by össur Kristinsson Once upon a time LICENSE THE ÖK HULL READ ABOUT ÖK HULL
"I was 15 years old when I built my first boat. It was a canoe and the building materials were oak, mahogany and sail cloth. It was a wonderful boat and me and my friends enjoyed it very much. "

Founding Össur ehf

I studied Orthopedic Engineering in Sweden in the sixties and upon return home to Iceland I founded the Össur company in 1971. As often is the case with young companies the going was tough and I worked long hours. From the start, I had ideas for technological improvements in Prosthetics and gradually tested and developed them whenever time allowed. But that is another story!

Introduction to DRAFIX

My late wife Björg Rafnar was a MD/virologist and in 1990 she was invited to work on a HIV research project in Ft. Dietrich, Maryland, USA. I moved with her and supported as best I could. This was also the time I got my first CAD program, DRAFIX (later called Quick CAD). This 2D program greatly enhanced my capabilities to design for the Össur company. Drawings made during the week would then be Faxed home on Fridays! Fortunately, this situation left me with plenty of time to focus on my new hobby – hull design. The first models are from this period and hull design has been my passion ever since.

The nineties were a hectic time in Össur company and following a breakthrough in development and production of the Iceross silicon socket, the company was floated on the stock market in 1999. This marked my informal retirement from the Prosthetics business, and it was time to become a boat owner again. In 2001 we took delivery of an Aqua Star 23m (a semi displacement). Later upgrades were a Guy Coach 28m and a Westport 40m.

Much time was spent on the boats and me and Björg loved it, especially when family joined us. The boats offered me the opportunity to study, experience and understand different hull forms. Ownership opened doors to boatyards where I could observe different hull shapes of boats in build and different layouts of boats for sale. Ownership also opened doors to the big boat shows in Europe and USA – everyone wanted to sell me a bigger boat!

Experimentation begins

I started my experimentation in 2003, by towing models. In the beginning my main collaborator was Sigurdur Asgeirsson and later Jon Thorvardarson. The first models were milled in the Össur company and towed in my 12m indoor swimming pool. You have to start somewhere. After encouraging results in the pool, we took 2.5m and 3.6m models for towing in tanks in Vienna, Potsdam and Norway. These early experiments included twin-keel monohull models with very interesting results. Encouraged by the results, we had a 22m mini tank built in Iceland where we towed more than one hundred 1m models.

New powerful hardware

In the last 10 years, we have also used computerized approach to towing hulls with CDF software. In the beginning this was somewhat frustrating as it would take days to complete a single run. Since 2019 however our new powerful hardware handles the job much better.

Jon Thorvardarson has since towed many different models of mine. Monohulls include a 42m passenger boat, 42m coast guard, 30m autonomous hull, 100m bulk carrier and a 130m general use hull. I find the results absolutely remarkable.

Expanding our horizon

Lately, our attention has increasingly been on a very interesting concept, that of a twinkeel monohull. Such hull was included in towing tests in Norway in 2012. A 220-page report is available, it demonstrates the concept of the twinkeel and the importance of distance between the two keels. In my view, the twinkeel monohull offers tremendous increase of interior space compared to conventional monohulls without compromising speed and fuel consumption. We have towed numerous twinkeel models (10m, 20m, 30m and more) and the layouts for these boats are available. The power curves show that they are more efficient than conventional, comparable monohulls of similar volume.

When we started our R&D the main goal was to break the speed limits of displacement hulls – a total success. As a bonus we got a hull that does not slam, even when driven very hard in difficult sea conditions. The ÖK hull is a displacement hull that is sitting on plane at rest. It tolerates high loads without sacrificing performance and maneuverability.

The concept hull is scalable.

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