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

Mike Fitzpatrick is president and CEO of Robert Allan Ltd. (Photo: Robert Allan Ltd.)

Interview: Mike Fitzpatrick, Robert Allan Ltd.

Robert Allan Ltd. is a consulting naval architectural firm, established in Vancouver…

Johan Sperling (Photo: Tidewater Transportation and Terminals)

Tidewater Hires Sperling as COO

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Delta Escape (Photo: DLBA)

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Benjamin Sward, CEO of Foreship LLC (Photo: Foreship)

Foreship Appoints Sward to Head US Operations

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(Image: Bureau Veritas)

Bureau Veritas Launches Online Maritime Training Courses

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Alex Gregg-Smith (Photo: Bureau Veritas)

BV Appoints Gregg-Smith as China Chief Executive

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Tommy Linden (Photo: BHGI)

Bristol Harbor Group Hires Linden

Bristol Harbor Group, Inc. (BHGI) said Tommy Linden has joined the company's naval…

Daniel Toerner (Photo: TSGI)

The Shearer Group Hires Toerner

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Jonas Persson (Photo: Lean Marine)

Lean Marine Names Persson Sales Director

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First place (2000 Euros) was won by DAO Innovation, from Romania. Image courtesy: ShipDX/GLO Marine

Future Floating Homes: Naval Arch Students Meet the Challenge with Green Tech

Naval architecture students in Galati, Romania and Gdansk, Poland, used their technical…

John Reeves (Photo: EBDG)

Elliott Bay Design Group Promotes Reeves

Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) announced that Senior Engineer, John Reeves has been…

“I think we need to be bold in our thinking, but cautious in our applications. It doesn’t cost that much money to play around with ideas; and that small investment could turn up some great benefits. But if you’re afraid to make that initial investigation, things will pass you by.”
John Waterhouse, Elliott Bay Design Group

Interview: John Waterhouse, EBDG - “Be Bold in Thinking but Cautious in Application”

John Waterhouse is a ubiquitous character in the U.S. maritime industry, a deep-thinker…

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