By: Thomas Yoon

Today, we are starting an entirely different subject – Naval Architecture. It’s a field of study that involves Physics, Mechanics, Engineering and Legislation.

Architecture involves design of buildings.

Naval Architecture is slightly different. Many considerations need to be made when we construct a ship that can travel through stormy seas, maintain the stability with constantly changing cargo loading patterns, determine speeds and resistances when moving through the water – in short a moving and functional building structure, floating on the oceans.

Building a ship involves many aspects of engineering – just like building a skyscraper on land. Modern ships are built of steel. However, there are also many smaller boats made of fiberglass, ferro-cement, wood and other laminations.

Building for strength is a must. However, in order for a ship to float, the shell of the ship’s hull must be relatively thin. The strength is obtained from frames and stiffeners, just like the skeleton in our bodies.

Then, there are also the stability considerations. It must not be so easily toppled over. It must also be designed for various situations of loading. Special considerations need to be made for liquid cargo or fuel oil that could lead to instability due to a phenomenon called free surface effect.

Trimming a ship involves making it as horizontal as possible when considering the front (fore) and the back (aft) of the ship. Water ballast can be used to adjust the trim. These will have to be considered in the design.

In an accidental flooding of any of the tanks, for example, when a ship is involved in a collision, it must have some means to maintain the floatation without sinking.

The amount of power to be applied for the propulsion of the ship,the amount of speed and resistances it will encounter will have to be considered when designing a ship.

The size of the rudder and how the ship will behave during turning is also considered in the study of Naval Architecture.

Does it sound like an interesting study to you? This is just a very brief introduction. Competent Marine Engineers have to study the subject of Naval Architecture in order to qualify for their licenses.

Well folks, you can download your own free e-book at
Naval Architecture Questions & Answers