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Starwind 860: Designing for mixed missions

It's a rare boat indeed that is tasked with one and only one mission. The degree of flexibility that's expected, though, varies greatly from boat to boat. My requirements for my next boat fall in the "does everything reasonably well" category, which necessitates a lot of head-scratching and balancing of trade-offs during the design phase.

Does electric drive make sense in a boat?

Electric cars are trendy these days. Hybrid electric systems are perhaps a little less exciting, but still get a large share of marketing attention. Boatbuilders have been getting in on the act too, but does it make sense to consider electric drive for a boat?

In today's article, I'll summarize three common powertrain architectures (battery electric, hybrid IC/electric and conventional IC engine) and outline the logic that might lead you to choose an electric drive system for your boat.

How to get presentable graphs and figures from MATLAB

MATLAB is great for making high-quality figures for publication. It has a pretty steep learning curve, though, if you're used to spreadsheets.

MATLAB's huge advantage for graphing is that everything can be tuned and tweaked with commands and scripts. You only have to fuss over the first graph in a series; once you have everything the way you want it to look, you can use the same formatting script on all your other graphs. Presto, they all look good and they all match.

When are the new boat designs coming?

My handful of regular human readers, and my truckload of regular spambot readers, might be wondering why I haven't listed any new boat designs since the Almaguin 400 and 500.

The answer is that I'm currently in the (hopefully) final stages of a graduate degree in medical physics. That means a lot of time in the lab, and a lot of late nights and weekends spent poring over calculations, making figures, and writing up a thesis.

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