Harris Pontoon, a leading manufacturer of recreational pontoon boats, partnered up with Tangent to design and develop the new Solstice Helm, giving Harris’ volume selling pontoon series a design and feature heavy helm for 2020.
Beginning with 2D ideation sketches, Tangent produced multiple concepts that incorporated the desired helm features including an openable helm top, and storage space within the helm’s instrument panel. Tangent worked to incorporate numerous automotive styling features into the helm’s design, including an integrated bezel, multiple Simrad screen sizes, a leather wrapped brow, and billet trim accents.
After creating 2D sketches, Tangent began modeling the helm in Alias, a 3D CAD software, that allows Tangent to build production ready parts for clients and their suppliers. Throughout the 3D process, Tangent made sure to utilize our in-house VR software, which allowed us to make ergonomic adjustments to the helm’s many user-friendly features, as well as ensure the placement of the binnacle and steering wheel would be ideal for users of all shapes and sizes.
This phase was especially crucial for determining the feasibility of the helm’s openable fiberglass top, which allows the user to access the inner fiberglass structure and storage space. By testing out this feature in a virtual space, Tangent was able to determine whether the part would work without crashing into other features, helping to organize and layout the helm’s controls.
Tangent was tasked with modeling numerous parts, including the helm’s base fiberglass structure, which needed to be strong enough to support the helms numerous features, including the helm’s most important functional feature; a separate top that would allow access to the inner fiberglass. Additional parts included the helm top, and brow, both to be wrapped in leather, as well as silver thermoform bezel highlighting the helm’s various Simrad displays.
Tangent took these myriads of parts from sketch to reality, ensuring that fit and finish were of paramount importance. By working closely with suppliers and part manufactures, each 3D part was shipped in a production ready state, ensuring that when the helm came together, each part would fit with minimal effort and the highest tolerance.