Five Ways That Bad Boats Happen–Part 1

Chapter 18 of 20 in the Online Book How To Buy an Offshore Voyaging Boat
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Don’t panic, you don’t have to do the math to read this post.

Wander through any marina or row through any mooring field (or popular anchorage) with an experienced eye and you will see a lot of scary things:

  • Hulls that will pound horribly going up wind, both motor boats and sailboats.
  • Motor boats that burn two or even three times more fuel than they should to move a given tonnage through the water at a given speed.
  • Sailboats that need way more sail area than they should to sail well.
  • Sailboats that are just plain slow.
  • Sailboats that need huge rudders, and often two of them, to be even remotely controllable.

That’s just a few of the things I see. The list of naval architecture sins could fill pages but, enough, you get the idea. A person could be forgiven for thinking that boat hull design must be some kind of poorly understood black art where coming up with a good hull is a matter of pure luck. After all, what other factor can explain the number of truly terrible hull designs that assault the senses at every turn?

But, in fact, the fundamentals of good hull design have been well known for years and the majority of naval architects know these fundamentals. So how do all the bad boats we see come to be?

I thought it would be interesting to look at that as a new chapter in our How To Buy an Offshore Voyaging Boat Online Book, on the theory that if we can understand how bad hull designs happen, our readers will be better equipped to avoid bad hulls when boat shopping and we will be better able to explain the decisions Erik and I have made while he designs the Adventure 40 hull.

So, let’s dive in to the dark and terrifying world where bad boats are spawned.


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