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Super Yacht To Sail the Seven Seas

As the old saying goes, if you have to ask how much it costs you can't afford it.

That certainly applies to Adastra, a luxury yacht that incorporates a plethora of new designs that are pushing the state-of-the-art for long range-cruising. Designed and built by John Shuttleworth Yacht Designs, West Sussex, England, the boat is capable of cruising at 17 knots and traveling 4,000 miles.

Adastra yachtIt's interesting that its name is a Latin phrase that originated with Virgil when he wrote in the Aeneid, sic itur ad astra (thus you shall go to the stars). In fact, the yacht, a trimaran, looks more like a spaceship than a boat. Conventional trimarans are clunky looking creatures with a main hull bracketed by two outrigger hulls, resembling a very large water spider. But Adastra looks like an arrow.

What's of interest to those of us involved in digital manufacturing is the fully integrated design process described in an article in Product Design & Development. (For you traditionalists, be assured that tank testing and model building also figure into the equation.)

Complex Digital Design Process

Initial hand sketches are translated into a rough design in AutoCAD. Next a duo of naval architecture and structural CAD software packages are used by the Shuttleworth engineers to model a preliminary hull shape. They analyze stability and strength, and then the model is imported back into AutoCAD for further development. But this is just the beginning.

Next the 2D plans, profile and 3D hull design are imported into Siemens NX 7.5 PLM software to develop a preliminary 3D model. Rendering software is employed to develop photo-real images of Adastra so the team can further refine the styling.

This is when FEA enters the picture. The results of the finite element analysis are exported to NEi Nastran for number crunching. Then on to post-processing, a full weight study, and more adjustments to the hull. Once the final hull is defined, the data is re-imported into the Siemens software to create a complete deck and hull model suitable for CNC (computer numerical control) tool manufacturing.

One more FEA analysis to make sure the vessel is completely structually sound and then back to AutoCAD to create the final plans used to build the boat — which will be made, you guessed it, in China. This is happening at McConaghy Yachts in Zhuhai.

And then, it's on to the stars.

Posted by John Kirkley - October 05, 2011 @ 5:33 PM, Pacific Daylight Time

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