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Why G-force and crew comfort are important considerations

When we design surface drive systems, we always look at hull design in terms of the need to measure resistance. However, there is another critical factor that is often overlooked when fast craft are designed: Crew and passenger comfort.

From a design or engineering standpoint, any vessel can be made to go fast or achieve certain speeds, given enough power, torque, and propeller thrust. However, the human body can only withstand a certain amount of force before sustaining injury. Going fast provides no benefit if your personnel or passengers are injured during the voyage.

France Helices calculates the impact of slamming on the human body. Specifically, the impact of G-forces on the body in relation to where the person is located on the vessel. Indeed, with every quote we provide, we give the customer a chart showing the impact of riding aboard the vessel. When speeds start to exceed 50 knots, this information moves from being “nice to know” to being critical. Real injuries can easily be sustained at high speeds. Additionally, we offer different calculations at different sea states. A difference from calm, Sea State 1 to Sea State 3 can mean a big difference on the amount of punishment that a body needs to absorb.

A good illustration of this impact is in the quoted article below, published a few years ago by Popular Mechanics. Though it strays into different areas related to special forces missions, the following paragraph should give you room to ponder:


Training is intense: Aspiring crewmen are expected to be able to perform 79 sit-ups in 2 minutes and swim 500 yards in 10 minutes. Their physical strength is needed to handle heavy gear–each crewman wears at least 70 pounds of ballistic protection, weapons, radios and medical gear–and also prevents injury. But physical conditioning doesn’t totally prevent back damage caused by the repeated impact of fast-moving boats slamming across waves. Many veteran SWCCs have scars from back surgeries made necessary by these shocks to their vertebrae.Read more: Behind the Scenes With a Special Ops Gunboat Crew – Popular Mechanics

So, think about the impact on professionals, well-trained, and in good physical shape. Could the average yacht owner or passenger withstand such forces? This is simply one critical consideration in vessel design.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By John Miele

I am currently Sales and Marketing Manager, Asia / Pacific for France Helices. Created in 1977 by Paul BEZZI, FRANCE HELICES is today an international company. French marine propulsion leader, FRANCE HELICES is also one of the international leaders. Research and development are a very important part of FRANCE HELICES program, the CAD's department is equipped with the latest computer technology, using most up to date programs. Our engineers and technicians determine from the customers specifications and designs, the type of propulsion system to suit the boat's application. They can also advise on the ideal choice of power and optimum gearbox ratio to obtain the maximum thrust. There are many FRANCE HELICES' inovations and patents such as Surface Drive System (SDS) which enable boats to obtain very high speed with excellent handling capabilities and high quality Controllable Pitch Propeller systems (CPP) for both professional use and pleasure application. The constant research using cavitation tunnel testing, guarantees high efficient propeller blade shape for our customers. More than 20 000 propellers per year are manufactured by FRANCE HELICES workshops. In all sizes from small sailing boats to large fishing vessels to navy boats or mega yachts. The FRANCE HELICES workshops are equipped with modern foundries capable of casting propellers up to 3.5 tons in NiBrAl. They are also equipped with CNC milling machines and CNC lathe machines. FRANCE HELICES has four sites which cover the complete range of production. The development of FRANCE HELICES, supported by shareholders places our company as a leader in the international market and insures a constant development, worldwide, in order to be close to the end user.