The Development of Ship Design

The development of the maritime industry has been inextricably tied up with the global events that have shaped history. Ship design and the shipbuilding process are no exception to this juggernaut of change. The ship designing process has come a long way from the reed boats of ancient Egypt or even the Greek triremes. Even limiting ourselves to the recent past, we see that there has been a consistent improvement in the way ships are designed. Naturally, this trend is expected to continue in the future. With technological advances and the increasing need for better ship efficiency, ship design is going to keep changing in subtle but unmistakable ways. Figure1:An ancient Egyptian papyrus showing a boat on the Nile River. Here, we see how ship design has evolved over the years, the events that shaped the design process, the various aspects of ship design to be considered, and the challenges that need to be overcome. Early Evolution of Ship Design In ancient times, boat design was primarily classified as cargo ship design or warship design. Depending on the application, the design was altered accordingly. Warships were lighter, faster, with enough area to accommodate the soldiers. Cargo ships were bulkier, slower in comparison, and designed to store cargo in large quantities. Figure2: Drawing of an Egyptian seagoing ship, c. 2600 BCE Before the advent … Continue reading The Development of Ship Design

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