Simplifying Boat Plans for Amateur Builders


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Sam Rabl / How to better understand designers drawings prior to building.

by Sam Rabl

To the seasoned boatbuilder the terms used by a naval architect in describing the design and building of a new boat have a world of meaning; to the beginner they can be as puzzling and incoherent as a foreign language. Laying down is the term applied to the process of enlarging the small scale drawings of the architect to full size; this must be done before a single timber can be cut for the boat. Taking off is the term applied to the transferring of curves and dimensions on this full size plan to the frame timbers of the boat. Before we go into the mechnisms of the actual laying down, an explanation of the terms used in this process will be a great help. The complete set of curves that depict a boat shape is called the "lines". The lines plan is usually divided into three views. The profile depicts the shape of the boat as we see her from the side in normal position. The plan is really a "fish-eye view," showing how the boat appears when looking at her from a point directly beneath her keel.

10 pages, 3 plate(s)


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