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All About Powerboats: Understanding Design and Performance Paperback – March 26, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"Clear, insightful, easy to understand. This book is a must for powerboaters."--Bill Sisson, editor, Soundings

"Roger Marshall shares three decades of accumulated boating knowledge so you can cut years off your learning curve!"--Dean Clarke, executive editor, Sport Fishing

Your plain-language guide to powerboat design and performance

What's the difference between a modified-V and a deep-V hull? Or a planing hull and a displacement hull?

Why does boat A have flared topsides and not boat B?

How can I tell if a boat is adequately powered?

How do I judge a boat's seaworthiness just by looking at it?

What are the advantages or disadvantages of twin engines or a stern drive?

Get answers to these and all your questions about powerboat design and performance in All about Powerboats.

If you want to know what makes a boat fast, slow, stable, unstable, seaworthy, comfortable, or ideal for the things you want it to do, here's a perfect place to start. Longtime boat designer Roger Marshall tells you what you need to know about hull design, engines, drive trains, steering systems, comfort factors, safety features, and construction methods. He translates the jargon, explains the key concepts, and offers a wealth of insights into what makes powerboats tick.

About the Author

Roger Marshall is the technical editor for Soundings. After designing for the renowned firm of Sparkman & Stephens, he founded his own design company, where he has designed boats from 15 to 165 feet. He has written extensively for the boating press and is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including recent first-place awards at the annual Boating Writing International marine journalism contest. He is the author of ten boating books.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (March 26, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071362045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071362047
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.3 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,092,882 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Roger Marshall

Roger Marshall's work has appeared in magazines worldwide as well as the New York Times, The Daily Telegraph (UK), The Providence Journal, Sports Illustrated, Sail, Yachting World, Australian Sailing, Seahorse (UK), Kazi (Japan)and many other newspapers and magazines. He has appeared on Boating Today TV as host and commentator and is now the editor of Home Greenhouse magazine and contributor to many sailing and boating magazines. He has been a editor and contributor for many years and has written more than 900 magazine articles. Marshall is the author of eighteen books, two of which were translated into Italian and Spanish. He has also won a number of prizes for his writing.
Marshall's day job a designer of sailing and powerboats. After completing a program in small craft design at Southampton College in England, Marshall moved to the United States to take a position at Sparkman & Stephens, Inc. in New York. He was a designer there for over 5 years and then left to establish his own yacht design studio. He was project manager for the Courageous Challenge for the 1987 America's Cup campaign in Australia. Before going with the Courageous group he lectured a six-semester program leading to a minor in small craft design at Roger Williams University.
Marshall's passion is his greenhouse and garden where he spends most of his time. He has written two books on greenhouses and a third book on garden projects.
Marshall has extensive sailing and boating experience. He has sailed at all levels including with the British Admiral's Cup team on Quailo III and aboard Prime Minister Heath's Morning Cloud and once with the Japanese team. He has also sailed in many world and national championships, 11 Bermuda races (twice with the British Onion Patch team), and 5 Fastnet races (twice with the British Admiral's Cup team), and the 1997 Atlantic Challenge from New York, to Falmouth, England, placing third. He has cruised on both power and sailboats in many parts of the world, especially the European, Mediterranean, and North American coastlines.
He is past President of Boating Writers International, former chair of the Innovation Awards committee and was a member of the DAME award jury at the METS show. He a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the Garden Writers Association.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John S. Kasper on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
If you are thinking about building a boat from plans, or even designing a boat on your own, it's important to understand how the shape of a hull moves through the water. This book gives an in depth, non-mathematical description of hull performance.

It covers many hull shapes and describes ideal conditions and speeds for each type. This is a must-have for anyone seriously thinking about building a boat. It will give you a better appreciation of the boat that is really right for you. And, for the price, you can't go wrong!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By mark twain too on July 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
this book is for serious, but not too serious, boaters. for me it opened the door to understanding why certain hull designs do diffeent things, why different marine engine technologies offer different advantages and disadvantages. I wish I had read it before I bought my first boat. But then again, now I know enough to appreciate the depth of understanding on the pages of this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jorge G. Athie Alvedra on March 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
It is a very interesting book, for people begining in the boat field.

Very easy to understand, without technical fireworks.

I strongly recommend it for beginers or not technical background persons
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Claudio Cairoli on February 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Useful only for somebody who's never noticed that a speedboat has a different shape than a fishing trawler. I was looking for some more technical, that would be guide to design a powerboat hull, so I'm very disappointed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Limited understanding. Lacks any in depth information that interests me such as;. surface drive systems, Stepped hull types, placement and sizing of lift strakes, high speed racing boats, planing center pod catamarans, wing in ground effect boats, out-rigger hydroplanes, etc.. All in all, basic info for the novice.

I will be more cautious when claims are made about a book.
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