Design it, Drive it: Speedboats
Design it, Drive it: Speedboats is a speedboat simulator with high fidelity physics that lets you design and drive your own speedboats from more than 25 adjustable parameters on a Windows PC, then compete with it against other players in a top speed shootout, run lapped solo time trials, or just free drive as you please with no constraints. Whether you end up with boats that are slow, fast, turn well, chine walk, or tend to blow over at high speeds or not depends on what you do with the shape and design of the hull.
Play on Steam! (Windows only, DirectX 11 or higher required)
STERN DRIVES ARE HERE !! (New April 27, 2017)
TUNNEL BOATS ARE HERE !! (New November 17, 2016)
(Tunnels, stern drives, and the new curvy vees are available only in the Steam version. If you purchased the product directly through the website before it went to Steam, please email supportATspeedboatsim.com for your free Steam key.)
Boat Design Variables
There are more than 40 adjustable parameters for the vee hull that you can play with that affect the performance and handling of the boat, including:
- -Up to six stern drive or outboard engine installations (up to 2,400 HP total with six 400 HP outboards or over 10,000 HP total with stern drives)
- -Engine power (From 90 to 400 HP outboards, 90-1450 HP stern drives)
- -Propeller pitch
- -Overall hull length, width, and molded depth
- -Transom height
- -Chine width
- -Bow and transom deadrise angles
- -Cockpit position, width, and dash height
- -Seat positions and floor depth (the driver’s position matters a great deal for balance)
- -Bow top shape
- -Overall hull curvature
- -Pad or no pad: With a pad you can choose the pad deadrise angle, length, width, and height.
- -Strakes/Step positions, width, and deadrise (side) angle. You can run two steps or no steps.
- -Jackplate setback (from 4 to 12 inches)
- -Weight can be adjusted from 0% (lightest) to 100% (double the lightest weight) in 10% increments.
The tunnels have a similar list of parameters specific to that boat.
Solo Time Trial Courses, Top Speed Shootout, and “Free as the Wind” modes
Drive freely with no timers or buoys, compete in top speed shootouts via an in-game leaderboard, or run solo time trial courses. Learn more and see some examples here:
Virtual Reality Headset Support
Oculus Rift CV1, DK1, and DK2 are fully supported including translation motion tracking.
A VR headset is not required and the product will run just as well on a regular single or multi-monitor setup including triple monitors. The developer runs three 24″ monitors at 5870×1200 total resolution or the Oculus DK2 as shown in some of the videos. Many players run it on gaming laptops with a gamepad or the keyboard.
Vive support is not available yet but is planned. Join the Facebook group to be notified when Vive support becomes available.
This solo indie project was written/created by Todd Wasson, formerly the physics engine programmer/vehicle dynamics engineer behind Virtual RC Racing and it’s successor, VRC Pro. The hydrodynamic/aerodynamic simulation is run directly on the boat mesh you design inside the simulator from these parameters, so any changes you make affect the performance and handling in much the same way it does on a real boat.
Instabilities such as porpoising and chine walk naturally come out of the physics model too as well as blowover. A lot can be learned about these by experimenting with the hull design and driving techniques inside the boat sim.
The physics code/vehicle simulation model driving all this is a proprietary system that solves thousands of hydrodynamic, skin friction, buoyancy, and aerodynamic forces separately on almost every triangle in the boat mesh as well as the individual propeller blades. This even includes p-factor effects due to the propeller rotation axis being misaligned with the direction of water flow as a result of engine trim and steering.
Skin friction at the hull and lower unit is computed using a sophisticated Reynold’s number approach that depends on the details of the water/hull interaction, so as you trim the engine or adjust the pad design to raise the bow or hull out of the water, the effect on top speed is similar to what you would get with a real boat.
Paddlewheel effects due to surface piercing propellers come naturally out of the physics model due to the individual propeller blade modelling, so when the jack plate is raised or the engine trim is adjusted to lift the propeller partly out of the water in the hunt for maximum speed, the lopsided propeller forces from blades exposed to the air tend to steer the boat which requires a steering correction.
Force Vector Visualization
You can turn on force vector and waterline/hull intersection visualization to study why, when, and how chine walk sets in and learn how to combat it in the hull design. If you have a steering wheel controller, you can also learn how to control and recover from chine walk as a pilot. The steering corrections and rhythm you need here are similar to what you need in a real boat. With a force feedback steering wheel you can even learn to anticipate the oscillation and stop it before it happens. It’s good practice for winter months and could be a valuable training exercise for new, high performance boaters.
The controls are highly customizable including force feedback steering wheels, gamepads, joysticks, custom controllers, etc.. You can assign buttons or axes to steering/throttle/jackplate/engine trim separately any way you choose. You can even have multiple controllers hooked up at the same time all controlling different things, such as having a joystick control the throttle while your wheel is for steering. Maybe a gamepad button or analog stick is for engine trim and the keyboard controls the jackplate. Just about any configuration you can think of is possible.
The force feedback for steering wheels is computed from hundreds of forces acting on the propeller and engine, including engine torque effects.
Don’t have a controller? No problem, you can use the keyboard too.
Facebook group (Join to keep up to date on the latest developments)
This is not your typical video game boating experience. Design it, Drive it : Speedboats is a serious simulation with extensive physics modelling not often found in PC games. With all these dynamics at play, just keeping the boat on the water and pointing in the right direction at high speed can keep you busy!