in very early development
Optimizing Boat Design
Traditionally ship hull design has been studied by mechanically pulling model hulls through a tank of water. While elaborate and expensive laboratory facilities are often used for such studies, it should be possible to do respectable research pulling an inexpensive model across a pond or swimming pool.
- There exist elaborate apparatus to measuring the performance of a ship hull. But today most inexpensive cameras are capable of recording short video segments which can be transferred to computer and analyzed in slow motion. If the camera is fixed and objects of known scale are included in the image, detailled measurements can be made.
- One of the simplest ways of measuring the water resistance is to recall that for an object travelling at constant speed, there is an equal propulsive force. If that propulsion is provided by a string pulling the vessel, the stretch of a common rubber band included along the length of the string is proportional to the force. Thus choosing a suitable mechanism to pull at constant speed and a rubber band of appropriate flexibility may be the most important factors in doing useful measurements.