Will boats of the future be made from plants? Will they be hybrid-propelled? Will they dock themselves? Will androids design them?
Some months ago, I was visiting a bunch of marine manufacturing facilities in the Midwest, among them a plant in Pulaski, Wisconsin, where Carver and Marquis Yachts are built. After a tour featuring Carver’s two latest models—the C34 and the C40—I met a guy named Ryan Jendro, design engineer on both projects. Jendro was gazing into a computer screen when I stepped into his office, his face aglow with the complexities of a Rhinoceros (Rhino) 3D modeling program. On a shelf nearby was an odd-looking, suitcase-sized, window-sided box emblazoned: MakerBot Replicator 2X. “That’s a 3-D printer, isn’t it?” I said with excitement, forgetting to even introduce myself.
“Yeah,” he replied. “I’ve got another one at home.” Within seconds we were both totally tapped into what the super-enthusiastic Jendro sees as the future of boatbuilding, a reasonable, albeit mind-boggling vision with overtones of science fiction. The conversation paid off in two respects. First, it got me buzz-saw-psyched, a state of mind you can’t be beat with a boathook. And second, it generated the story that follows. What will the essentials of boating look like in 15 or 20 years? The next few pages will give you Jendro’s take, as well as the takes of a few other well-credentialed crystal-ball gazers. Enjoy!
This article originally appeared in the October 2013 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.