E. A. BURNE TT B.Eng (hons) MAY 2009







Evaluation of a hull requires that all things are considered. ratios and coefficients that may be used to describe a hull. All these factors help the designer to achieve the desired shape and characteristics and enable small and methodical changes to be made. The aim of this chapter is to explain the various measurements. displacement (D) should be in long tons (2240 lbs or 1016 kg) and waterline length (LWL) in feet. with differing requirements leading to various blends of factors. but will also be aiming for a certain appearance and may well be considering additional requirements such as the need for a large aft cabin or the influence of a rating rule. There are various displacement / length ratios in common use. It is seldom the case that one factor can be changed in isolation. to make it dimensionally similar to displacement which is an indicator of volume. one of the most common is calculated as follows: D L= D 3 (0.2 DISPLACEMENT AND WEIGHT The chosen displacement of a new boat is critical for it to satisfy the various requirements. Most modern cruising yachts will fall in the 175 to 300 range. with racing boats from under 100 to around 200. For sailing boats at least. kg or other units this must be related to the length of the hull to be able to evaluate the boat as being relatively heavy or relatively light. . and the Prismatic Coefficient will indicate just how fine they are. When comparing boats. Hull form coefficients in particular help to quantify what will be observable characteristics. For example the ends may look pinched or fine . ULDB s are sometimes loosely defined as having D/L ratios of under 100. most of which are non-dimensional and can therefore be used to compare boats of differing sizes without scaling effects distorting the values. The numbers alone are not enough to define the exact hull form. 400 indicates a boat which is very heavy by modern standards and more akin to a traditional design. and deviation from the ideal or optimum in one area is required to satisfy another. it is important to consider more than just the displacement in tons. ratios and coefficients.1 1. Use of this formula on a normal boat s vital statistics will yield a number between 100 and 400.1 SOME FUNDAMENTALS OF HULL DESIGN INTRODUCTION A hull is a three dimensional form which can be described using various measurements. it is possible to generate many shapes which have identical measurements and it is down to the designer to produce a fair hull which will have the desired attributes. This is an important feature of good ratios. or the weight associated with this (symbol D). It can be expressed as a volume of displaced water (given the symbol Ñ). the designer will have a set of figures in mind. Those interested in the mathematics will notice that the length is cubed. Displacement affects performance and handling characteristics as well as being one of the best indicators of the general size of the boat. 1.01 ´ LWL ) This is an imperial ratio. In developing the hull shape.

As well as the weight. the hull will take up a position such that the LCB is vertically in line with the Longitudinal Centre of Gravity (LCG) as mentioned above. the LCB will lie between 50% and 55% aft of the forward end of the waterline. the designer has the task of ensuring that the finished boat will actually turn out to be the correct weight and will float on her marks. machinery and gear that go into the boat. Typically. the position of the items must also be considered to ensure that the boat will float level. The above reasons suggest different approaches to the design of the boat. the designer can adjust the hull shape to provide this displacement. allowing a greater proportion of her total weight to be carried as ballast.When launched. Knowing this. This shows that it is important to consider the overall displacement / length ratio at the same time as the ballast ratio and in general this is necessary when considering all ratios or characteristics. From the curve of areas. careful calculations are made to estimate the weight of all the various items of structure. specify the appropriate ballast to ensure the grand total weight is correct. and where the total centre of the displaced volume should lie all need to be considered. During design and building. The ballast ratio of a sailing boat will provide an indication of her stability and power to carry sail and is usually given by expressing the weight of ballast as a percentage of the total displacement. It is calculated as follows: CB = Ñ LWL ´ BWL ´ TC . The boat has a very light hull structure and fit out. various descriptive figures and coefficients can be calculated and envisaged: The Longitudinal Centre of Buoyancy (LCB) is the point through which the total buoyancy could be considered to act. and is represented as the centre of the area under the curve of areas of displacement. Having chosen the preferred design displacement. A high ballast ratio could suggest several things. and hint of rather differing requirements. the designer will have an idea of how this volume should be distributed down the length of the boat. When launched. two possibilities are as follows: · · The hull has a relatively large designed displacement. 1. either may have been adjusted by the designer to ensure that the boat will float level. No one figure will give the whole picture. This volume distribution is described by the curve of areas of displacement . the boat will float such that the weight of water she displaces is equal to her total weight. This is usually expressed as a percentage of waterline length (measured from forward or occasionally amidships).3 CURVE OF AREAS As well as aiming for a particular displacement. so considerable ballast is needed to make up the correct weight. which is effectively a graph where the immersed area of each section is plotted down the length of the boat. or in the case of sailing boats. The fullness of the ends of the boat. Block Coefficient (CB) is a crude description of the fullness of a hull.

that the hull shape actually occupies. usually just aft of midships.38. as it relates the actual displaced volume of the hull to that of the prism formed by extruding the greatest section area over the length of the waterline.1 Prismatic Coefficient (CP) is a rather better indicator of the fullness of the ends of the hull. Normal sailing yachts will have a CB of around 0.Ñ is the displacement of the hull in m3 LWL and BWL are the waterline length and beam TC is the draught of the hull The block coefficient represents the proportion of the volume of a box with the same length. . FIGURE 1. and barges can come pretty close to this figure. CP = Ñ AM ´ LWL AM is the maximum section area. CB for a box shaped hull would be 1. width and depth as the hull.

The Transverse Inertia of the waterplane (IXX) has a large effect on the initial stability of the hull. In calculating IXX. i.) is added. stores. most sailing boat hulls have CP values between 0. 1. If you consider a piece of card cut into the shape of the waterplane. the transverse centre of buoyancy will be on the centreline. Thus waterline beam has a dominating effect on IXX. this can be expressed as a percentage of the waterline length. Another indicator of the fineness of the bow. i.1 shows a curve of areas typical for a sailing yacht. the centre of buoyancy can be described not only in the longitudinal sense (LCB). Half Angle of Entry is the angle that the waterplane makes with the centreline at the bow.5 MIDSECTION As the hull of a boat is a three dimensional form. power boats can have figures up to around 0. and in this case a resistance to the rotational acceleration of the waterplane in roll.e. This is the point about which the hull will pitch. The Waterplane area (AW) will determine the Sinkage of the hull. The immersed transom would be indicated by the curve not returning to zero at the aft end. whereas a light and beamy yacht with a deep fin .e. water etc. and it is easy to envisage this when trying to twist the stick. Sinkage may be given as Tonnes per Centimetre of Immersion (TPC). It is easiest to consider inertia as a resistance to acceleration. The shape of the curve of areas will give an indication of prismatic coefficient. Figure 1. The Longitudinal Centre of Flotation (LCF) is the fore and aft position of the centre of area of the waterplane. and it is usually placed a few percent aft of the LCB. with a stick threaded down the centreline. A fine ended hull with a low CP will have a bell shaped curve of areas. As the hull is symmetrical. there is some immersed area at the aft end of the waterline. As can be seen from the small range of these figures this is a very sensitive indicator of hull form. The weight of this displaced water will be the same as the weight of the load added. This figure indicates how far the boat will settle into the water when weight (Crew. Like the LCB.50. a slab of water 1cm thick. 1. but also the transverse and vertical dimensions.56.4 WATERPLANE Various characteristics of the shape of the waterplane will have an effect on performance and the designer will need to consider them when developing the hull form. the beam dimension is cubed and thus is very powerful. The Vertical Centre of Buoyancy (VCB) however will be determined by the section shape of the hull. will have more area under the ends of the curve. with the same area as the waterplane will have been displaced.70 depending on the speed at which they are designed to operate. perhaps with an immersed transom. with very flat ends rising quickly to the maximum area around amidships. and is one of the most powerful factors when considering the stability of the boat. If a hull sinks by 1cm. fuel.A hull with very fine ends could have a Prismatic coefficient as low as 0.54 and 0. how many tonnes it takes to sink the boat by one centimetre. A slab sided barge will have her VCB at half the draught. A full ended power boat hull. the transverse inertia is the resistance you would feel when trying to twist the stick to start the card spinning.

6 THE LINES PLAN The lines plan is the final output of the hull design process. and those well practised in reading and drawing lines plans will only refer to the coefficients in passing to confirm an already comprehensive appreciation of the shape. Waterlines These are defined by horizontal planes parallel to the waterline. and although there may be some variety in the way these views are arranged each view will usually contain the outline of the vessel and other contour lines. This is where the artistry of the designer qualifies the numerical rigor of the mathematician or engineer. Sections These are slices through the boat athwartships. i. and appear as curves in the body plan. In a traditional drawing office. It is the drawing that describes the shape of the hull to the builder or any other interested person. but in the profile view they will appear as curves where the vertical planes intersect the hull surface. This form is viewed on the screen in the usual three views with the surface contours (buttocks. · · The contours of a lines plan can be read in a similar manner to the contours on a map. The lines of a hull will hint at the previously described hull form coefficients. VCB is another factor which has a significant effect on stability. These contour lines are: · Buttock lines These are defined by vertical planes passing through the boat parallel to her centreline. only in the lines plan there are three views to give a more comprehensive description of the form. the smoothness and blending of the curves. Great importance is traditionally attached to the fairness of a lines plan. They appear as straight lines when viewed from above (in the plan view) and ahead or astern (in the body view). The lines plan is presented with three views of the boat. a Deep V hull form being synonymous with high deadrise.e. This is an important consideration for fast power craft. hulls are modelled using computers. so the . using curves. Various methods have been developed to help the draughtsman arrive at a hull form with the correct displacement and form however the process of adjustment in three views and constant checking is very time consuming and it is several days of work to produce a fully faired lines plan. In the modern design office. Most hull fairing software operates in a similar manner. The deadrise angle is the angle that the bottom of the boat makes with the waterline. They will appear as straight lines in profile and body plans and as curves in the plan view. waterlines and sections) generated by the computer. battens and spline weights to position and adjust each of the lines. The software can calculate all the dimensions and coefficients of the hull form in a matter of seconds. The three views would be built up gradually.keel will have her VCB rather nearer the waterline. using a grid of control points to distort a flexible surface into a three dimensional form. with constant cross checking to ensure the accurate agreement of the views. 1. the lines plan would be produced by hand.

The final form is arrived at by a methodical process of trial and error. the hull fairing software is a tool requiring skilled use if the eventual result is to be satisfactory. it will happily model and calculate as instructed and the ability of the modern designer to manipulate the surface is as fundamental as his traditional counterpart s dexterity at his drawing table. the lines generated by the software can be transferred to a 2D draughting package for presentation as a traditional lines plan and further design drawings. Alternatively. the hull shape can be exported as a 3D surface to form the basis of a full computer model of the boat. Most of these programs will use the model from the hull fairing program as the basis for their calculations. Once the designer is satisfied with the hull model. . with refinements being made until the numbers and appearance of the hull contours are as desired.designer can make adjustments and see their effects very quickly. Design offices may use other software to perform stability calculations or make predictions of the boat s performance or powering requirements. Like the curves and splines of the traditional draughtsman. The computer itself knows nothing about good or bad design.

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