the gear used and designed for small boats. Like RV’s most of these systems are made and sold by a small number of vendors who specialize in this field. That these are the only options may be true on a small boat however, that is not valid on a larger boat. Having a larger canvas allows you to paint a bigger picture; drawing conclusions based on small boats limits are unfounded. There are many commercially available items and products that could provide reliability and economy in boats, some are too large in scale for small boats and some would need to modified for the marine environment but they are workable.

Ignoring other points of view because they don’t tow the party line stifles innovation and discussion on out of the box thinking. I don’t expect everyone to have the same viewpoint I have about boats and what they should or shouldn’t have. I originally asked about supper sized boats and while this has come a long way from that topic; the thoughts I submit are still based on a rather large boats in general. I know that mechanical and electronics devises break and need attention on regular basis. I am also aware of the quality of life they bring and accept their limits of reliability. People have lived for thousands of years before we harnessed electricity and exploited mechanics to the degree we have in the last hundred years or so. We have become accustom to these even dependent on them for survival. Boats have changed profoundly over the last hundred or so years as well. I remember seeing a Herreshoff schooner as a kid thinking it was huge, today the interior of a 36-40’ boat is probably bigger and better laid out. I don’t WANT to forsake the comfort or convenience I have on terra firma while at anchor or as a sea if I can help it.

Getting back to my earlier thoughts on automatic bilge pumps; many of the “systems” I am talking about are no more complicated than bilge pump. Having a sensor or transducer activate a devise or warn you about a normally static condition that becomes irregular is not rocket science. Using electrical or mechanical advantage to overcome forces are how we created the creature comforts we rely on in our lives. I may be a bumbling fool when it comes to boats however; I am NO fool, my background includes industrial automation, manufacturing and transportation technology. I am looking at this from my point of view, the outside looking in and see plenty of room for improvement. Every segment of industry has their insiders who all see the same tree; missing the rest of the forest by focusing so closely to that one tree. The corrosive environment of the ocean can be dealt with; at a higher cost than shore based systems yes but, not at unrealistic cost in todays market. Aluminum, titanium and polymers all have the ability to resist the effects of salt water and shield materials less able to cope in this environment. Finding a solution to the effects of salt water on equipment may not be in the marine industries best interest. As it stands the number of new units sold is rather small and with out “re-fits” occurring regularly the market would shrink profoundly.

I may be way out of line here but telling me to blindly accept status quo without question is not how products evolve or revolutionary designs occur. Not many folks use cotton or linen sails in this day and age, or hemp line in the rigging. Change is inevitable we used to grease the valve train on engines every time they were used and these engines only lasted a few hours between repairs, technology refined internal combustions to clock like reliability. Engines still wear and stop working for some reason on occasion but the life span and MTBF is light years ahead of what anyone fifty years ago could have envisioned. These advances have been the direct result of materials technology, manufacturing quality improvement and, electronic monitoring and control. I only ask that you all to consider the positive aspects of new ideas and methods to ease work loads and improve quality of life on board boats.

Steve
__________________
Capnlindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2006, 15:37   #60
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Steve,

I don't think you have accept the status quo. In the market of large boats there are no economies of scale because there just are not many large boats made. We are talking more than one million dollars with most far more than that. This market is as as small as a market can get and it won't change any time soon. Not many of those folks here.

Materials technology in the boat industry has been exceptionally forward. To claim otherwise is misleading. To tout that it is just a lack of trying is not based on any real data you have presented. You say it's possible but that's all you seem to say. How, when, and where? I'm still hanging on Why more than anything though.

Most of the attributes of a modern boat are only possible because of it. It's not like there are better materials out there and no one is listening. Price and availablity are a relality too. Titanium and new Super Stainless Steel materials have some exception properties and enormous potential for real applications but the supply of them is very scant and very expensive. Production needs a relaible source and supply or it's not viable. Better materials at a higher cost has never been a formula for technological progress. It's never led any industry forward. It only happens when it is the reverese. There could be no railroad before there was cheap steel in quantity.

It's not so easy to brush off salt water problems as easily solved. It's a downright nasty environment. Differences in electrical potential eats metal away while biologic life seems to thrive and hold on to seemingly nothing with total tenacity.

Quote:
Engines still wear and stop working for some reason on occasion but the life span and MTBF is light years ahead of what anyone fifty years ago could have envisioned.
I would strongly disagree. With the exception of modern electronics and electrcial systems they are pretty much the same. A standard engine today lasts pretty long and requires just about the same maintenance as 50 years ago. The electrical advances are proably minor in the bigger picture but still welcome. A diesel engine is not that far from where it was and more than 50 years ago. It's a tad lighter and thinner with less rebuild capability but not much different. There isn't much pressure to change that though better / cleaner fuel economy isn't all that bad an improvement idea. Probably start to happen soon. Not light years I would say.

Things are not light years ahead of 50 years ago at least from my perspective of being 52 years old. There has never been a time when more progress was possible but large pleasure boats are not a market of great potential filled with investment prospects. It's holding on but not by much.
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Heavy weather anchoring, Stede General Sailing Forum 105 10-12-2008 11:11
The big day has come Pandy7 Meets & Greets 3 28-08-2004 00:09
opinions on Irwin orcabait Monohull Sailboats 25 23-08-2004 08:23
My big plan! irwinsailor Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 4 23-05-2004 16:06
Big Irwin and lake Michigan! irwinsailor Great Lakes 2 28-06-2003 04:18



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:48.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.