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How to get designers to look at new technologies?

 
 
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Old 06-24-2005, 07:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to get designers to look at new technologies?

Morning....or it is over here...
One question for all you designer types, as there seem to be a few reading these pages.

If I was trying to introduce a new piece of technology, ie one that has not existed before, how often do you look for new inventions that might be relevant to your designs and where do you tend to look?

If there was something out there that would make a better boat how would you discover it?

Sorry if this is a bit commercial but I'd just like to know which jopurnals you prefer or find are a good source of information on new technologies.

Thanks

Skiff
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Old 07-01-2005, 04:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Cant speak for all my fellow designers out there, but I believe as a designer you have to look constantantly, everywhere.
I do get my inspiration from all sorts of sources, be it technical or stylewise. I look in my wife's magazines. I listen to captains and crew folks to find out what they need and what is missing and then Im starting to look around where to find a solution to whatever problem. I look a lot at the car industry and analyse their technology (and actually, I did find out that the car industry might need some inspiration from us....)
Obviously, I do read various yacht magazines like Yacht Design, Boat International and Boote Exclusive, but that is rather obvious, isn't it? The important thing for any design is to keep his eyes open at all time, because theer is a chance of finding something useful around every corner. When I see something that catches my eye I try to keep a record of it (photo, weblink etc), thinking 'wow, that's cool... let's see how I could use that'.
Now I know there are a lot of designers out there that are very busy with client order projects, which are rarely suitable to introduce new technologies are radical ideas. Let's face it, the market is generally spoken rather conservative. On the other hand ( and I am not the only one) I love to work on portfolio projects and conceptual designs whenever time permits, and I find it very exciting to introduce stuff that you won't find in any other yacht design.
The bottom line is: Spread your ideas, either here in the forum or any other design oriented internet forum and do networking.... find people that support your ideas or people that know people... you know the deal.

Hope that did help at least a little bit... by the way... what's that idea you are so keen on introducing?

Best regards,
Christian
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Skiffy,

If there is any constant in yacht design and engineering, it is that there is no lack of ideas for new technology. They are not hard to find, they find you. Every inventor thinks that he has come up with the latest new mousetrap, and you, Mr. naval architect, are just the person to put it into your next yacht design!!

That's is not how we naval architects apply new technology, generally. First of all, we work for owners and builders who by and large want something tried and true. Most of the time, they are NOT willing to pay for something innovative because they have to foot the bill for testing, and they run the risk if something fails. There are very few individuals who are ready to step up to the plate to try something new. It does happen, but cost and risk are the factors that impede development and acceptance.

The process is slow. A couple of examples that have made it, of course, are carbon fiber applications in both sail and power yachts. Also, numerically controlled (NC) cutting of steel and aluminum plate. Another is vacuum bagging technology of composites, followed by resin impregnation technology. These technologies are usually applied and developed by the yacht builders. It is extremely rare for a designer to bring the new technology to the builder. That is because the builder is in the position to physically carry out the necessary building and testing in the shop. When he succeeds to the point where he can actually apply the new technology on a regular basis, that is when the naval architects, designers, and owners learn about it. We have to be convinced that the new technology has a reasonable chance of success so that we can advise our owner clients of the risks involved in an appropriate manner.

Admittedly, there are exceptions to this general scenario. But if you have new technology, you have to be able to test it out yourself, and pay for that development, either on your own or working with a builder. Then you and your builder can bring it to the marketplace and make it available to naval architects and their owners. The new technology can give you a competitive edge over the other builders, so that is the place to introduce it and develop it.
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Old 07-07-2005, 02:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies

Thanks!

I'm a commercial skipper/project manager myself so I can understand about owners and costs! "I'd really like you to remove the fuel tank and clean it before I take your boat anywhere else!!" but thats another story.

The Technology I'm thinking of is one thats been developed by a friend in Perth, Richard Caulfield, that is now proven on commercial vessels. But hes a small business and the marine business is spread far and wide. The two systems he's patented, effectively create a maintenance free stern gear set up. OK I know thats impossible lets say extremely low maintenance, especially if you operate in shallow sandy/silt laden waters. Its called SandStopper™ and QuicKutter™
and cost wise its not actually very expensive compared to a dry dock or lift.

One owner I've worked for (hes and engineer) saw it and said yes what a great idea! He should get them fitted on the the next lift work schedule.

Cheers Neil.
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