Marine Link
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Naval Architecture

Naval architecture is the field of engineering which deals with the design, construction and repair of ships, boats, and other marine vehicles. Ship and vessel design relies on many of the same technologies and engineering expertise found on shore, but achieving safe and effective operations at sea is the focus of a unique discipline.

Naval architecture is the familiar term for what is formally called marine engineering involving basic and applied research, design, development, design evaluation and calculations throughout the entire lifespan of a vessel. Preliminary design of the vessel, its detailed design, construction, trials, operation and maintenance, launching and dry-docking are the responsibilities of the engineer.

The basis of the discipline can be found in Archimedes’ principle, which states that the weight of a static floating body must equal the weight of the volume of water displaced by the object. This law determines not just the draft at which a vessel will float but also the angles that will be formed when equilibrium with the water has been achieved. Basic stages of ship design are focused on predicting the size of the ship that the sum of all possible weights will mandate. To make these predictions, a naval makes use of experience-based formulas that help calculate the approximate values necessary. The engineer can refine these figures to accurately predict the depth of water needed to float the vessel.

Naval architects are also tasked with calculating the static and dynamic stability of a given vessel, as well as the damage buoyancy and stability. Ship design calculations are also required before undertaking ship modifications, including conversion, rebuilding, modernization, and repair. Naval architecture participates in the formulation of safety regulations and damage control rules. Marine engineers are also involved in the approval and certification of ship designs in order to fulfill statutory and non-statutory requirements.

Tags: Naval Architecture

Photo courtesy Harland & Wolff

Harland & Wolff (Belfast) Welcomes New Apprentices

Harland & Wolff welcomed 13 new apprentices to its flagship Belfast site as part…

Webb Institute’s waterfront campus, located in Glen Cove, NY, on the North Shore of Long Island. Photo courtesy Webb Institute

Webb Searches for New President as Keith Michel Plans Retirement

After nine years president of Webb Institute, R. Keith Michel announced plans to…

BMT welcomed Catriona Savage to the role of Technical Assurance Director, Photo courtesy BMT

BMT appoints Savage as Technical Assurance Director

BMT welcomed Catriona Savage to the role of Technical Assurance Director, responsible…

Effective July 1, 2021, Carlos Maenhout is retiring from his position as Founder and Managing Director of BMT Belgium, the company that he and his wife founded in 1991, a company subsequently sold to the BMT Group in 2005. Photo courtesy BMT

Carlos Maenhout Retires, Bruno Storms takes the helm at BMT Belgium

Effective July 1, 2021, Carlos Maenhout is retiring from his position as Founder…

From left to right: Colton Bonnaure and Jacob Frost (Photo: TSGI)

The Shearer Group Adds Two Naval Architects

Naval architecture, marine engineering and marine surveying firm The Shearer Group, Inc.

© Pawinee / Adobe Stock

Partners to Launch Emissions and Performance Toolbox

Shipbroker Barry Rogliano Salles (BRS), naval architecture and engineering firm Deltamarin…

Tom Perrine

Shipbuilding; NSRP Elects New Officers

The National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) has announced the election of new…

Jeb Hamel (Photo: BHGI)

Hamel Joins Bristol Harbor Group

Naval architecture and marine engineering firm Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI)…

Image courtesy AVEVA

NAPA Viewer Aims to Enhance 3D Ship Design Process

A new streaming technology will support 3D model based approval (3DMBA) by providing…

BMT Designs New Vessels for Isles of Scilly Steamship Company

Naval architecture and marine engineering firm BMT has introduced new passenger and…

Brian Blanchette has been promoted to vice president of quality and engineering at Ingalls Shipbuilding.  Prior to the promotion, Blanchette served as Ingalls’ director of technical and design engineering. (Photo: Derek Fountain/HII)

Ingalls Shipbuilding Names Blanchette VP of Quality and Engineering

America's largest military shipbuilder Huntington Ingalls Industries announced Thursday…

Gibbs & Cox-designed DDG-51 Arleigh Burke-class destroyer at sea (Photo: Gibbs & Cox)

Leidos Completes Acquisition of Gibbs & Cox

Defense, engineering and IT conglomerate Leidos announced on Friday it has completed…

Related Articles


Marine salvage is the process of rescuing a ship, its cargo, or other property from peril. Salvage encompasses rescue towing, putting out fires, patching or repairing a ship, refloating a sunken or grounded vessel, moving a disabled vessel in order to clear navigation channels…

Ship Electronics

Electronic devices classed for use in the marine environment. All electronics used onboard must be designed to fit in the small confines of a bridge and can come in contact with salt water, so they are made to be very water resistant or waterproof.


A winch is a mechanism used to reel in, to let out, or otherwise adjust the tension of a rope, wire, or cable. Boats and ships make use of multiple winches to handle halyards, sheets, as well as anchor or mooring lines. The basic mechanism consists…


Modern pipelines are installed with and other control devices (pumps and valves) to efficiently move liquids, gases, slurries (solid particulates in liquid suspension) and even solids. Pipelines usually consist of welded sections of metal pipe…

Maritime Contracts

Contracts between vessel owners and charterers concerning the water transportation of goods are technically known in admiralty law as "contracts of affreightment". The charterer agrees to pay a freight charge for cargo space. The voyage, amount of cargo space…
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News