The Jewell Project: Virtual Reality becomes Physical Reality

These days I spend more time building boats in the computer than in real life. So, it is highly satisfying when I see a boat becoming the real thing.

A Mainer from Norway, Maine has commissioned his own Jewell. It is being built from my kit by French & Webb in Belfast, Maine for a summer launch.

After years of planning and design, we have gone from this virtual set up:

To this set up "in the flesh":

All bulkheads are CNC cut plywood. Their shapes come directly from the model you see in the screenshot. When designs are made in 3D CAD, the objects are actually lofted in full-size. In other words, the model is not a "scale-model" but rather a full-size model in 1:1. Once modeled, each bulkhead is simply flattened onto a virtual 2D surface and the outlines are duplicated and nested on 4x8 virtual sheets of plywood. The CNC cutter than programs the machine to follow theses lines and voila! a bulkhead is directly cut.No lofting by hand, no tracing lines onto wood, cutting with a jigsaw (but not too close to the line!), and high accuracy and repeat ability. The downside, I suppose, is that some feel satisfaction cutting their own parts. But even pro builders know their is more satisfaction in getting a boat launched in good time and greater accuracy. This Jewell will be a 3-month build. Lofting and cutting your own parts would result in another month of work.

Keep track of the Jewell project here, on my facebook page, or on my website.