Five Ways That Bad Boats Happen


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 useful to this book to look at that 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.

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

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Meet the Author

John Harries

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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