Online keel checker - free until June 2014

The integrity of a keel is vital - now there’s a free online Keelchecker
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Are you thinking of building, designing or engineering a boat any time soon? The maritime industry is benefitting from new small craft engineering software, developed by a senior lecturer from the Maritime and Technology Faculty at Southampton Solent University and, at the moment, free to the user.

Keel Checker 3.0, a free online tool for assessing whether a keel design is within the parameters of acceptable standards, is something that you, or your design engineer might find eminently useful when you are building a boat.

This has now been launched as a tool to the full standard ISO 12215-9 (Hull construction and scantlings - Part 9: Sailing boats - Appendages), which was itself published on June 8, 2012.

The free tool is courtesy of The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and Southampton Solent University. The tool is intended to serve as a training aid to help with the interpretation of the standard.

Keel Checker V3.0 is now available together with an Excel spreadsheet, which may be of assistance to users of the commercial programme 'HullScant'; a programme used to determine floor and girder properties for use in Keel Checker.

Dr Robin Loscombe, a senior lecturer at Southampton Solent University and a member of the working group for the tool, said 'Keel Checker V3.0 is freely available so that engineers can see what Part 9 now involves. I'm delighted that ICOMIA continue to make this tool available on their website.'

The program requires Excel 2007 or higher. It comes as a zipped download package consisting of a Manual, Recording Template and Revisions Log, and here is how to obtain the evaluation version.

First contact ICOMIA by emailing robin.loscombe [at] solent.ac.uk, so that your email address can be added to the website for access to the keel checker. You will then be emailed instructions as to how to log in.

Once logged in you will be directed to the introduction and the download package.

You will need to read the Manual on how to get started and then familiarise yourself with the evaluation version of the program. After a few days contact Robin Loscombe (Southampton Solent University) directly robin.loscombe [at] solent.ac.uk for access to the unrestricted version.

The tool is to be supplied free until June 2014 at which time the position will be reviewed.