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Course # Module 3
Boat and Yacht Construction

Course # Module 3 Objectives
After completing this course students will:

  1. Describe the properties of the various species of wood used in boat building, and determine the species of choice for a particular application and discuss methods of preventing decay.
  2. Calculate the scantlings, prepare the construction drawings, and prepare the table of weights and center of gravity location for a wooden boat.
  3. Know the properties and uses of the reinforcement fibers and material forms in current use in FRP boat building, know the purposes and properties of resin systems, additives, and gel-coats, know what forms core materials are available in, and understand how sandwich construction is used to increase resistance to bending in FRP structures, comprehend and describe the process of plug and mold construction, comprehend and describe the building processes such as hand layup, spray molding, and vacuum bagging, be able to create and prepare drawings showing how FRP components are assembled.
  4. Define the plate spans, define the loads, define the maximum allowable deflection, size stringers and frames, size the hull plating, size deck and roof, plating, determine the laminate schedule for hull and deck, and determine scantling weights for a fiberglass boat.
  5. Create and prepare a set of plans and specified calculations for a fiberglass boat and analyze fiberglass boat structure.
  6. Describe the modular concept, balanced work stations, and component feed systems, and use the following recording methods: Drawings, patterns, cutting lists, incorporate transportation and shipping requirements into your planning, and design components so that they will be compatible with the mass production concept and production line requirements.
  7. Know the advantages and disadvantages of marine aluminum, be able to specify the alloy best suited for various structural members, know the principle configurations that are commercially available, comprehend and explain how galvanic corrosion effects aluminum hulls and be able to recommend and specify methods to prevent or mitigate this problem, be able to specify surface finishing systems, be able to analyze, calculate and specify scantling of structures for welded and riveted boats, comprehend and specify the methods used to construct aluminum boats and be able to prepare working construction drawings for aluminum powerboats and sailboats.
  8. Describe the basic hardware components needed for CAD. Describe which programs are used for CAD in boat design and for what purpose, describe the general sequence of steps and processes used to design a boat employing CAD. Understand and discuss basic concepts in practical applications using AutoCAD. Create a basic CAD detail drawing to precise CAD-drawing specifications to demonstrate mastery of the CAD software and CAD drawing procedures.
  9. Successfully complete a design practicum by preparing specified plans and calculations for a 48-ft. LOA sport fishing boat.

Course # Module 3 Goals
As overarching goals of this course students will:

  • Have the extensive knowledge of wooden boat construction and be able to create and produce the working construction drawings for wooden boats,
  • Create and prepare plans for a fiberglass boat including all structural and hydrostatic calculations.
  • Create and prepare plans and calculations for a popular-size aluminum power boat.

This course prepares the student to work as a junior yacht or boat designer with production boat building companies, or at firms engaged in private practice while continuing his/her studies. It is also the prerequisite to course # Module 4 (the final courses in the yacht and boat design sequence).

Course # Module 3 Syllabus
LESSON 23: Wood Boat Construction

  1. Properties of Wood
  2. Fastenings and Adhesives
  3. Keel Assemblies
  4. Framing
  5. Planking
  6. Deck Framing
  7. Decking
  8. Deck Joinery
  9. Interior Joinery
  10. Miscellaneous Details
  11. Scantlings

LESSON 24: Design Practicum – Wood Construction
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of wooden boat construction by performing all specified design tasks needed to select the materials, calculate the scantlings and produce the working construction drawings for a specified boat. Drawings shall consist of a construction profile, frame and beam plan, and 3 construction sections.

LESSON 25: Fiberglass Boat Construction - Part I

  1. Introduction (What is Fiber Reinforced Plastic?)
  2. Materials used for Boat Construction
  3. Production Applications of Fiberglass & Resin Systems
  4. Construction
  5. Freedom and Limitations in Styling
  6. Physical and Mechanical Properties of Materials
  7. Assembly of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Components and Secondary Structures


LESSON 26: Fiberglass Boat Construction - Part II - Design Of Laminates

  1. Introduction
  2. Defining Loads
  3. Sizing the Frames
  4. Sizing the Hull Plating
  5. Sizing the Deck Plating
  6. Developing the Laminate Schedule

LESSON 27: Design Practicum – Fiberglass Construction
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of fiberglass boat construction by drawing specified plans to proper scale for a fiberglass sail boat. Drawings shall include lines, sailplan, outboard profile and deck plan, inboard profile and arrangement, and construction profile, plan, and sections. Prepare all specified calculations including stability, sail, mast and rigging, and fiberglass structure analysis and specification.

LESSON 28: Fiberglass Boatbuilding – Production Methods

  1. Introduction and Scope
  2. Recording Methods
  3. Design for Transportation
  4. The Mass Production Concept
  5. Computer Aided Manufacture (CAM)

LESSON 29: Aluminum Yacht Design And Construction

  1. Introduction and General Considerations
  2. Marine Aluminum Alloys and their Uses
  3. Construction Methods
  4. Special Design Features
  5. Corrosion and Electrolysis
  6. Finishes and Finishing Systems
  7. Scantlings and Structural Calculations
  8. Specifications
  9. Design Practicum / 48’ custom aluminum sportfishing boat.


LESSON 30: Introduction To Computer Aided Yacht Design

  1. Overview of General Concepts in CAD
  2. Description of Hardware Required for CAD
  3. Description of Software used for CAD in the Marine Industry
  4. Understanding of Basic Concepts in Practical Applications of AutoCAD
  5. Detailed Directions, Suggestions, and Hints for AutoCAD Use
  6. Understanding of Setting Up AutoCAD drawings
  7. Explanation of Important AutoCAD Commands and Tools
  8. Explanation of Advanced AutoCAD Formatting and Object Properties
  9. Practical AutoCAD Drawing Review and Test

LESSON 31: Module 3 Comprehensive Examination
Students will demonstrate knowledge of aluminum construction methods by preparing calculations and construction plans for a 48’ sportfishing boat of aluminum construction:

Proposition: A client has engaged your firm to design their new aluminum sport fishing boat. In addition to the list of specifications for power and interior accommodations, the boat is to have a flying bridge steering station and a second steering station in the cockpit. The cockpit shall be designed specifically for sport fishing with all necessary amenities. You are to prepare all specified plans and calculation including aluminum scantlings.