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Understanding Boat Design Paperback – November 1, 1993


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 4th edition (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070076944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070076945
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

``One of the cleanest and clearest expositions on the elements of yacht design ever published.--By a naval architect who knows what he is talking about.'' (WoodenBoat)

About the Author

Ted Brewer, a lifelong sailor with more than 230 yacht designs to his credit, has worked on Gold Cup and Olympic medal - winning 5.5-meter designs, on the America's Cup defender Weatherly, and on numerous successful motor yachts, ocean racers, and production boats. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, with Bob Wallstrom, he produced more than 100 custom and production designs, from 21-foot catboats to the exquisite 62-foot charter ketch Traveller III. His better-known production designs include the Whitby 42, the Aloha 28 and 34, the Cabot 36, and the Morgan 38. In the early 1970s he originated the much copied radius-bilge method of building metal yachts.

Brewer's more recent designs include a sailing dinghy, a 45-foot Boston pilot schooner, the 68-foot schooner Tree of Life (named by SAIL magazine as one of the "100 Greatest Yachts in America"), and the 60-foot BOC around-the-world racer Wild Thing.

He is author of two other books, Cruising Yacht Design and Ted Brewer Explains Sailboat Design (International Marine, 1985), and a contributor to SAIL, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and Great Lakes Sailor, among other magazines.

When not at the drafting table, Brewer cruises the waters of the Pacific Northwest aboard his Nimble 25 Arctic yawl from his home port of Anacortes, Washington.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Douglyss Giuliana on September 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book certainly must be part of any boat design collection. Brewer covers all aspects of deisgn from hull to deck to power to storage space. It serves as a complete introductory resource covering the important aspects of each topic without burdenning the reader with details that the designers and builders must understand.
However, as an introductory book, it is missing some friendliness for the beginner. Brewer could improve on the technical definitions early in the book; in particular the description of prismatic coefficient left me seaching the web for a clearer definition. Brewer uses plan drawings to introduce hull shapes, but not teach the novice how to read such a drawing. Finally, some of Brewer's own designs are displayed; however, they lack detailed drawings and their minimal descriptions do not explain to the reader why the design was chosen or what tradeoffs were made, which would be particularly educational. Instead it just appears as a catalog of some plans Brewer hopes a reader might purchase.
All in all, I highly recommend this book, but hope the the next addition improves on this already valuable text.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I've have studied a fair number of books about design. This was the first I read and it's a good thing because it's not too hard to follow but it is definitely informative. It helps to understand design terminology and how a boat will perform based on its characteristics. I think I would have been frustrated had I begun somewhere else (such as Chapelle).
The focus is fairly broad. The designs are those most often seen on the water during the last 50 years (no brigatines, viking ships, or submarines). They are both power and sail, and both displacement and planing hulls. The size mostly seems to be boats of the "yacht" size (20 to 100 feet). Topics covered include styles of hull shape, line drawings, keels and rudders, layout, safety, construction materials.
This book will help you understand WHAT characteristics of a boat affect performance (and I don't just mean speed, because there is much more to it) and HOW they affect performance.
After reading and understanding this book, you will be able to better determine what to expect from a boat by just standing next to it and sizing it up. You will also figure out a few of the goofy things production companies do these days because they are focused on making boats that will be easy to sell, and not focused enough on making a boat that sails well. Make sense? Many modern designs have goofy characteristics that make a boat look good on paper and in an advertisement, but detract from performance, seaworthiness, reliability, and practicality when out on the water.
Bottom line: This book includes what I believe it should based on the title and the fact that it is ~150 pages long. It is very useful to someone want to own a boat, or get into boat design.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
Understanding Boat Design supplies basic introduction to yacht design. It is clear and easy to understand for sailors. If you are planning to purchasing a sailboat, please read this first. If you are boat owner, it provides you to good understandings your boat.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tyson Zwicker on November 10, 2003
Format: Paperback
This a great book if you are just starting to ponder the mysteries of boat design and its modern, which makes it better for beginners than Chapelle's books. IF, however, you are looking for more scientific/engineering sort of information, then you will be disappointed. Bottom line- it provides a wide survery of yacht designs, but does not delve into specifics enough for those of use who already know the basics. I would recommend it to anyone starting out in the field, but it is less technical than, say, Skene's Elements of Yacht Design.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Paul Werblin on February 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic for the curious. Those who are unaccustomed to the language of boatbuilding will quickly get a grasp of the same in reading this book. It is short and easy to get through.
It is not one of those books I would say is necessary (like Chapman), but it is savory food for the curious mind.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gary Aitken on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was disappointed in this book. I expected a well thought out, easy to understand description. The author starts out defining some terms, but omits others, and then describes things using undefined terms. By his initial definitions, one thinks "Good, this author doesn't assume I understand all the terms he will be using." Yet in the rest of the text he clearly considers that the reader knows a fair amount about boats and the terms used to describe them. Some drawings are missing important labels, and some explainations referring to drawings are missing important details, with a result that one is sometimes left perplexed. The book struck me as a quick gloss over of boat design with too much detail for someone in need of the grand overview. I don't think it had detail for someone actually interested in learning more about boat design. Someone interested in the quick basics would do better with other general sailing texts where simple principles of boat design are covered. Not sure what a better, more detailed text would be.
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By Philip F Stone on July 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
It has less information on catamarans than I would like, but still a good reference.
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Format: Paperback
This book covers both design and engineering for boats. It explains why some hulls are difficult on choppy water, and why some boats won't go faster than basic hull speed, no matter how much horsepower you put behind them. It's a very good reference to use for picking out your first or tenth sailboat.
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