P14032: Skipper's Chair

Problem Definition

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 Questions

Keith Burhans 8/29/2013:

Kate Leipold 9/05/2013:

Caitlyn Connolly 9/10/2013:

Additional Notes:

Customer Requirements (Needs)

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Customer Requirements Table

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)

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Engineering Requirements Table

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

Needs & ER Matrix


Project Goals and Key Deliverables

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