Development and redevelopment of a more realistic sailing dinghy simulator
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Development and Redevelopment of a More Realistic Sailing Dinghy Simulator Jonathan R. Binns, Australian Maritime College, Frank W. Bethwaite, Bethwaite Design Pty Ltd, Norman R. Saunders, University of Melbourne, Mark Habgood, University of Melbourne Development of the Simulator

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Development and redevelopment of a more realistic sailing dinghy simulator l.jpg

Development and Redevelopment of a More Realistic Sailing Dinghy Simulator

Jonathan R. Binns, Australian Maritime College,

Frank W. Bethwaite, Bethwaite Design Pty Ltd,

Norman R. Saunders, University of Melbourne,

Mark Habgood, University of Melbourne


Development of the simulator l.jpg
Development of the Simulator Dinghy Simulator

  • Began as a “marine treadmill”, studying athletes’ performance

  • University of Tasmania developed a system

  • Virtual Sailing redesigned and rebuilt the hardware

    • VS1

  • Virtual Sailing and the Australian Maritime College rewrote the software

    • VS2

  • VS and AMC redesigned hardware

    • VS-C1



The new software vs2 l.jpg
The New Software Dinghy SimulatorVS2


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New Software and Hardware Dinghy SimulatorVS-C1


What is the simulator l.jpg

New hardware eliminated this Dinghy Simulator

What is the Simulator?

  • A “human-in-the-loop” sailing simulation


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OLD Simulator Hardware VS1, VS2 Dinghy Simulator

  • Boat in a roll frame

  • Pneumatic rams and pressure regulators

  • Transducers

  • Data acquisition


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NEW Simulator Hardware !! VS-C1 Dinghy Simulator

  • Cockpit/boat in a roll swing

  • Pneumatic ram and pressure regulators

  • Encoders

  • Data acquisition


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New to old software Dinghy Simulator

  • Cost ~$60k

  • Modular design allows for program to be changed

  • Strict separation of program elements allows development of program without secondary influences

  • Revisions can be backwardly compatible


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New to old hardware Dinghy Simulator

  • >$10k saving, >100 kg weight saving, <0.5 x size

  • Faster data rates (9.6k bps -> 33k bps, still very low)

  • All three transducers are the same, none require calibration ever

  • Lost ability to provide programmable tiller feedback


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The Old Simulator VS1 Dinghy Simulator


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The New Simulator VS-C1 Dinghy Simulator


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Some Simulator Uses Dinghy Simulator

  • Entry level training

  • Higher level fitness and skill evaluation and sports’ specific exercise programs

  • Training during poor weather

  • Fun

  • “Try-before-you-buy” programs for potential buyers, leading to happier clients and selling more boats


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Skills required to make a simulator Dinghy Simulator

  • Programming – high level of efficient graphics and easy simulation

  • Data acquisition and control – large cost savings and speed advances possible

  • Mechanical design – simple tough mechanisms used throughout

  • Simulation – efficient and quick algorithms to provide correct dynamic feel


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THE Dinghy SimulatorForce and Moment Balance

  • Essentially 4 degree of freedom (surge, sway, heel and yaw)

  • Done in time domain, results in F=ma, M=I, simple explicit Euler step used

  • Dynamics are assumed Eulerian (but should be Lagrangian!!!)

  • Simple force/moment decomposition with 3D vectors makes for realistic feel


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Some Problems with the Old Software Dinghy Simulator

  • Righting moment had a few bugs & did virtually nothing

  • No transverse force balance

  • Yaw moment balance had no real physical link

  • Rendering was quite clumsy

  • All drag elements were too high

    • meant all boat speeds were very slow


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Upright Drag Dinghy Simulator


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Sail Lift Dinghy Simulator


Sail drag l.jpg
Sail Drag Dinghy Simulator


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Centreboard Lift Dinghy Simulator


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Centreboard Drag Dinghy Simulator



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Basic Sim Data Dinghy Simulator


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Extra Sim Data Dinghy Simulator


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The New Boats, the Optimist Dinghy Simulator


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The New Boats, the Byte Dinghy Simulator



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The MegaByte, and The Liberty Dinghy Simulator(a two sail boat!!)


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Polar Comparison, Dinghy SimulatorNew Boats


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Conclusions from Upgrades Dinghy Simulator

  • Steady state performance prediction greatly improved

  • Dynamic performance prediction greatly improved

  • Modular coding allows for many different upgrade possibilities

  • Hardware refinements have saved 30% off cost price and made better machine

    • Sailing industry has an alternative


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Conclusions from Engineer’s Perspective Dinghy Simulator

  • A yacht designer has to do everything

    • MUST consider technologies/methods outside naval architecture

  • Approximations can be massive, but usefulness of predictions can still be high

  • Little can be achieved with non-scientific basis


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Future developments Dinghy Simulator

  • More training tools

  • More multiple sail dinghies

  • Better dynamic prediction for apparent wind sailing



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Exercise Dinghy Simulator

  • Alter simulation parameters to make dinghy as fast as possible in 12 knots TWS

  • Teach someone to sail

  • See which boat is fastest, and think why?


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Sailing = Glamour Dinghy Simulatortake advantage, don’t get fooled


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