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Hull Design

Hulls do not only carry personnel, machinery and the weight of the cargo but they define the purpose of the craft. Marine surveyors should have a good knowledge of the hull performance based on size. Size and shape of the hull gives the vessel special unique characteristics. Some of them are designed to face forces of nature; other ones are built for speed.

Instinct and experience were the main factors for developing designs of the hulls but other factors like religious beliefs; aesthetic values etc. were later also incorporated into final shape.

shipping boat hull designThe direct approach to hull design is to optimise the shape to provide

1.       stability

2.       speed

3.       load-carrying ability

As mentioned earlier, each hull is designed for different type of use. Hulls that are made to be used in calm waters require less stability than hulls designed for ocean going vessels. If the hull is made for vessel that is used in fast rivers, high speed is required to be able to face strong current and maintain steerage downstream.

Ability of load-carrying is one of the most important requirements for any vessel. It dictates the length, beam and draught. Ability to carry huge amounts of cargo is the main cause of shipping industry. Design differences between hulls are huge depending on the purpose of the vessel (speed or efficiency). Efficiency means low operating costs and good fuel efficiency, which means very slow ships used for cargo transportations.

Days of high speed ships to carry passengers are over. Nowadays people only use cruise ships for the pleasure to enjoy the sea. High speed means higher fuel costs.

Result of the shipping requirements had a big effect on design of the hulls used in shipping industry. Easy loading ability is very important in efficiency of shipping and design of the hatch ships opened the door to rapid loading. This design allows forklifts to gain easy access to the holds.

Many ships have been designed for specific applications in order to improve their overall efficiency and they can quickly interface with other form of transport like trains of trucks to improve their performance.

Workboats usually pull (or push) boats, barges or nets. These boats typically have small crews and the hulls are built around massive engines, holds and winches. One dramatic change in workboats is the rapid increase in fishing boat size. Large, stern-ramp trawlers are able to travel worldwide.

Yachts are boats intended for recreation and comfort and have been part of the trappings of power. Their designs vary widely from sailboats and planning powerboats to slow, efficient, 'trawlers'. Catamarans are becoming increasingly popular in yacht design.

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