Recomend a Naval Architecture Textbook

Discussion in 'Education' started by MattZ, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. boradicus
    Joined: May 2013
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    boradicus Senior Member

    Sailing Theory and Practice

    I just received the book by Marchaj, Sailing Theory and Practice.

    Thank you again for your recommendation. It wasn't actually the type of book that I wanted, but that is ok! I will try to find something perhaps a little closer to what I wanted that gets more into the deeper side of naval architecture - and maybe I just need to get one of these textbooks from the thread instead of hoping for an all in one approach to both naval architecture and trimaran and catamaran sailing designs!

    God bless you guys for your help!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2013
  2. DavidJ
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    DavidJ Senior Member

    You are honestly worrying too much about the specifics of multihull design. Multihull design will be much easier for you to understand if you get a grounding in basic naval architecture. When you understand the basics of how a sailboat works and how stability is calculated and what a righting arm is it will become plainly obvious to you why a multihull can carry more sail, why it can be lighter and doesn't need a heavy lead keel, why their hulls can be narrower, why they can go faster, and why they have more initial stability. Learn how a regular single hulled boat floats and then go figure out what happens when you take two hulls and move them farther apart.

    John Teale's book (How to Design a Boat) is an excellent introduction for a complete neophyte. He goes step by step through a boat design. If you pick up a pencil and paper and follow along with him through the book you will have a decent idea of what is involved to design a boat.

    Principles of Yacht Design has been recommended several times and for good reason. It is also an excellent introduction to the complete design process. Like How to Design a Boat it also goes through the complete preliminary design of a boat. It goes into more detail about the actual engineering involved in boat design.

    I'd recommend after designing a boat with a pencil and paper while following along with John Teale you get a copy of freeship and DraftSight and follow along with Principles of Yacht Design to design another boat in CAD. If you go through the process to put together two preliminary designs you will have a solid basics to go into those more theoretical textbooks. You will also be able to more confidently start working out your own designs.

    A much better resource than books for modern mutlihull design and modern sailing principles in general is academic papers. There are tons of these on the net dealing with all sorts of minute details in many different research areas. For the most part they will be difficult to really understand without getting a grounding in the basics. They can also be hard to search for it you don't know the right terms.

    For somebody like the original poster who was trying to get a basic idea of what university naval architecture is like I'd recommend "Basic Ship Theory" by EC. Tupper. I liked that one when I was in school. It was very easy to read and covered the whole scope of what naval architecture really is quite well. However, it's more first year, maybe 2nd year. By third year most studies become more specialized and the texts would no longer be intros to the overall scope and would instead be specific such as just stability or just structure or just hydrodynamics. Not much use unless you did the earlier courses on the basics. Also pretty boring reads.

    There is a scan of the 2nd edition of Principles of Yacht Design here: of yacht design - Larsson, Eliasson.pdf

  3. boradicus
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    boradicus Senior Member

    That is exactly what I needed to know. I began to suspect as much after realizing that Naval Architecture is taught as its own field (as opposed to say a specialized engineering branch at Junior and Senior or at the graduate levels). The organization of text books generally tends to follow the outlay of a course of study. I really should have recognized this at the outset. My lack of confidence in the subject should not have inhibited me thus, but apparently I let it carry over to my broader perception of how to approach a course of study. My fault. Thank you for the course correction! :^)

    This makes sense. I am a little surprised, due to the fact that multi-hull design has had a surge in popularity in the modern era. But it tends to make sense, given the fact that colleges like MIT have failed to sustain sufficient continuous interest in the field to maintain it as a degree program in its own right.

    Also, I began to notice that there is not as much difference between mechanical engineering and naval architecture once you get past the hydrostatics. Forces may have different origins, but they essentially behave the same. I have not gotten past hydrostatics, obviously, but I see already that much of what is dealt with is lever action, and it is a matter of determining where, with respect to hydrostatics, the various points of that lever action are actuated.

    Thanks again,

    Cheers. :)
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