Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering: The Art and Science of Boat Design

Instructors and students with their half-hull model boats.

The instructors and students pose with their completed half-hull model boats. (Photograph by Kurt Hasselbalch.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

January IAP 2007



Cite This Course

Course Features

Course Description

This class is jointly sponsored by the MIT Museum, Massachusetts Bay Maritime Artisans, the Department of Mechanical Engineering's Center for Ocean Engineering, and the Department of Architecture. The course teaches the fundamental steps in traditional boat design and demonstrates connections between craft and modern methods. Instructors provide vessel design orientation and then students carve their own shape ideas in the form of a wooden half-hull model. Experts teach the traditional skills of visualizing and carving your model in this phase of the class. After the models are completed, a practicing naval architect guides students in translating shape from models into a lines plan. The final phase of the class is a comparative analysis of the designs generated by the group.

This course is offered during the Independent Activities Period (IAP), which is a special 4-week term at MIT that runs from the first week of January until the end of the month.

Christopher Dewart, Kurt Hasselbalch, Nicholas Patrikalakis, Reuben Smith, and Antonio Dias. 2.993 Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering: The Art and Science of Boat Design, January IAP 2007. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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