Table of Contents
Two previous revisions of the Skipper’s Chair have been designed for disabled individuals to steer the Sonar Sailboat under recreational and competitive conditions. Previous major constraints included excess weight, number of custom components, and installation/adjustment time.
The primary purpose of the Skipper's Chair is to allow a single disabled individual full control of the sailboat maneuverability. It must also be designed for approximately 95% of the population. Important goals for this project are to reduce the weight, number of custom parts and in turn, the assembly time while withholding racing standards. Ultimately, the chair must be usable in training, recreation, and competitive activities.
Interview QuestionsKeith Burhans 8/29/2013:
- Q: What features need to be removed/added to the most
- A: Height adjusted to prevent contact with the boom/main sail.
- Q: How does a typical sailing race work?
- Maneuvers; Positioning; Rope-work?
- A: Ergonomic maneuvering optimal. Individual's arms must be precisely placed to minimize discomfort.
- Maneuvers; Positioning; Rope-work?
- Q: What safety/racing regulations are necessary when
designing the model?
- A: The sailboat must not be modified by removing material. No electronics or other automatic systems for a fair competition.
- Q: Are interchangeable or permanent parts preferred?
- A: The entire system must be removable between competitions/sailboats. If a part needs replacement, easy access is an added bonus.
- Q: Is a slide board or similar device used to enter
- A: A mounting system is present for disabled individuals who cannot enter the sailboat by themselves.
Kate Leipold 9/05/2013:
- Q: Is comfort an important aspect for this model?
- A: The user should be free to bring their own seat, therefore, the seat must be interchangeable. The seat may be tilted back slightly and there must be a harness to safely secure the individual into position.
- Q: Is current model user friendly? (i.e. easy to
use,easy to get in and out of)
- A: The model was ergonomically improved for 90% of the population. The rope system was getting tangled when cranked.
- Q: What features must the rudder system include?
- A: A quick release rudder system must be installed.
Caitlyn Connolly 9/10/2013:
- Q: Have either or the previous prototypes been used?
- A: The 2nd iteration (13032) has not been used. The 1st iteration (12031) has been tested by at least two individuals. One was a quadriplegic with no hand strength, but had upper arm strength. The second was a stroke patient who had only 1-side mobility (able to use the pedal mechanism).
- Q: Has the previous prototype (12031) been used for
- A: It has been used for training purposes. The current chair must be usable for training purposes and competition as well, therefore, it must not be intimidating and easy to use.
- Q: How is the prototype (12031) currently stored at
- A: It is currently stored uninstalled (not in sub-assemblies).
- Q: Are there problems with disassembling/assembling
the system (12031)?
- A: Currently, it is a pain to dissemble, requiring an specific toolbox.
- Q: Under what conditions has the prototype (12031)
- A: It has been tested under normal wind conditions (15-17 knots max). It has not undergone extreme conditions.
- Q: Are there any positives/negatives from user
- A: As the boat keels (tips to a side), more force is needed to hold the tiller stable.
- Q: Currently, the previous prototype (13032) has not
been fully shipped at this time. Is there a possibility
to visit and test it out and/or return it to RIT?
- A: It would be possible to visit and test the model. The official season ends on November 15th, but it may be returnable near the end of October.
- Some sailboats contain a boom vang as a sail component. This component will need to be taken into account when dealing with the height constraint.
- An removable headrest would provide the user neck support, but must not interfere with the boom height.
- The average thickness of individual seat cushions is 3''.
Customer Requirements (Needs)
CR 10 - We were never able to have the tiller rotate the full 45 degrees. With 22 degrees of rotation, we are not confident that this will be usable for competition or in more difficult sailing conditions.
Engineering Requirements (Specifications)
S 9 - We do not have hand holds on our steering arms in order to test this part of the system.
S 14 - With the pulley assembly we are using for the tiller, there is further risk of tripping/stepping on the pulleys. Even though they have been set to the edge of the floor, they may still be in the way.
S 18/19 - At this time we do not believe that this system will be useful for all of the population we were trying to meet. The Skipper's Chair requires greater strength from the user and also does not currently meet the tiller rotation that was required.
Needs & Engineering Requirements Matrix
- Reduce weight
- 13032 weighted 117lbs
- Reduce number of custom parts
- Reduce build time
- Identify and reinforce material around stress points
- Use less wooden materials
Project Goals and Key Deliverables
- Minimize cost of system
- Reduce assembly time
- 13032: build - 30 min
- assemble - 15 min
- adjust - 30 min
- maintain safety and personal adjustment capabilities