Designing new boats on computers is now so common, it's hardly worth mentioning. But while everyone seems to be doing it, a few boatbuilders have discovered—some the hard way—that CAD is not perfect. Indeed, they're learning that despite the wonders of this new technology, nothing can substitute for actually walking through a full-scale mockup to determine if all the proportions and dimensions really work.
One big fan of mockups is the U.K. builder Fairline, which began doing it a few years back and today routinely creates a full-scale recreation of every new boat out of plywood and cardboard before finalizing any new plans. Last week, I toured the Failine factory in Oundle and got a chance to both view and walk through the mockup for the new flagship, which will probably be an 80 and probably lauch in 2013. (Such tentativeness is part and parcel of the whole mockup concept.)
Below you can see two views of the mockup for the main deck. (Apologies for the hot quality. IPhones don't do well in fluorescent light.)
The upper portion of the photo is the main deck area in which you can see some furniture has been placed. The open areas along the side will correspond to actual window and door openings on the final version. Of course, everything is 1:1 scale.
On the lower portion of the photo you see the crew quarters, with the sleeping area to the left and head to the right. The door in the background will lead to the engine room.
Here's another view of just the main floor.
Here you have a better view of some proposed (but not final) seating arrangements and the two-level configuration.
Creating and modifying a mockup like this is both costly and time-consuming but it really makes a difference in the final product. Which you'll be able to see in about 18 months!