Marinus Meijers

Sky is limit for AeroHydro software

Marinus Meijers
A Dutch vessel, the Zeemeeuw, is in the process of being framed from a kit that was designed with the help of computer-aided design (CAD) software created by AeroHydro in Southwest Harbor.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — With the use of computer-aided design (CAD) for boats and ships, AeroHydro, a five-person company based out of Southwest Harbor, has been systematically revolutionizing naval architecture for more than two decades.

Now it has teamed up with Swedish metal boat designer Marinus Meijers in an attempt to buoy up the boatbuilding industry by making boats more affordable on the international level. Mr. Meijers is working as a representative of AeroHydro software in the Netherlands. He sells computer software that is used to determine the appropriate size, weight, and shape of boatbuilding materials before the building process ever begins. AeroHydro’s software aims to reduce waste and, therefore, the cost of building.

“It’s a bit like how children put together a model of a boat out of cardboard and plastic parts,” said Mr. Meijers. “The software makes it so that the artist is using raw materials that have already been perfectly cut and designed. They are able to build the boat virtually first, so putting it together can be exactly right from the start, rather than having to scrap expensive pieces of metal or composite that don’t fit correctly.”

According to Mr. Meijers, AeroHydro’s software can analyze the shape and design of a boat; but can also precisely tweak the strength of a vessel’s structure.

“This is not something you could do on a drafting board,” said Mr. Meijers. “You can only really do this in a computer environment. A boat has to float right. The trouble is, it has a certain weight. The typical problem is that you have to make the right shape, and while you’re doing that, something ends up being not quite right, and you have to change that a bit. And constant changes can be costly.”

Mr. Meijers has been using the AeroHydro software successfully to help boatbuilders and designers craft metal, composite and wooden boat kits in the Netherlands for 10 years.

More recently, the same technology used for the kits has caught the attention of scientists and developers at the University of Maine and National Renewable Energy Lab in the interest of offshore wind power development.

AeroHydro software combined with WAMIT, a technology developed by MIT, is now being used in the development of Maine’s offshore wind power.

For more maritime news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.


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