how to get started

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by admiraltom, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. admiraltom
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    admiraltom New Member

    First I would like to introduce myself a little. I'm thomas I am extremely interested in boat designing and building but I'm a complete amateur. I do plan on attending a university and studying ocean engineering or naval architecture. However that probably won't happen for at least another year or two. I would however like to get a head start. That being said I have a question, i was wondering if there are any books I can read to get me familiar with designing, processes taken, planning, and evaluating my designs. Also I would appreciate any advice you have on the subject thank you for your time :)
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Admiraltom, Welcome to the site. I am very sorry to report that there are no books at all on the topic, and if you do a search on this forum, you will not find dozens of similar threads asking the same question.

    Likewise, Googling books on design, planning and design processes are forbidden on the internet, and you will not find any information on them at all.

    Of course - I may be totally wrong :)

    Try having a look at this recent discussion, and see if it has any info you can use
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Welcome aboard Tom. Of course, there are many texts on the various subjects, from novice interest to in depth specifics. The book store here can help as well as your favorite book seller.
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Google Amazon for Half hull modeling by David King. Its a wonderful little book that explains how they did it in the old days. One of those books that you will keep for the rest of your life. Building models wont make you a naval architect but will help you understand the lines, terminolgy , style. Real naval architecture is all about engineering and mathmatics.
  5. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    philSweet Senior Member

    I think one of the hardest things to do early on is to understand how all the bits and pieces relate to one another and to gain an appreciation of boat building as a system.

    Francis Kinney's versions of Skene's Elements of Yacht Design and Gere's Boat Strength both will give you a good sense of how the process is organized and how the materials are sized with respect to each other. And whether or not you like working with math.

    And any time you spend on the water in anything, doing anything, is time well spent. Education needs some experience to stick to. Otherwise it just floats around in your head.
  6. kerosene
    Joined: Jul 2006
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    kerosene Senior Member

    as rwatson kindly tries to hint - search would give you all the answers.

    I think nature of boats is the best 1st book. Eliasson, larsson principles of yacht design is the more "hard core" detailed book.
    1 person likes this.
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you can get you hands on "The Common Sense of Yacht Design" by Herreshoff, I highly recommend it.
  8. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    Welcome to the list. You should ask yourself why you would want to do such a thing as a carreer. There is not much of a demand, and even sucessful designers barely make a living at it, most have other jobs outside of boat design to actually support themselves. Only two area of boat design where you can make a livign is working for a large commercial ship builder making mostly container ships, and doing vessel surveys for insurance companies or brokers.

    Although designing boats is a creative challenge and can be very satifying, getting a degree in engineering will give you a lot more career flexiblity and allow you to support yourself. Than you can persue boat design as a side line advocation, it takes the pressure off as far as supporting yourself. And if you should get enough comminsions to support boat designing full time, than so much the better.
  9. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    Petros has delivered the best advice that you will get.. That is not to discourage you from becoming a student of boat/ship design. Just let that be a secondary pursuit.
  10. Joe Petrich
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    Joe Petrich Designer

    Welcome admiraltom. A good book on the general boat design process is Cyrus Hamlin's "Preliminary Design of Boats and Ships". It is a good start to understanding the process of boat design. It will not give you detailed design information but there are other good books out there for that, some of which have already been mentioned. Another good basic book, especially if you are interested in Sailboats is "Yacht Design Explained" by Steve Killing.

    If you have the passion and work hard you will do well. Make sure you are good in math. Go to boatyards and walk around looking at the boats, not just the pretty topsides but the bottoms where all the "work" is done as well. See the differences and similarities. If there are boat builder's in your area go visit them. If you pester them (nicely) enough you might be able to get a summer job. Also, get out on boats as much as you can and feel how they perform. Notice how different boats make different waves when they move. Doing these things will make you ask questions which will lead to more knowlege. Start now to look for a college which specializes in Naval Architecture. There are other places which teach yacht design such as The Landing School. That may suit you better. In any case you can do it, with a little hard work and determination. Good Luck!

  11. DavidJ
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    I'm not sure where exactly Petros is coming from. The OP clearly states that he plans to pursue an engineering degree with a focus on marine design.

    Yes if your only interest is in being an independent designer focusing on designing small recreational boats then it could be a very difficult path to follow. But there are lots of jobs out there for naval architects and other marine engineers, both with commercial ships and in yacht design. I worked almost 3 years with a yacht design firm doing mostly structural design, but also bits of everything else. I left by my own choice to broaden my experience. I'm now at a commercial firm doing some new design but mostly I work on surveying and solving customer problems (meeting regulations, repairs, refits, stability assessments, etc).

    I graduated a little over 4 years ago in Naval Architecture and nobody I graduated with has ever been unemployed.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2012
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