Interview with David Thomas SD

The people’s designer – David Thomas talks to Matthew Sheahan about some of the key points in his extraordinarily successful career. The interview took place during a celebration of his work and his 25 year membership of the Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble.

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Part 4: Finishing Touches

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program. Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project  in order to make his dream boat into a reality.
Check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

With the hull and deck fully molded, I had a few key pieces to add before the boat was finished:  I needed to install grab loops, cockpit coaming, pillars to reinforce the boat, and outfitting to secure the paddler.

"Making grab loops: I used webbing and slitted extra pieces of carbon to layer them in without impacting the structural integrity of the boat.  The packing tape kept the handle portions from getting coated in epoxy and sticking to the boat."

“Making grab loops: I used webbing and slitted extra pieces of carbon to layer them in without impacting the structural integrity of the boat. The packing tape kept the handle portions from getting coated in epoxy and sticking to the boat.”

"To make the cockpit rim, I tacked on rubber hosing with hot glue then molded from the inside of the boat over half of the tube using carbon tape."

“To make the cockpit rim, I tacked on rubber hosing with hot glue then molded from the inside of the boat over half of the tube using carbon tape.”

"An extra layer of carbon wrapping from inside the boat over the first cockpit rim layer added a lot of strength to the deck.  I used the hose from the first part of cockpit rim construction to clamp the second layer on and get a nice, smooth finish.  I kept the hose intact as a ring, heated the rubber and slipped it on like a spray skirt.  As the rubber cooled, the hose shrunk and clamped the second layer into place giving a tight layup and smooth, watertight finish.  Extra foam core and carbon/kevlar was used to make front, back and side pillars. I also used extra bits of foam core and carbon to reinforce critical areas like the thigh braces."

“An extra layer of carbon wrapping from inside the boat over the first cockpit rim layer added a lot of strength to the deck. I used the hose from the first part of cockpit rim construction to clamp the second layer on and get a nice, smooth finish. I kept the hose intact as a ring, heated the rubber and slipped it on like a spray skirt. As the rubber cooled, the hose shrunk and clamped the second layer into place giving a tight layup and smooth, watertight finish. Extra foam core and carbon/kevlar was used to make front, back and side pillars. I also used extra bits of foam core and carbon to reinforce critical areas like the thigh braces.”

"Now time for a paint job -  chalk helped out here to lay things out without being permanent."

“Now time for a paint job – chalk helped out here to lay things out without being permanent.”

"Spray paint did the rest."

“Spray paint did the rest.”

"No stencil? Better make one."

“No stencil? Better make one.”

"I should have been an art major."

“I should have been an art major.”

"One last hot coat of epoxy to seal things up."

“One last hot coat of epoxy to seal things up.”

"Look at this beauty!"

“Look at this beauty!”

"For the outfitting, I carved minicell foam to the shape and height that I wanted for the seat and thigh braces.  I augmented this with a seat cover, back band and hip pads taken from an old broken boat."

“For the outfitting, I carved minicell foam to the shape and height that I wanted for the seat and thigh braces. I augmented this with a seat cover, back band and hip pads taken from an old broken boat.”

"Just in the nick of time, too! I took her to the pool, and after pleading with the lifeguards to let me test it out, I was able to pull some strings and get in a corner of the pool.  She floated, and I was able to throw around some flat water tricks to christen her.  Thanks, Joann!"

“Just in the nick of time, too! I took her to the pool, and after pleading with the lifeguards to let me test it out, I was able to pull some strings and get in a corner of the pool. She floated, and I was able to throw around some flat water tricks to christen her. Thanks, Joann!”

"That afternoon we had a poster session to showcase our various projects.  Bernie designed and built a SUP and Quinn Harper did the same for a RC scale rendition of an America’s Cup boat. We had several other mid-term projects we had developed along the way, including developing a curriculum to teach high school students to design and build their own RC system and catamaran for an underwater robot."

“That afternoon we had a poster session to showcase our various projects. Bernie designed and built a SUP and Quinn Harper did the same for a RC scale rendition of an America’s Cup boat. We had several other mid-term projects we had developed along the way, including developing a curriculum to teach high school students to design and build their own RC system and catamaran for an underwater robot.”

The process of turning this boat into a reality was both mentally and physically taxing.  While I could not be more pleased with the outcome, I am in no rush to go through the experience again any time soon.  This was certainly a high point of my education and as I had just graduated college, there was nothing left to do but go use my new kayak.

Stay tuned for the final installation of Quinn’s project series!

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Part 1: Design

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell was only a few credits short of an Engineering Degree from Dartmouth College.  With the help of the Engineering Department and his Fluid Dynamics professor, Quinn devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program.

Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project  in order to make his dream boat into a reality. 

"Design Development"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past winter, I had the opportunity to design and build a kayak.  As any paddler does, I’ve constanly critiqued boats, formulating opinions about design elements that worked, those that could have been better, and which ones downright sucked.

After graduating with a BA in June, I was headed back to school for another 6 months to finish up an engineering degree.  For this “victory lap,” I wanted to make sure I my studies focused on topics I was actually interested in. Upon arrival to campus, I approached my fluid dynamics professor about setting up an independent study in boat design.  As it turned out, a few of my friends were interested in similar projects and we started a special topics course in Naval Architecture based on MIT open courseware.  For a final project, I combined my experience as a kayaker with the fluid-body dynamics we spent the course studying to develop a design that would perform as I desired.  Using composite materials, I was able to turn my design into a reality; composites also yielded a lighter, stiffer boat than traditional plastic, amplifying its hull speed and altitude for aerial tricks.

For the last 12 years or so, I’ve slowly been formulating an opinion about what my “ideal” kayak would look like.  This past winter I used SolidWorks to turn these ideas into hard dimensions.  As my design developed, I was able to bring in profiles of different boats to compare against.  Knowing how these boats perform informed design decisions about certain elements such as the rocker profile.   For some features, I took inspiration from previous designers were I thought they had nailed it.  In areas I thought there was room for improvement, I innovated.  As the virtual boat began to take shape, it started to resemble more and more closely this idyllic kayak that had been brewing in my head.

Click the Gallery photos to view Quinn’s design process!

Two months and roughly 20 iterations later, I had locked down my final design – aggressively sharp chines and a hybrid rocker profile built for speed and performance. The deck maximized volume in critical areas while maintaining a streamlined figure that would fit my body like a glove.  Now that I had the design finalized, it was time for the real work to begin.

Check back soon for Part 2!

Quinn Connell’s White Water Kayak Project – Introduction

introshot

In the Fall of 2013, Quinn Connell was only a few credits short of an Engineering Degree from Dartmouth College.  With the help of the Engineering Department and his Fluid Dynamics professor, Quinn devised an Independent Study in Kayak Design using free courseware from an MIT Naval Architecture Graduate program.

Quinn was able to combine his experience as a kayaker with his studies in fluid dynamics and design his dream white water kayak. He then approached Jamestown Distributors and asked to sponsor his project in order to make his dream boat into a reality. TotalBoatShow.com will be posting his photo essay telling his story in a five-part series here on the website! The contents of the series are as follows:

Part 1:  Design Phase

Part 2: The Plug

Part 3: The Build

Part 4: Fitting Out

Part 5: Grand Canyon Trip

Keep a look out as we release each part!

What’s Your Story? – Jeff Geibel

Jeff Geibel

Idaho designer Jeff Geibel’s photos made it hard for us to believe he’s new to woodworking! According to Geibel, his 18.5’ Glen-L Biscayne mahogany runabout is a three-year project that is still underway, but she looks amazing so far! Good to know TotalBoat products help all the way out in Idaho!

Customer Spotlight – Rob Holmes

Rob Holmes

Captain Rob Holmes sent us a photo of his work done on the cockpit in his recently purchased 1968 motorboat. As you can see above, his construction looks great! What we also found quite interesting was his process during the restoration: Rob tells us he preplanned and built the whole project in a three-dimensional computer program! He wanted to be able to play “what-if”, and test his ideas before he cut the wood. He’s actually a 3D animator, so this planning was right up his alley. What’s funny, he says, is that the project turned out “exactly” like the 3D designs, which is quite rare. He told us:

“When I bought my 1968 boat a few years ago it had a terrible mess inside the cockpit bulkhead. Some rough fiberglass work had been done to cover up holes left when instruments were taken out. I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to create some much needed organizational space, as well as a navigation station; which I did not have. I designed a cabinet to cover the space; made so the whole unit could fold down and provide a spot for my laptop. I also devised a system for raising and lowering the unit to make it into a laptop shelf and for making it adjustable.”

He’s told us this is only part of his refitting for this boat, but from what we can see, it looks fabulous!

Volvo Ocean Race: Deck Developments

Exclusive tour of the Volvo Ocean 65’s deck and the new features that will make it the safest Volvo boat yet.