Technion researchers engineer lighter, faster speedboat

Dganit boat has thinner base that reduces its fuel consumption.

The Dganit (photo credit: TECHNION)
The Dganit
(photo credit: TECHNION)
A new type of lightweight speed boat especially suited to strong sea waves has been developed by engineers at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. The benefits of the innovative Dganit boat come from the reduced thickness of the boat’s bottom and lighter weight, which increase its speed and reduce its fuel consumption.
At the Dganit’s inauguration ceremony, Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie said the achievement “closed two circles.”
“In the 1930s, the Technion had a nautical school, but it soon closed down. Now, in 2016, our researchers have developed a new boat based on an innovative approach and new materials. The other circle is that when the Technion opened in 1924, Zionist visionary Menachem Ussishkin said basic research and applied research are two sides of the same coin. This boat is the product of a successful connection between basic research and applied research, with cooperation between the Technion and industry.”
The boat was designed and built over three years by Prof. Nitai Drimer and Prof. Daniel Rittel of the mechanical engineering faculty; the Sela Ltd. and Sherman Carmel companies, owned by Benny Danino; and three masters of science students, Yahav Moskowitz, Or Neuberg and Oren Rijensky. The cooperation between the Technion and the two companies was carried out as a research and development project funded by the Economics and Defense ministries.
“This was a complex and fascinating challenge,” said Rittel. “I’m not even a boat expert, so for me it was a project in which we started from scratch and produced a real boat that verifies our research.
There is no doubt that the Israeli tendencies to be daring, push boundaries, challenge the system, think outside the box and be unafraid have played a significant role in the development.”
The idea to develop the boat was initiated by Danino and Drimer, who said there was a trade-off between speed (which requires low weight) and the need for a strong boat (that can withstand the strong force of powerful waves).After being appointed head of marine engineering in the mechanical engineering faculty, Drimer explored the issue with his colleague Rittel, who heads the center for material mechanics.
There, they developed with their students a new approach that takes into account the extreme situations of the sea. On the basis of a new approach to rational design, they developed the Dganit.
Their work was published this year in the journal Ships and Offshore Structures.