New design could alter speed boats forever
Get ready, boaters, for smaller, faster and more efficient vessels.
The future of speed boats is here, and they are looking a lot smaller.
Existing design standards produce relatively heavy and robust vessels, a result of the trade-offs between the light weight needed for speed and the strength needed to resist the force of the waves while cruising in the open sea.
But scientists at the Technion Institute of Technology in Israel have developed a new design that allows boats to achieve high speeds in rough seas. All this, while significantly reducing the the dimensions of vessel's frame – thus reducing its weight, increasing its speed and decreasing its fuel consumption.
The achievement was a result of the Technion team casting aside conventional design principles.
“We take a more complex, exact approach to wave-boat interactions, based on a design philosophy, an algorithm and analytical tools we have developed," explained Nitai Drimer. He developed the boat, named "Dganit," in conjunction with colleagues at the Technion and two Israeli tech firms.
When you sail fast on the open sea, the boat jumps on the waves, a phenomenon called "slamming," which creates the need for a large vessel to withstand the force. Drimer's solution was to build a more flexible vehicle that could withstand the impact, countering conventional thought that only a big boat could do it.
Technion professor Daniel Rittel was tasked with achieving that part of the project.
"In order to have thinner walls, you must also make sure that they will resist violent wave slamming-related shocks, and if breached, remain impervious. This was solved thanks to a polymeric coating that my group tested," Rittel told From The Grapevine.
The Dganit boat built by the team at Technion is a concept vehicle, and as such doesn't yet maximize its full potential.
"The boat speed is 30 knots (35 mph) which is not much," Professor Drimer said. "But the new design method [means that] as the requirements increase – faster and higher sea state – the weight saving will be more significant."
The next step is to use the design principles of the "Dganit" on other boats – whether it be for sport or leisure, Rittel told us.
"You can think of many people interested in this kind of design," he said.
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