View Full Version : CAD software

Mark Carver
10-06-2000, 08:26 PM
I know this is a delicate subject... soul-less computers vs artistic hand drawn lines...however, I seem to be lacking in artistic ability, yet feel I have enough knowledge of what I like and need in a boat, as well as some structural knowledge, to want to design my own.

Is there a CAD program out there that doesn't require more power than the average PC at home, that might allow me to noodle out a hull shape from which a table of offsets may be derived? Rig shape? CLR/CE positions?


Dave Hadfield
10-06-2000, 09:21 PM
Mark, check out the plyboats thread still on this Designs page. It allows hard chine hulls to be designed very quickly, with basic information about rig CE and CLR as well.
I just bought the software and found the designing aspect user-friendly. What I did not find friendly was the printer interface. I must have wasted 6 hours trying to get it to print. Eventually I succeeded, through changing printer spool settings according to a help file from Windows. Very frustrating.
Still, I got it to work eventually and have a nifty little 10ft pram design to put together starting tomorrow.
You can use the demo version by downloading off the website, which I think is just plyboats.com
The end product can be used in a cad program to design deck and interior layouts, but I think that's beyond me.
If you're looking for rounded hull design software and find it, please post it here on the forum.
Good luck

Keith Wilson
10-10-2000, 08:42 AM
Actually, designing a boat on paper doesn't require much, if any, artistic ability. It's great if you have it, of course, (I'm a fan of Albert Strange myself) but most of the drawings and calculations are drafting, not art; quite a different thing. Don't let it scare you; it's really kind of fun. There were a lot of boats designed before computers by folks of quite average abilties. One tends to romanticize the old ways but, then as now, it was just a means to an end. There's no art inherent in any of the techniques, that has to be brought by the hand holding the pencil, or the mouse.

OTOH, the equipment to draw boats on paper may cost as much or more than a simple program like Plyboats (since you already have a PC), and the computer programs are a lot quicker (at least for multiple iterations) once you learn how to use them.

J. Dillon
10-10-2000, 09:58 AM

How ambitious are your designing / building plans? Get out the paper & pencil. If relatively simple design it your self. Very rewarding. Read up on the subject, build a model to work out the kinks. When you frame up you can see where she is not fair and make appropiate changes. I designed the 18' boat shown based on some of the boats shown in Parkers sharpie book. They had long skegs and after one season I cut mine down 90% as she was too slow in tacking. Now the boat does 6.5 kts tacks though 95o Has just the right ammount of weather helm and tracks true with little effort to hold a steady course. Not bad for a old sprit rig. I get compliments everytime I sail with people snapping away. http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=259042&a=1928336&p=17247307&Sequence=0&res=high Contact me we live close. JD