Modeling a sailboat28 Nov 2021
I’m going to sail the British Virgin Islands with some friends soon. I wanted to learn more about sailing, so I started by trying to model a sailboat…
Learning Sailboat Anatomy
Here are some helpful resources
- NauticEd.org offers training and their certification; they offer a free basic sail trim
- SailMagazine, which has a “Basic Sailing 101” article with diagrams
- ImproveSailing has a “Sails Guide” which describes sail basics and many sail types (like “spinnaker” vs “genoa”)
Sailboat vs Sail
There are many type of sailboats. But a single type of sailboat could have many different types of sail configuration. We will be sailing a Lagoon 42 (more photos here), which is a catamaran (most boats have one part that sits in the water (the “hull”; a “mono-hull”); a catamaran has two parts that sit in the water(“two hulls”)). (I think two hulls makes the catamaran more spacious and saling more stable than a mono-hull.)
- A basic yacht configuration includes foresail (at the “front” or “fore” of the boat) and mainsail (at the “back” or “aft” of the boat).
- One important quality of a sail is its surface area. More surface area means more wind-power can push the sail and propel the boat. The Lagoon 42 can work with mainsails between 592 sqft and 635 sqft.
I made a mistake on our t-shirt; the “head” of the mainsail.It wasn’t a mistake; the “square-top” is one option of mainsail (where the “head” of the sail is “chopped off”). The “square-top” apparently has a larger surface area, and is more efficient
- The Lagoon 42 foresail is a “Code 0” type (ImproveSailing describes a “Code 0” type of sail). The marketing photos show a nice turquoise “Code 0” foresail with “42” in large letters. Apparently the “Code 0” sail is optional; “Code 0” sails are good for light-wind sailing, and is larger than the mainsail – the “Code 0” is 732 sqft.
3D Modeling a Sailboat
I use Sketchup to model in 3D. There are some great tutorials on building a boat in Sketchup
- The SketchupEssentials makes a simple boat using the Curviloft extension
- Pete’s 3D Design improves on the boat “hull”, doesn’t use any extension (but plenty of triangles!)
- Designer Hacks deconstructs the “Boat base” model from 3D warehouse using the Draw > Sandbox > From Contour tools