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Student project: your opinion please

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Gallardo, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. Gallardo

    Gallardo Guest

    Dear boat enthusiasts

    I'm a student in Product Design and I'm working on my final major project: a boat. I would be a great help if you could give your opinion on my project. Thanks in advance.

    The idea of this project is based on a few long term trends:

    • First of all, the popularity of trawlers and semi-displacement yacht (such as the Azimut Magellano 74) has increased significantly in recent years. Apparently many sailboat owners switch to this type of boats because of their declining physical en mental capabilities. Many (not all) trawler owners are thus elderly people.
    • Secondly, it's very obvious that in the near future the yachting industry will face a green evolution/revolution, like we already know it in the car industry. Hybrid engines, solar cells and more sustainable materials and production processes will be used.
    • Thirdly, people nowadays like to customize and/or personalize their products. It seems we're moving to a more custom made economy.
    Taking these trends into account, I want to design a 50 feet ecological, modern cruiser/trawler. A boat for both young and older people, that's suitable for slow cruising in many weather conditions. The interior should be a nice environment where people like to live, not only when the ship is at sea but also when it is docked in a harbour. I want to construct the boat in a way that the interior can be renewed/personalized relatively easy, so that the product life span can be extended.

    Do you like the idea? Do trawler owners have other specific needs/wishes? Are there other things I should take into account?
    Please let me know! Thanks!
  2. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Jul 26, 2004
    Hi, I think you are on the right track when it comes to being a student, but not really if you were designing for production.

    - Trawlers may replace sailing boats, but I think it is more common to replace faster powerboats with long range boats when you get older and have the time.

    - The evolution is of course always present, but there is no green revolution in sight. This is just a media thing, you will get attention but not many clients I am afraid.

    - Personalization normally reduces the second hand value on production boats and is more common on 50 meter yachts than 50 footers.

    I think you should design something that you like and like to have, not what you think other people should have..:)
  3. Ben Diss

    Ben Diss New Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Lower Hudson Valley
    It sounds like you have a keen eye on predicting future desirability of products with long development schedules. You may want to read some of Ray Kurzweil's works. As an inventor he attributes his success to accurately matching future product demand to predicted technology advances.

    In your project, you see two trends, growth of trawler yachts and eco-friendly design. The question is will the demand for the two grow at a rate where they converge and will the enabling technologies advance to fill demand when (if) the two converge?

    Sorry I couldn't answer your question, but Kurzweil came to mind when I read your post.
  4. NoRudder

    NoRudder New Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    New Product Design

    First, most welcome to the forum and into such a discussion on yacht design trends. I for one love young blood entering this wonderful industry.
    As far as propulsion, I must admit to being very curious about the new "pod" drive from ZF for single engine applications. The advertising claimed a 90 degree turning radius that can be synced to a bow thruster for some very interesting maneuvering potential.
    But right there is perhaps the main concept for the future. Take people with little experience in boating and offer them capabilities never before possible. This means they can learn to handle the boat much easier and faster. My question would be about the rest of the experience. Switching from shore power to generators and back to shore power is routine for many, but not the new boater. Some parts of boating still have a steep learning curve.
    So look at the whole experience, not just hull and propulsion. Make it easier for people to join in the fun. :)
  5. leek

    leek New Member

    Nov 13, 2010
    I am in the middle of buying a trawler (18 year old 55 Fleming), I am coming from a background of smaller and mid size planing Motor Boats. I have recently retired at 55 and have more time and still have smaller fast boats, I am looking for efficency and more of a relaxed approach to boating.
    I was a building contractor so am aware and embrace movement to sustainable strategies but they have to make economic sense and be reasonably user friendly.
    I have generally bought new but this time I am buying a previously owned boat so there is limited opportunity for customization. That being said we will make the boat our own and because of it's timeless design that should not be too hard.
    The idea of being a great space no matter where you are is a good one.
    My ideal boat would be a motor sailer but my wife wants natural light/ability to view scenary and does not want the world "tipping" sensation with sailboats heeling. So the compromise is a slow stable boat.
    I think you have some good concepts. The customer for your boat is your best resource. Some of the things that may be important to you may not be as important for people that can afford what you would like to design.
  6. 84far

    84far Senior Member

    Dec 15, 2008
    Brisbane, AUS

    I think in short term you might be on to something. Long term, well I wouldn't like to personally see myself in a trawler type vessel. I think trawler type vessel will evolve to something like Dashew Offshore type vessels... hopefully a little more foregving on the eyes (IMO).

    Long term for propulsion, I have a feeling the IPS/Zeus will be like the CD/DVD. Great set forward, but a steping stone on to something great... who knows what this Hadron Collider will uncover. But those drive units will be good for the next decade + I feel.

    Azimut Magellano 74 Hydropdynamically looks pretty poor, especially if it was caught in some bad weather, it's just an island hopper.... lucky they have a helm in the main cabin ;).

    Interior work... just keep away from teak, or do something completely different with it. A lot of the trawlers of today are pretty standard, and don't appeal, or wouldn't really appeal to the younger generation coming through. As for the custom side of things, I would just leave colour options, and laminate options open too.... Unless your going 100% custom.
    Check this work out by Lars, it's a great example of doing something different, fresh, and exciting in the interior.

    If you want to keep with "todays" type styling of trawlers, I think if you want to appeal to both young and old - for the olds keep everything pratical, and colours neutral. For the young, bold colours/styling, and some cool toys to play with.


  7. Gallardo

    Gallardo Guest

    Great to see such a friendly and helpful community.
    Thanks a lot for all the very interesting feedback! I really appreciate it.