Talk:Naval architecture

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Means of Navigation[edit]

Means of Navigation seems to me to have very little to do with Naval Architecture per se. It has more place in articles on Navigation Lights (usually mount green to starboard and red to port?) and in ones on Navigation. I have suggested this section be split and moved/merged into those two articles

Fiddle Faddle 16:26, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I would tend to agree. In general this definition does not describe commercial / naval design as much as recreational vessel design concepts. The issues of propulsion and stability are not well defined and the role of regulatory bodies such as Lloyd's Register and the American Bureau of Shipping is not addressed at all.

I would recommend a wholsale re-write.

agree re rewrite. I have also performed both merges today Fiddle Faddle 10:03, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Froude Number[edit]

"Generally, the speed of a vessel is critical to its efficiency. The basic speed of a vessel is its hull speed. For hull speed of displacement (non-planing) vessels, adding more energy to the propulsion has little effect on the speed. For this type of vessel the maximum efficient speed increases as the square root of the waterline length. This relationship is known as the Froude number Fn = ( Speed in knots / (Waterline length in feet)^0.5)"

Is this number the same as that in Froude number? Fiddle Faddle 22:13, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

There are more than a few inaccuracies in this entry. The whole thing seems to be a bit of a meander between yacht designer and naval architect. I will attempt to sort it out and add some references once I get a bit of time. Jmvolc 02:36, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

That would be great. I've split "Naval Architect" away form "Naval architecture" on the basis that one is the science and the other the profession, but I've run out of technical ability to do more than tidy things. To stay in metaphor, that is deck chair re-arrangement, so it needs a subject expert to make it work :) Fiddle Faddle 07:26, 16 May 2006 (UTC)


The topic deserves more information gathered into sections that are less rambling. There are many good parts to this, but they warrant organising.

We have a mish-mash of pleasure craft and commercial craft. But that is, surely, not what naval architecture is about. It is about the mixture of practical and aesthetic design to create a vessel that does its job efficiently and economically - as true for a racing yacht as for a container ship.

Additionally there are items that simply do not belong here. Those are highlighted with merge tags already, but there may be others, too.

This is a large task, and would be best performed by a knowledgeable person rather than a casual "editor of language"

Fiddle Faddle 22:23, 3 May 2006 (UTC)

Merge / Split suggestion[edit]

Looking way back this article was about Naval Architects, not really about Naval Architecture.

I'm removing the extraneous matter, thatwhich has nothing whatsoever to do with Naval Architecture, and also suggest a split into Architects and Architecture

the page "Naval Architect" is a redirect page to this article, but that is not correct. One is the role and the other is what they do. Thus one shoudl tal about qualifications and the other about the job itself and techniques etc. Thsi means the redirect page needs to become a disambig page. Will do that, too.

Fiddle Faddle 22:26, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Proposal for Re-writing this Article[edit]

A few points up front:

  • I’m of the mind that Naval Architecture and Naval Architects could be dealt with in the same article.
  • The article seems to talk around the issue of Naval Architecture and does not hit the main points directly. These are:
    • Configuration
      • Hull Shape
      • Cargo/Weapon spaces
      • Tanks & Void Spaces
      • Machinery Arrangement
      • Accommodation
      • etc.
    • Weight & Centers
    • Hydrostatics
      • Displacement
      • Stability
    • Hydrodynamics
      • Resistance
      • Powering
        • Mechanical
        • Sail
      • Seakeeping
      • Manouvering
  • The disciplines of Marine Systems, Electrical and Combat Systems Engineering should be mentioned as on smaller projects, these tasks are often undertaken by the Naval Architect.
  • A distinction between Yacht Designers (ex: Nathaniel Hereshoff, Colin Archer, Gary Mull) and Naval Architects working on commercial and Naval platforms should be made. It is significant as the background and skills are grounded in the same theory but quite different in application.
  • Some text on the history of Naval Architecture and the first recognized figures (ex: William Froude) should be added.
  • The text on the various criteria is probably more technical than required here and is incomplete as it is.
  • The remaining text seems to make an attempt at providing a thumbnail lesson in Naval Architecture. I'm not convinced that this adds to the understanding of the subject. Example : The text on Hull Speed is incorrect and incomplete. The correct term is Speed-Length Ratio. "Hull Speed" is a term coined by early yacht designers to describe the point at which the wave making resistance of a hullform increases dramatically with speed. In reality, the ratio (1.34) is often exceeded by high-powered displacement vessels. Furthermore multi-hulls are subject to exactly the same hydrodynamic rules that monohulls are with the added complication of hull interactions. Speed-Length Ratio has been replace by the non-dimensional Froude Number(Fn = v / (g L)^0.5). This sort of thing is probably best left out of the article to improve general comprehension.
  • Naval Architecture is about shape and function - I would like to see a lot more images.

Please advise if I can make a stab at this or if that would be considered improper.

Cheers, Jmvolc 22:49, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion: be bold
Write it. Obviously you will keep the good points of this along with the points you are adding.
no issue with incorporating the architect with the architecture as long as it does not turn into the curent fog. But, if it is separate, why not link to it with a synopsis and a "main article" link? This might give the clarity that is needed
Where the content becomes overly technical, why not use the "synopsis and main article" technique?
If we assume the current article is a good inspiration piece, and acknowledge that it took work to create, then I see that your efforts will be approved of. Of course others will leap in and edit, but that is what WP is all about.
Fiddle Faddle 23:08, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and if you can explain how (eg) a Tornado cat (20' long) can hit 30 knots without planing or dragging a huge wake (that Hull Speed technical explanation) then you'll answer a load of questions! Fiddle Faddle 23:11, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
... I can but it's gonna hurt

Resistance can be broken down into two components frictional resistance and wave-making resistance. Frictional resistance is a function of the surface area immersed in the water (Wetted Area). Wave making resistance is a function of the square root of the waterline length (Froude Number) and the displacement. A Tornado Cat has a very low wetted area and a very low displacement for it's length. Note that it does not have a shape that can generate any dynamic lift (planing) so it always stays in a displacement mode. At high speeds (Fn>=1.0) the wave making resistance varies approximately as the square of the displacement. Due to it's very light displacement it generates a very small wave train allowing it to power well beyond its "Hull Speed". This is also facilitated by by virtual lengthening caused by the boundary layer and the immersed transom.

At 30knots the Fn for a Tornado (LWL=6.10m) is ... Fn = 30 x 0.5144 / (9.81 x 6.10)^0.5

    Fn = 1.99
    The "Hull Speed" is around 6knots!!

There is no 'silver bullet' the hull is just very well suited to go fast. Jmvolc 00:04, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Didn't hurt that much :). I even understood it!
Question: This looks from a non expert's viewpoint as something that should be part of either the main article or a sub article on boat speed theory. I suspect it would make the Naval Architecture article unreadable, but it looks highly worthy of a separate article. Fancy creating it (or checking to see what is around and editing them to include it?
Fiddle Faddle 07:02, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Curiously enough, there is an entry on Hull speed and what a sorry mess it is. I would like to delete it in its entirety and re-work the Hull (watercraft) article to address Froude number is a simple manner. What do you think? Jmvolc 00:53, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

I'd go for it. I just looked at it. It has facts but no information. It is a great start, but not encyclopaedic, in the sense that it still requires translation in order to be useful. Frankly, where there is a mess I think it is wise to assume that no-one else will do it, so go ahead. Fiddle Faddle 06:19, 18 May 2006 (UTC)


I have followed the guidance provided by the contributers to this discussion and boldly re-worked the article while still using much of the original content. It is shorter and hopefully addresses the subject matter completely, succintly and plainly. Please provide any comments, queries or criticisms here so that the article can be further improved.

Jmvolc 00:29, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

This is potentially an interesting page. However there is still too much vague and self congratulatory material. I don't have the knowledge to rewrite, but this is not of encyclopaedic quality.


Thank-you for your insights but without any other guidance it is difficult to assess how the article could be improved.Jmvolc (talk) 14:59, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

May I add a Section History of Naval Architecture before the section Craft of naval architecture? The various areas of expertise can be expanded into sections in the main article. Another point is that the type of vessels under the section The Naval Architect can be rewritten. Please advise. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 09:35, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

A separate article can be created for listing the Universities and other academic institutions which offer Engineering and non-engineering courses related to ship design and construction. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 07:40, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I removed the term ship scientist since that section is about the naval architect. Besides, that term is seldom used in the industry. Ship science may be the name of a course offered by an university, but the engineer who practices naval architecture is a naval architect, not a ship scientist.
There are numerous academic institutions giving courses related to naval architecture. Preparing a complete list would take some time. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 07:50, 10 November 2008 (UTC)


I rewrote the introduction. Added sections Overview and Elements of naval architecture. The previously existing content has been only slightly modified. I have rearranged a few paragraphs. Linked references like COLREG guidelines and some terms from the Textbook Principles of Naval Architecture. Removed several external links, especially those related to academic institutions. There are hundreds of them. A separate article can be created for those later. I have linked various technical terms and expanded the descriptions. The article will no longer be obscure to a non-technical person. I am working on a History section and I am currently facing a situation where I have very little published valid references. Some data from a few biographies and some non-commercial websites is all I have. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 08:18, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

External links[edit]

Hey, I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to add to the external links a reference to a naval architecture wiki, Narciki ( or its wikinode page, to the external links. It's not an authoritative site (being a wiki), but it would seem relevant. Hate to contribute any sort of spamming, either. Guidance? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:10, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

It would be inappropriate.
Please go through Wikipedia guidelines on External links. The suggested website falls under points 2, 4 and 12 of Links normally to be avoided. Thank you. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 10:32, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

You, the mean-spirited individual who erased my efforts were not very friendly and helpful. You could have helped me, a beginner, find the correct place for it; surely it is important to elucidate on naval architects too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:17, 19 September 2010 (UTC) P.s. I always "sign" my contributions. (talk) 15:30, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Minor cleanup[edit]

Modified some terms: 'naval engineering' refers more to the military applications.
Corrected RINA reference link.
Edited description of naval architect.
Reverted edits of Offshore drilling platforms.
For improving the article, please discuss here.--ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 04:41, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Hi ChrysalSnowlax, thanks for the clean-up following my edit.
I agree with the changes you have made, save one. The new RINA page you reference is a better page for defining a "naval architect" than the page I referenced, and your changes to the article text reflect the wording on the newly referenced page.
However, I disagree with reverting Oil platforms to Offshore drilling platforms. There are many types of Oil Platform, virtually all of which have Naval Architect involvement, and a drilling platform is only one type. I invite you to take a look at the Oil platform page. If you don't want to be specific to oil, perhaps the term Offshore platform would be best? Also, the use of the word "other" before "subsea developments" implies that drilling platforms and semi-submersibles are subsea developments which, of course, they are not.
On discussing prior to improving, perhaps I was a little too bold when trying to follow, WP:BOLD.
WikiDMc (talk) 07:15, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
WikiDMc, I agree with the changes you made. Interestingly, Offshore platform redirects to Oil platform. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 05:00, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. I think the Oil platform page should be renamed to "Offshore platform" but that's another discussion for another day on a different page.
WikiDMc (talk) 13:14, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

I don't want to get into an edit war with User:, who has just re-inserted an edit following my rearrangement without giving reason, so I'll spell out the reasons for my previous edit here: 1. The version by does not include subsea developments or fixed offshore platforms, both of which have Naval Architect involvement. 2.'s edit was essentially a partial undo of an earlier Engini86 edit and my restructuring made it closer to the pre-Engini86 edit version.

The latest edit doubles-up on many listed items and "floating offshore platforms" is a sub-set of "offshore platforms".

Can someone please make a call on which version to keep, and either make the edit or list here the reasons for keeping the User: version?

thanks, WikiDMc (talk) 16:21, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Naval architecture by the usual definition refers to the design of ships. Topics like subsea development and platforms are more relevant to the offshore construction article. Since that info can easily be covered in that article, it makes sense to avoid the unnecessary overlap here. Engini86 (talk) 03:41, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Oxford Dictionary defines "naval architecture" as simply "the activity or profession of designing ships", and that is the most common, straight-forward definition. The RINA page is promotional webpage for the career of naval architect and reflection that some of its membership are involved in offshore construction, but it is not intended to define the term of naval architecure. A printed book and a dictionary entry are both more reliable than a web page.
Since the design of ships and the design of offshore platforms are actually quite different, it just makes sense to cover ship design here and offshore platform design in offshore construction. It's more logical and I don't see any downside to it. Engini86 (talk) 04:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, other than the couple of bullets that you added to the list, everything else in the article talks about "marine vehicles" and "vessels", which don't include offshore platforms. Engini86 (talk) 04:21, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I see two main problems with this:
  • This is an encyclopaedic article on Naval architecture and should cover all recognised aspects of the field, not just the traditional, usual, or most common. This article is now restricted to ship design which, although the traditional and most common task of naval architects, is only one part of the field of naval architecture.
  • Nowhere in either the Naval architecture pr offshore construction articles can I now find a reference to naval architects being involved in the design of offshore structures (fixed, floating or subsea). While the recent edits of this page may seem "more logical", the downside I see is that we have removed any reference to a fairly extensive field of professional endeavour. If anything, it should have been expanded, not removed.
I suggest including ship design as one section of the naval architecture article. It should be the main and most extensive section; I certainly agree that it is the main activity of most naval architects both past and present. To ignore all other aspects of naval architecture, as is the case now, is a huge omission.
Further; to restrict an encyclopaedic definition of "Naval achitecture" to that of designing ships, on the basis of the OED definition, is akin to restricting the definition of doctor (after disambiguation from the holder of a doctorate degree) to that of [| a person who is qualified to treat people who are ill], ignoring all other things that doctors do, such as cosmetic surgery, preventative medicine, dentistry, etc, etc.
And lastly, the definition given in a single book is certainly not more reliable than the definition given by RINA. The fact that the most easily accesible appearance of that definition is on their website is inconsequential.
WikiDMc (talk) 07:41, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree that there are some naval architects who are involved with designing offshore platforms. But it would make more sense to mention in the offshore construction article that naval architects are often involved in that field. Naval architecture, as it is commonly understood, means ship design. Yes, naval architects can be involved with offshore construction, but that doesn't change the meaning of naval architecture itself. Designing ships is still very different from designing offshore structures. I am good at basketball and I am also decent at volleyball, as are a lot of other people, but they are still two very different sports. A lot of photographers are also filmmakers and vice versa, but again they are two very different fields. Covering two fields in two articles is not implying that one person can't be competent at both fields, just as I can play more than one sport.
In case anyone came here looking for offshore structures, there's a note right at the top of the article that will take them to the correct page. On the other hand, putting offshore structures info into this article will likely be confusing, since everything else here is talking about ships and is not applicable to offshore structures. It will just read like two articles awkwardly stuck together. Engini86 (talk) 02:50, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
But it would make more sense to mention in the offshore construction article that naval architects are often involved in that field.
I disagree. If someone comes to Wikipedia having heard the term "naval architect" and not knowing what a naval architect does, they should be presented with information regarding all of the common fields of modern naval architecture, not just the "commonly understood" meaning. That is the purpose of an encyclopedia; to inform and to extend the knowledge of the reader, not simply reinforce common (mis)understandings.
The analogies regarding sports and film-making are not very helpful. Offshore platform design requires the application of skills that are specific to naval architecture, and naval architects are employed to perform the very tasks for which they are trained. Nobody would select a professional volleyball player based on their basketball ability.
In case anyone came here looking for offshore structures, there's a note right at the top of the article that will take them to the correct page.
Nobody would come here looking for offshore structures. They would come here looking for information about what naval architects do, and so information about the fairly extensive work by naval architects in non-ship-building roles should be included. On the other hand, to include information about the role of every professional (or non-professional) involved in offshore structures would result in an abomination of an article.
On the other hand, putting offshore structures info into this article will likely be confusing, since everything else here is talking about ships and is not applicable to offshore structures.
You are right that, if poorly done, this article may look like two articles stuck together but it would still be an improvement over the current article which is incomplete. What is currently wrong with this article is that "everything else here is talking about ships" to the exclusion of all other areas of naval architecture.
WikiDMc (talk) 08:39, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
The first sentence of the article presently is: Naval architecture, also called naval engineering, is an engineering discipline dealing with the structural design of ships. First, naval engineering refers more to the military applications. It's not a alternate term for the subject. Second, saying that naval architecture deals with structural design of ships is really narrowing it down. Structural design is merely one of the topics of naval architecture. Hence, the first line will be reverted to the previous version. A dictionary entry is not comprehensive enough to describe an engineering discipline in an encyclopedia. There is no doubt on the reliability of RINA and SNAME websites, since these are accredited professional organisations in this field. E.g., the textbook Principles of Naval Architecture is published by SNAME, the first chapter in Adrian Biran’s Ship Hydrostatics And Stability also refers to the above organisations.
The topics such as structural design, stability, seakeeping (response to dynamic environment) and arrangements design are equally valid for offshore structures as they are for ships. The design and construction of offshore structures involve naval architects in addition to structural and mechanical engineers. Hence, the article should mention offshore structures. The note at the top of the article pointing to offshore construction can be moved to the bottom of the article as a See also page.
If you have any suggestions on improving the article, please discuss here and we can arrive at a consensus. ChrysalSnowlax (talk) 03:47, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

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