Boaters increasingly require convenience and quieter boats. Boating is unpleasant for the skipper and passengers if it is difficult to hear normal conversation in the cockpit. VTT’s Quiet boats project examined both short-term solutions applicable to existing boats and factors affecting noise level that can be taken into account in the design of new boats.
The noise level of motor boat interiors can be affected — and reduced. Placing an acoustic enclosure around the engine and sealing any openings between the engine bay and the cockpit proved to be the most efficient ‘quick fixes’.
The project has given boat makers access to practical research data on the origin of noise and ways of reducing it that can be directly applied to product development. Some of the companies involved in the project have already applied the results in their production. “Thanks to the results of the Quiet boats project these businesses now have a foundation on which to base their own further investigations and the product development of even quieter boats”, says Senior Research Scientist Hannu Nykänen of VTT.
The study focused on cabin cruisers between 6 and 14 metres in length fitted with one or two sterndrive engines. The project began with the analysis of the noise levels, sound quality and intelligibility of speech in the cockpit and passenger cabin of the boat types selected as reference boats by the boatyards involved.
The project was carried out in cooperation with four Finnish boat sector companies: Bella Boats, Oy Botnia Marin Ab, Tristan Boats Ltd and Volvo Finland Ab. The University of Kuopio joined VTT in the research cooperation. The Quiet boats project is part of the Tekes Boat Programme 2007�.