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The Elements of Boat Strength: For Builders, Designers, and Owners Hardcover – August 10, 1999
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"Certain books, because of their thoroughness, tend to become industry standards; such is the case with Dave Gerr's latest reference volume, The Elements of Boat Strength. The book details construction methods and recommended scantling dimensions for fiberglass, wood, aluminum, steel, and composite hulls. " -- Ocean Navigator, November/December 1999
From the Publisher
"This work is significant. It is the first to include a method of assessing structural strength in the context of the modern marine environment."--Commander M. C. Cruder, U.S. Coast Guard Naval Architecture
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Having been rather bewildered over the years at how scantlings in boat design were determined, Gerr gives a good explanation of how these are calculated in primarily two different ways. One, a traditional strength formulation according to materials and their use that have proven to be good over the long haul. The other is by engineering the whole structure piece by piece and how it all works together. This book aims at the former, as the latter is the work of engineers on specific applications and designs. I was hoping for some good help on traditional ply construction and got it, albeit brief. Gerr wastes no words, and what I needed took some searching--Gerr put it in one sentence! If you are leaning towards aluminum boat construction you will find lots of support in this book. If you are looking for a lot of info on stitch and glue engineering, you may be disappointed. However, the explanations of what goes into boat strength is worth the price of the book. Some of the pictures could be better, but what is there serves the purpose. All in all, a good book.
It has been said, "An educator takes something simple and makes it complicated. A teacher takes something complicated, and makes it simple." Gerr is in the latter category.
With an undergraduate degree in Ocean Engineering with a couple of naval architecture courses under my belt, I really needed a professional's common sense, savvy discussion of boat design. With each page read I visualized the different construction details seen at boat shows and on friend's boats, I can trace failures observed back to the discussions.
The author's writing style really livens up the reading! I have read many books on the subject, this and "The Nature of Boats" are my favorites to date.
My only criticism is that the scantlings were noted to be appropriate for speeds up to 45 knots, I would have liked to book to include higher speed designs as that is my current interest, still looking.... Otherwise, five stars!
Most recent customer reviews
Do not read this book without a calculator, pad, and pencil handy.
Filled with math, tables, stories, and experienced.Read more