Why do Classic Wooden Sailboats have a low freeboard design?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Alson An, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. Alson An
    Joined: Jul 2018
    Posts: 1
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: UK

    Alson An New Member

    I have questions.

    Why do Classic Wooden Sailboats have a low freeboard design?

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of low freeboard designs?

    Its design looks almost like touching the surface of the water.

    upload_2018-7-16_21-23-36.png

    upload_2018-7-16_21-18-42.png
     
  2. Bruce Woods
    Joined: Sep 2007
    Posts: 113
    Likes: 5, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 90
    Location: perth

    Bruce Woods Senior Member

    Priorities.
     
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 13,117
    Likes: 292, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Fashion has a lot to do. Also, they are closer descendants from workboats than modern yachts do. Fishing boats need low freeboard to be able to reach traps or grab fish. Cargo sailing ships have low freeboard when loaded.
     
  4. Yellowjacket
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 526
    Likes: 58, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 447
    Location: Landlocked...

    Yellowjacket Senior Member

    I was told that back in the day the idea was that if you got hit by a big sea, that it would just wash over and provided the hatches were closed the hull wouldn't pound or get knocked around as much as a boat with more freeboard. Today people want more room below decks so they can live more comfortably and not have to stoop down when below decks that results in more freeboard. No idea if that is true, just what I was told once by an old salt.
     
  5. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 401
    Likes: 49, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    People are also a lot taller now too. But yeah mostly it was the styling. Owners (and designers) wanted the lines of the classic schooners and clipper ships and when you build that hull plan scaled down, freeboard shrinks in equal measure.
     
  6. Rurudyne
    Joined: Mar 2014
    Posts: 1,112
    Likes: 28, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 155
    Location: North Texas

    Rurudyne Senior Member

    It ain't easy to get Dolly Parton's volume with Audrey Hepburn's lines.
     
  7. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
    Posts: 3,172
    Likes: 197, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2054
    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Low freeboard tends to be very wet in heavy weather to the point of being quite dangerous to be on deck at times. But you'll find classics with quite generous freeboard too. As has been said already fashion plays a large part in yacht design, designs can be quite different from different parts of the world
    .
     
  8. fredrosse
    Joined: Jan 2005
    Posts: 320
    Likes: 16, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 56
    Location: Philadelphia PA

    fredrosse USACE Steam

    "What are the advantages and disadvantages of low freeboard designs?"

    Low freeboard gives less area for the wind to push the boat in directions that are unwanted. A real technical advantage.
     
  9. The Q
    Joined: Feb 2014
    Posts: 128
    Likes: 4, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 21
    Location: Norfolk, UK

    The Q Senior Member

    Many modern designs are caravans that sail, but light weight for higher speed, so more of the height inside, is above the waterline.
    Many Older "classic designs have a heavier longer keel and are effectively narrower. So your feet in the cabin are well below the waterline, so less of the hull is above the waterline..
     
  10. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
    Posts: 5,349
    Likes: 136, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Spain

    TANSL Senior Member

    I believe that each ship has the freeboard that it must have to comply with its SOR or with the regulations that are applicable to it. It seems to me a banality to say that the minimum freeboard is a matter of fashion. Which designer would reduce the security, the stability, the load capacity, ... of its design by following a certain fashion ?. Absurd.
    In many types of ships, for various reasons, the freeboard is intended to be the smallest possible, as previously stated, the freeboard increases the area exposed to the wind but, on the other hand, also increases the load capacity or safety of the ship. As always, it is a compromise between different options, it is never about following a trend.
    Just my opinion.
     
  11. fallguy
    Joined: Dec 2016
    Posts: 1,322
    Likes: 51, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: usa

    fallguy Senior Member

    To wash(drain) at heel and reduce windage(effective hull height above WL) and minimize draft thus (a bit).

    Windage makes boats MUCH harder to steer.

    Putting massive buckets (think the entire deck now) that fill in an instant above deck is generally bad design.

    All mostly functional. Then after awhile fashion forgets function.

    Power vessels have less need to address windage or drainage off the decks.

    ps windage-harder to steer and slower
     
  12. alan craig
    Joined: Jul 2012
    Posts: 198
    Likes: 15, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 14
    Location: s.e. england

    alan craig Senior Member

    Your example photos partly answer the question - low freeboard and curved sheer line are MUCH prettier than fat plastic tubs.
     
  13. tom28571
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,469
    Likes: 112, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1728
    Location: Oriental, NC

    tom28571 Senior Member

    This covers much of the reason.
     
  14. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
    Posts: 3,172
    Likes: 197, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 2054
    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    You really think fashion has never played a part in leisure yacht design?
     

  15. JamesG123
    Joined: Mar 2015
    Posts: 401
    Likes: 49, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Columbus, GA

    JamesG123 Senior Member

    Some call it tradition.
     
Loading...
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.