Monday, October 21, 2013

The Production Boat Designer

I thought it was an inspired idea. If I wanted to know why so many boats are so difficult to maintain, and so installation unfriendly, I should talk to some boat designers. Go to the horses mouth so to speak, and get the facts. I look online and find some firms whose sites aver they do production boat design, and pick some likely ones to communicate with. There aren't really very many of them. I pick one and send an email that goes somewhat like...

Dear Production Boat Design Professional, I'm a writer, and own a small company that installs marine electronics. My blog is built in part around the Whiskey Tango Foxtrot moments I encounter working on boats both large and small. These stories typically have one of three themes.

Inappropriate application of technology on boats, design/construction doesn't anticipate the customers future basic equipment installation needs, and boats which are extraordinarily difficult to maintain due to assembly/access issues or lack of documentation.

I have rules about these stories. The manufacturers are never mentioned, and the pictures are all close ups to make it impossible to identify the specific boat. My intent is to have builders improve upon these issues, not to point a finger, or hurt someone.  If you had some time to talk with me about the designers role in this, I would very much appreciate it. My suspicion is the designer largely plays little role in these issues, and the fault mostly falls with the manufacturer. If you would rather not, I understand, I have scared a couple designers away already, even with the opportunity to have some control over the content. Anyway, thanks for any consideration. Tnx Bill

The silence was deafening. I was in space, and you couldn't hear me scream. A mote of dust settling on a feather, the tree that fell in the forest. You get the picture. I know one firm read one of the story links I included, and the others not so much. In retrospect I shouldn't have expected any of them to want to assist me. What, help the guy who's always disparaging boat design and construction? He's a witch, burn him! I suspect the truth is whether they are in some way responsible for the problems I write about, or not, they may have been involved with boats that I have had less than kind words about. They are numerous to say the least.