Learning to design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by flyboy, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. flyboy
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    Location: USA

    flyboy New Member

    Hi everybody,
    Im new here but I have a question.
    I have always wanted to design my own boats ever since I was very little. I was hoping you all could give me some pointers in the right direction to start learning it all. I dont plan to do it for a living but more as a hobby. I am interested in sail mainly. Are there books I should look into getting? Other recomended reading? Im not afraid of very technical stuff and would really like to get into the hard core design skills.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  2. fede
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Location: milano

    fede Senior Member

    Get "principle of yacht design",it's a very good starting point that covers quiet well many aspects of Y.D.
    On Amazon.
  3. lewisboats
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Iowa

    lewisboats Obsessed Member

    Skene's Elements of Yacht Design: Edited (re-written is more like it) By Francis S. Kinney
    Preliminary Design of Boats and Ships by Cyrus Hamlin
    Cruising Sailboat Kinetics by Danny Greene
    Yacht Design Explained by Steve Killing and Douglas Hunter
    Understanding Boat Design by Ted Brewer
    The Nature of Boats by Dave Gerr
    Seaworthiness: The Forgotten Factor by C.A. Marchaj
    Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing by C.A. Marchaj
    Fiberglass Boat Design and Construction by Robert J. Scott
    Cold Moulded and Strip Planked Wood Boatbuilding by Ian Nicholson
    Clinker Plywood Boatbuilding Manual by Ian Oughtred
    Boat Interior Construction by Michael Naujok
    The SailMaker's Apprentice by Miliano Marino
    The Complete Rigger's Apprentice by Brion Toss
    The Marlinspike Sailor by Hervey Garrett Smith
    Good Skiffs (How they're designed and built) by Karl Stambaugh
    Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding.

    That ought to keep you occupied for a bit and if you want more check out MacNaughton's Yacht Design School's reading list for their course...or join if you like:


  4. flyboy
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    flyboy New Member

    Awsome. Thangk guys. This should be plenty to keep me busy for quite a while. :)
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: Adelaide, South Australia

    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    One of the most useful things I have found is to design and build a small boat.

    Keep it cheap and simple - don't succumb to the temptation to make it high tech - a simple plywood boat of the type you are most interested in.

    Basicallly a cheap generic sailboat
    a cheap generic motorboat
    or whatever.

    But important to keep it cheap and simple otherwise you will never finish it and it will cost heaps.

    Like "everyone" wants do design a foil borne trimaran. But many don't realise that it is much more difficult to design a good canoe or rowboat.

    Another really good way to learn boat design is try and spend some time where boats are built. Even if you are sweeping the floor. You will learn a lot about the realities of building.

    All of that will feed back into your design work later.

    Consider doing one of the better correspondence courses and consider doing engineering with an aero specialty later on.

    Please don't think these suggestions are right for you - think about it yourself - I have found all of them to be valuable to me and/or others I know.
    2 people like this.
  6. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Read, read, read. GO out and look at boats. Look at everyboat you can. Look at how they are different. Why is this one a deep V, that one a flat bottom, or a tunnel? Look at designs. There are a lot here on BoatDesign.net. Ask a lot of questions. Talk to builders, surveyors and designers. Ask a lot of questions.

    The list of books above is great. But very important. Focus on the kind of boat you want to build.

  7. SailDesign
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: Jamestown, RI, USA

    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    Ike is right (but he knew that already...), a lot of budding designers do not lookat boat enough. I have seen folks finish a correspondence course in desing with some technically good drawings of floating objects. But they didn't look like boats, and they would not have worked.
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