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Old 07-21-2013
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Sailboat Design Software

My husband would like to design and build his own sailboat and as an anniversary present, I would like to get him the software so that he can start on his dream. Can anyone recommend a good software program? Preferably one that I can order and wrap up instead of downloading.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Sailboat Design Software

There are some toy programs running about the net but I would suggest you first talking with some of the Boat designers here on the site.

Hope his dream doesn't become your nightmare!
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Sailboat Design Software

There are a pretty wide range of yacht design programs out there but most are very expensive since they are aimed at the limited market of professional yacht designers and use serious cadd programs as their foundation. There are a variety of comparatively inexpensive programs out there some of them can be found on this web page Free or Low Cost Yacht Design Software

But I looked at these a few months back when I was doing the designs for the Wolfenzee thread and these were not the kind of programs that an amateur without cadd and yacht design experience could easily learn and they did not seem to be full featured. I ended up doing things the semi- old fashioned way using 2D software (Archicad) for the lines drawings and spreadsheets to do the calculations.
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Sailboat Design Software

Freeware programs typically are pretty useless in real world application. In building construction we use AutoCAD and Revit, both several thousands of dollars with a steep learning curve. If you're using it in business, you can justify the cost. But as a one time use, sophisticated programs you can use in real world applications are usually cost prohibitive. And if you want to print out readable plans, you often need a plotter.

You could go to boat design books. I have Ted Brewer's Understanding Boat Design. It's technical enough to teach the reader a lot about designing a boat and would certainly be helpful if one was building their own boat.

You could also go to a boat designer's forum such as Boat Design Net - the Boat Design and Boat Building Site and inquire over there.

Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: Sailboat Design Software

I work with Solidworks on most of my design projects and it is user friendly and extremely good as CAD software goes.

But I have to say that a CAD programme does not a yacht designer make. With the best intentions in the world, years of boat ownership and a pretty good working knowledge of the innards of Solidworks, I would not know where to begin designing a boat.

If your husband can already design boats with a pencil and paper then consider a CAD programme to make life perhaps a little easier but CAD will not show you how it's done. People spend years studying marine architecture to get the design part right and every now and then they still turn out bad boats.

Learning how to use modern CAD software could be a challenge in its own right. Solidworks is also expensive for hobbyist application.
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