Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Engineering Elegance

Here in the design office at Rockport Marine we have the benefit and added pressure of working with 50 of the best boat builders you could ever hope to find. This means that when a design can be called genuinely beautiful and satisfies the pragmatic experience of that crowd we can claim a measure of success. It’s a pretty tall order so when we recently came across a new tool purpose built for engineering elegance we were keen to give it a spin. The restoration of Adventuress gave us the opportunity.

The spar loft here at Rockport Marine is a huge library of what works well aloft (and sometimes what doesn’t) but designing the rigging hardware for an 83’ schooner is a huge job and a few of the fittings warranted a more detailed engineering analysis.

When it came time to design the bobstay / kranze Iron attachment traditional rules of thumb described a fitting that was well, I guess the industry term is clunky.  The challenge lay in optimizing the use of material to create an elegant fitting of appropriate strength.


Our new engineering program which dovetails with our current 3D modeling software allows us to specify the alloy of metal, apply loads to the part, and rapidly analyze how the fitting performs under load.  All this means we are able to add metal where it is of greatest value to the strength of the part and remove it where it isn’t needed. 

-Brendan Riordan

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Location: Rockport, Maine, United States

Rockport Marine is a group of talented craftspeople who design, build and restore wooden yachts with unparalleled expertise.