Wednesday, September 16, 2020

4:28 AM

In 1967 I embraced a dream (I was just 13), to design, loft, construct, and finish a small 27 foot sailboat constructed of wood and specified hardware; rigging, sails, chain-plates, etc. all the hardware. I built my first boat at 15 or 16 (brain fog setting in), but it was a combination kayak/canoe about 18 foot long. Now, this was not difficult to construct as I ordered three frames plus an instruction and materials list. I built it myself. To me and my brother, we enjoyed our cruising on lakes with it. WE sure had fun.

At 19, I began lofting from just basic instructions obtained from a Popular Mechanics book set that included several designs of sailboats. I studied the designs and figured out throughout the reading material how to loft. You really need a large floor for this and I had a small bedroom that had a large door area to get the boat out once completed. I also purchased approximately 15 sheets of plywood at 1/4″ x 4′ x 8′ to create my lofting lines upon. This would be my moulding and frames originating from the design in the book. Not very difficult once plotting out the vertices per station. I would drive a nail at each vertices and upon completion per station would strike a line with a chalk-line from point to point. Upon completing this exercise I would saw the frame out and set it aside for future use in the construction process.

By the last frame moulding I could see the shaping of the form of the hull and knew that lofting was not that difficult to do. Time, patience, perseverance, was what was necessary. And, a little more cash that I really did not have so the project was scrapped. But I learned. Later on in my years I studied boat & yacht design at a vocational school where I learned basic fundamentals in yacht design but did have a very firm understanding of small craft to super yachts regarding design.

I had always hoped to learn boat design but took me until 2017 to earn a Certification in basic naval architecture. I engaged in a conversation with my instructor who told me that even with the two years I put in to learning that I could begin a small home-based design studio that I am working to populate the area with here soon. I have hoped to create my own design work ever since 1967. I have learned so much. Being a one-man-show though is tough work but I engage every day to make this a fruitful endeavor. I am beginning by utilizing my design skills to create conceptual designs in CAD. This is not difficult to create but even as artwork much formulaic expressions, coefficient ratios, and algebraic expressions are used to create even a very tic-tac sharp conceptual that can be created for art. This is what I do every day. Create.

3 thoughts on “Boat & Yacht Lofting: A Learning Essay

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