Elements of Boat Design
Learn the principles and process—then practice on your own design.
- John Brooks—July 19–25
Would you like to understand how to design your own boat or gain a better grasp of how design affects a boat’s performance? Would you like to better read and comprehend the hull line drawings? Would you like to explore the relationship of construction methods to hull design—which works well with what shapes? Would you like to think, eat, sleep, and discuss boats for a solid week? If so, you’ll find this challenging and fun course with talented boatbuilder and designer John Brooks to be right up your alley.
Whether you want to get a taste of the design process, be able to put your ideas on paper, or start down the road to becoming a professional designer, this course will allow you to accomplish several things. You’ll dispassionately analyze the science of what makes a boat float and move, while gaining an understanding of the role art plays in boat design. You’ll learn what makes a boat seaworthy or not; performance oriented or not; and buildable or not. And you’ll start creating your own design, mainly working on the preliminary and lines drawings, as much as time allows. Before taking pencil to paper, you will research the type of boat you want to design, discuss your initial ideas with John, and learn how to start drawing on your own, using basic drafting skills plus learning new ones required for drawing boats.
Various building methods will be explored, from traditional to modern. Any technique can be used for each student’s own “dream boat,” from plank-on-frame to vacuum-bagged and epoxied veneers reinforced with exotic materials. You will learn how to back up your project ideas with sound engineering principles, hydrostatics, and scantlings that reflect the intended use and life of the boat. You’ll also learn about the intricate interplay of various views in a set of plans by working on a half model from the plans you draw. Students will explore various methods and approaches to designing a boat, from ancient to cutting edge, and have a chance to pick the ones that work best for you.