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YACHT DESIGN FROM FORE TO AFT.

For the past two decades, Composite Research and Development, or ComTec, of Aachen, Germany, has specialized in design, development, and testing of complex structures made from fiber-reinforced plastics in industries that include aircraft, automotive, sports, and marine.

When the company was asked to design a private sailing yacht, a trimaran that had to weigh exactly 6.5 metric tons, engineers needed a way to design the various structures so that they would all come together to meet the proper weight. And each structure also had to fit together and hold up under the rigors of sailing.

Because the yacht would be so big, engineers couldn't build a prototype, or even of various structures that were to be a part of it. ComTec used solid modeling software to design the complex structure. It ran into problems that seemed minute, but it had to pay attention to every detail. For instance, the outriggers had been designed to fold toward the hull. Therefore, the engineers had to specially model all bolts, adjusting cylinders, and rods to accommodate the outrigger design. To improve the sailing characteristics, they simulated stresses to the mast to find its failure point. For that, they used a temperature simulation feature included in the software. The company used a Cosmos software package for simulation, modeling, and finite element analysis. The software is from Structural Research and Analysis Corp. of Los Angeles.

Engineers also had to determine stress or failure risks for the different laminates and constructions used on the hull, outriggers, and floats. They were able to do that by using the software. In the end, they had modeled a yacht that included many components and weighed exactly 6.5 metric tons.

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Comment:YACHT DESIGN FROM FORE TO AFT.
Author:Thilmany, Jean
Publication:Mechanical Engineering-CIME
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Sep 1, 2000
Words:282
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