Yacht Designing & Planning
Howard I. Chapelle
|The first edition of this book was the first textbook on learning to design boats that
your reviewer had ever seen or heard of. Who gave it to me is lost to my memory. I was a
teenager who had been brought up around boats, cruising, boat building and boat repair. I
also had done a lot of what I would call technical sketching. Because of my interest in
technical drawing my father had built a small drafting table for me and gotten me a very
few drafting instruments. When I got this book, it was a treasure beyond imagining and I
immediately determined to design myself a boat. I went through this book in great detail
and proceeded to do an outboard profile and lines for a 20' sloop. The book was of great
help and taught me to draw lines reasonably well. Mr. Chapelle also had taken the trouble
to go into aesthetics in some detail and this helped a great deal.
More recently Mr. Chapelle lightly revised this book, adding a bit more on some of the newer materials and fashions, but it remains essentially a work suitable to those who want to design traditional wooden boats with traditional rigs. Don't spurn it for this reason. There is a lot to learn here that is of great value whatever material may come along. Also if you are truly interested in a design career and in good looking boats you will find that the principles of traditional design set forth here are very marketable skills. It is amazing how often our firm, comfortable as we are with the most modern construction methods, designs vessels which use the skills we started developing with this book for clients who come to us because they know we can still design traditional boats. Wed hate to have that income not available to us.
We're very happy that this book is back in print. It is a good primary learning tool, of which every designer should have a copy.
Having said the above the young amateur designer that I was 40 years ago rapidly realized that glued strip planked construction like Cy Hamlin was using was not covered. There was also no information on proper design of aluminum spars. This, of course, remains true today. This led me to investigate ways to learn design. I was fortunate enough to meet Ted Brewer and ask his advice and he was very happy to inform me that he was just starting Yacht Design Institute at which I completed my initial education. However without Yacht Designing and Planning I might never have gotten enough of a feel for the profession to realize that I just had to learn it. (tm) $35.00