Copyright 2017 - Woods Designs, Foss Quay, Millbrook, Torpoint, Cornwall, PL10 1EN, UK
  • home built Flica 37

  • plywood Romany 34

  • lightweight 14ft Zeta mainhull

  • Strike 15 trimaran at speed

  • 28ft Skoota in British Columbia

  • 10ft 2 sheet ply Duo dinghy

  • 24ft Strider sailing fast

  • 36ft Mirage open deck catamaran

I believe that rocket science isn't "rocket science", but that yacht design is.

I understand the Russians are still using a 40 year old rocket design. When I visited the Kennedy Space Center I met a retired senior engineer who was in charge of the Saturn 5 rockets. I asked him what changes he'd make now if doing the same trip. "The computers" he said. That was all.

The space shuttles first flew over 20 years ago, so presumably were designed much earlier. The Concorde was designed in the early 1960's

Think of the changes made to yachts and especially to multihulls since 1968.

The easy thing to design are static things like bridges and buildings. The position of the centre of gravity is irrelevant, furthermore all the loadings are known. Vehicles are much harder to design. Harder still are what I call "interface vehicles", that is those who have to perform in two mediums, like boats do. Even a space craft is easy to design, as once in space there are no loads.

As they say, "flying is easy, landing is difficult". That is because a plane becomes a interface vehicle just as it touches the ground.

In many respects a multihull is harder to design and build than a monohull. That is because the Centre of Gravity position cannot be changed by adding or moving the ballast. That's why you should think very carefully before making what appear to be even small changes to the design.