Term Paper: Computer Technology Best

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[. . .] The bottom plank of the Nydam boat resembles a keel; however, it does not have the proper T-shaped keel. Many experts believe that this meant that the Nydam boat would have required a hogging truss to compensate for weakness in the keel. However in the picture from the period we find no pictorial evidence of this being done (Greenhill, 1976).

A large oar that could have only been used for steering was found with the ship. Although there was no proper mounting to hold it, It is assumed that this was simply lashed to the boat and used that way. This was one of the first fixed steering oars (Greenhill, 1976). It was rudimentary and had many design flaws by today's standards, but it was an improvement in shipbuilding technique. There are seldom inventions that see their final ship in the early stages of their development and the development of shipbuilding has been the same.

During the 1600s, the development of guns occurred at a rapid pace and this ultimately effected shipbuilding as well. Guns were heavy and could not be used without altering the stability of he ship. Sometimes the weight of the gun would cause the ship to capsize. Prior to this, it was considered unthinkable to consider cutting holes in the hull and destroying the integrity of the hull. However, it soon became apparent that one could not have a top-heavy gun sitting on top of a narrow, barely stable vessel. Around the turn of the fifteenth and sixteenth century shipwrights began to cut holes below the weather deck to accommodate cannons. These way heavy guns could be mounted close to the waterline. This served two purposes, the ship was less likely to roll and the guns themselves less likely to roll, causing them to be more accurate (Angelucci and Cucari, 1975).

Lighter weapons and personnel weapons could still be kept on the upper desks of the ship. The dedication of entire decks for artillery marked a change from building merchant ships to building ships particularly of war. In a cargo ship all decks were used for cargo and weapons were used on the weather deck (Angelucci and Cucari, 1975). Cargo ships had a few weapons for defense of their cargo and crew. From this point forward, one must specify the type of ship of which they are talking as the industry becomes increasingly specialized. Ships were now built for a specific purpose.

The development of the long-range weapon was a considerable advance as one of the key naval tactics was to fire at he rigging of the opposing ship and brings down his rigging. This essentially disabled the enemy and once, neutralized the attacking ship could then go alongside the ship and use short-range weapons to finish the job. Carracks came into common use throughout Europe. These were impressive with their castles up front, sometime having many decks themselves. The castle was treated as a separate element of the ship and therefore the walls did not align with the rest of the hull. Movement between decks involved a series of stairs and companionways (Angelucii, and Cucari, 1975).

A the use of the Carrack primarily as a war ship led to several advances in hull design. The accommodation of large guns made the ship wobbly and at this time all building had been accomplished by adding height. However, this made them top heavy. Shipwrights reasoned that if the ship were to be able to maneuver and avoid fire from an enemy then they should have a low profile the made them a more difficult target. These concepts led the ideology in shipbuilding for some time. Guns would be more accurate id held on a level plane so that the height did not change (Gardiner, 1994). This was also taken into consideration in the building of the next generation of ships. Shipwrights eventually began to take into account wind resistance and aerodynamics above the waterline as well (Angelucii and Cucari, 1975). The ships became shorter and more streamlined.

Galleons were an improvement over the Carracks, but they were still based on the same principles and to the bystander would appear to be very similar. The Galleon was smaller, lighter, and lower to the water. Armaments became smaller and more compact. The stability of the ship was improved through better hull design. These ships were faster and lighter than their predecessors were. However, essential components remained the same.

Yachts are primarily used for recreation now and their design has become sleek and lightweight. They are much improved over their predecessors. Hull and rigging designs take advantage of the principles of water displacement, wind sheer above the water line, stability and speed. The modern sailboat is quite a piece of precision engineering, yet the basic design has changed little from the Galleon. Computer analysis has led to improvements in sail design as well as other elements of the modern yacht. IT may be that sailing boat design is nearing its final destination. Computers have helped to produce the most efficient hull and sail design. Once we have the most advanced design in these areas, there is little that needs improved.

Developments in Boat Construction, Techniques and Materials

The deign of the hull, sails and other components saw ore rapid advancement in the early days and in recent times, has seen a slow down in improvement. However, in the area of construction materials and techniques the opposite has been true.. However, in the development of materials, the opposite has been true and in the beginning, most boats were made of whatever local wood was available. Now there have been many advances in boat building materials and this is the area that has seen the most improvement in recent years. Building material is becoming more lightweight and sturdier, Polymer technology is the key to building lighter and stronger boats.

Once the maximum keel design, hull design, and sail design were realized, the only way to improve the speed, strength and stability of the boat was to make improvements in construction materials. More lightweight material has added speed to modern boats. Now the bulk of the effort goes into designing the best materials for he boats and the basic shape and design remain essentially the same.

Viking ships were made of heavy materials, primarily locally available hardwoods. Oak was a preferred wood due to its hardness and durability. Wood was fastened together with iron nails and other forged metal pieces. Iron rivets were used as well. The frames of he ships were made of grown timbers and the other components were made of sprung haze saplings (Greenhill, 1976). Previously hulls have been carved from a single tree.

Throughout the 1600s the materials for shipbuilding remained virtually the same as in the earlier days, primarily consisting of wood and forged iron parts. The greatest improvement during this time period consisted of improvements in forging and carpenter techniques. The material, they, however, remained the same. Ships became more lavish involving ornate carvings for a time period. This tended to make the boats heavier and eventually this concept was abandoned for the sake of functionality. Lavish ornaments were abandoned in an attempt to gain speed and allow for more essential items (Goodenough, 1981). Shipbuilding placed an incredible strain on natural resources at the time and this was one of the industries that led to the destruction of millions of acres of forest in Europe.

With maximum efficiency in hull and sail design, the only way modern ship builder had to make a faster ship was through improvements in materials. Ships are now made of fiberglass, plastics and other materials that greatly improve the speed and performance of the ship. These new advances would not have been possible without modern manufacturing techniques. Sails are no longer made of wool, linen and cotton, but are made of new fibers such as nylon, polyester, liquid crystal fiber and vectran (Larsson and Eliasson, 2000). These materials are strong, lightweight and waterproof. Ropes are also made of these newer stronger materials. New materials have changed the face of shipbuilding and it is from future developments in materials that any further future improvements must come.

Chapter 2

Developments in Computer Technology for Design Purposes'

Shipwrights have always had to wear many hats. Earlier shipbuilders had to have knowledge of sailing, weaponry and warfare, carpentry, metal smithing and many other areas of science and engineering. Early shipbuilder did not know it yet, but they also had a rudimentary understanding of aerodynamics and physics as well. Now shipbuilding is even more complex and ship builder must have a background in hydrodynamics, aerodynamics, and marine engineering, while working with a variety of materials including woods, aluminum, and composite fibers. Modern shipbuilders have greater demands placed on them than almost any other design field today. In addition, they must also be artists,… [END OF PREVIEW]

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