Learning Boat Design Principles

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Insomniac, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. Insomniac
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: United States

    Insomniac Junior Member


    Looking for suggestions on best books/resources on learning boat design concepts. I am specifically interested in designing my own scull boat (tailored to my weight/size) and would appreciate any suggestions on resources I could study to help me understand the relevant principles of design. Any suggestions you can offer? Thanks!
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 7,349
    Likes: 690, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    Hi Insomniac, in addition to the knowledge about boat design, you will need other knowledge without which it is impossible to move forward. I do not want you to feel offended but, for example, do you know how to calculate, or do you have tools to calculate, the volume of an object, its weight, its center of gravity? It is very likely that you know all that, I just want to point out that without certain knowledge of mathematics or physics, or even drawing, it is impossible to design a boat.
    If you want to start in some way, and you believe I can help you, do not hesitate to consult what you need (you already have my email)
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  3. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 859
    Likes: 107, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 218
    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    A skull is basically a long canoe with a rowing rig. Here's what I would suggest:

    1. Buy/download DelftShip or similar boat lofting software that has features to calculate volume, displacement, center of gravity, hull speed/resistance, hydrostatics, etc.
    2. Learn how to use the software by reading the user guide from cover to cover. Visit the user forums for the software you buy to build your knowledge until your confidence improves.
    3. Loft your hull or tweak an existing hull to suit your needs.
    4. Run some resistance checks to make sure your hull form will perform.
    5. Export the stations and go build it. Various construction techniques are out there so read the best book for your construction method.

    This is a brief summary, but it outlines the basic phases you'll need to go through to design a rowing scull. Some obvious factors to consider when choosing a hull:

    -Your body weight + maximum gear weight you'll be bringing on board.
    -Area you will be paddling (calm lakes/rivers or choppy harbor?). If choppy waters a boat with higher freeboard would be an obvious consideration, for example.
    -Purpose for boat (fitness/racing, touring, expeditions or all three?).

    Consider all factors early on so you don't have to loop back and make a significant change to the design later on.

    May the force be with you.
  4. Insomniac
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: United States

    Insomniac Junior Member

    Thanks @TANSL for your input. This is a very valid point. I had my share of college math and physics courses so I imagine that will provide a foundation at least. I am sure there will be a learning curve though as I apply those concepts to boat design. Thanks as well for your offer of help. Good to know I can reach out.

  5. Insomniac
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 22
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: United States

    Insomniac Junior Member

    This is some very solid advice. Thanks for taking the time to respond and help me out.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.