News & Events

The Viking View – Evolution of Design

Virtual Tank Testing

Viking leads the industry in every facet of yacht manufacturing, and it all starts at the design stage where our Design and Engineering Department pushes the boundaries of naval architecture while incorporating 56 years of experience and expertise.
The evolution of the design process now includes Viking‘s use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software from the company Orca3D, which allows us to conduct “virtual tank tests.” In-house CFD software gives our Design and Engineering team the ability to run numerous virtual trials for each of our new models to optimize their running surfaces for better performance. “It gives us greater freedom and flexibility when creating designs for new boats and the ability to promptly fine-tune existing yachts in our fleet,” says Viking Naval Architect Joe Snodgrass, shown here working with CFD visualizations of the 46 Billfish.
Another key benefit of CFD is that it can analyze pressure distribution. This information can be used to fine-tune running efficiency. “We can actually look at the shapes and see where we can make changes to the deadrise or to the chine distribution or to the strakes to increase efficiency,” says Joe. “We can make adjustments to the hull shape or the shape of the appendages, such as bow thrusters, hull tunnels and intakes. This ability to analyze pressure is a valuable additional tool.”
Viking‘s use of the Computational Fluid Dynamics software for new yacht models began with the 58 Convertible and has been used to design the 38 Billfish, 38 Open Billfish and 46 Billfish (above). We have invested in a powerful computer that can complete CFD simulations in under eight hours. “CFD analysis is now an integral part of the design process,” says Lonni Rutt, Vice President of Design and Engineering. “It really allows you to define what works and what doesn’t work. Once you eliminate what doesn’t work, you can focus on the changes that are yielding the most positive results.”
The Orca3D program allows the Design and Engineering Department to schedule several virtual tank test simulations to run one after the other over the course of a weekend or several days. The tests on a particular hull can be done using different displacements, center of gravity positions and speeds. “The machine is always ‘cooking’ because we are constantly developing new product,” says Joe. “It’s pretty much running all the time. I’m constantly hitting the go button.”