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

January (IAP) 2007

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.)

Course Highlights

This course features video lectures, as well as an image gallery. 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.

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.

Special Features

Technical Requirements

Special software is required to use some of the files in this course: .rm.

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Antonio Dias
(Antonio Dias Design)
Reuben Smith
(Tumblehome Boatshop)

Course Coordinator:
Kurt Hasselbalch
(Curator, MIT Museum)

Faculty Liaisons:
Prof. Christopher Dewart
Prof. Nicholas Patrikalakis

Course Meeting Times

Five sessions over one week
6 hours / session