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The University of Southampton

SESS3024 Marine Craft Concept Design

Module Overview

Developing the overall design of a marine craft to meet owner’s requirements together with relevant statutory regulations is fundamental to the practice of naval architecture. This module entails the development of a marine craft design to concept stage, taking due account of the owner’s requirements and craft mission to derive craft dimensions and operating characteristics. The design is developed in sufficient detail to allow preliminary weight and cost estimates to be made and checks against statutory regulations for safety and environmental performance to be conducted. Students work as a design team, with each responsible for individual technical and managerial aspects of design, working together to integrate components. Regular ‘design review’ interviews are held throughout the module. Pre-requisite module/s: SESS2017 (or equivalent)

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The functions and applications of marine craft concept design methodologies.
  • The additions which have to be made to the powering of ships in service, for accurate design estimation of installed power.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply the methodologies and tools used in the marine craft concept design process to the concept design of a marine craft.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Work as a group on a concept design assignment.
  • Evaluate competing design drivers and alternatives to make a reasoned technical choice.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Create a concept design and carry out relevant checks to verify its feasibility, given an outline specification.
  • Carry out calculations for the derivation of ship powering components in service.


The course entails the development of a marine craft design to concept stage, taking due account of the following aspects: • Owners requirements/mission • Outline specification, including requirements for cargo mass/volume/passenger number, speed, range and operating environment • Dimensions • Preliminary stability check • Preliminary powering estimates including additions necessary for estimation of powering margins (air resistance, roughness, fouling and added resistance in waves) • Masses and centres estimates • Body plan • Hydrostatics/stability/floodable length and damaged stability assessments • Powering/propulsion machinery selection • Preliminary investigation of auxiliary machinery requirements (including HVAC systems) • Structure: concept midship section • Seakeeping: preliminary assessment of motions, added resistance, limits of operation • Statutory regulations: application of relevant regulations (e.g. SOLAS, HSC code, MARPOL as relevant) • Sustainability, environmental and safety issues • Layout/GA: to include cargo/passenger areas, officer/crew accommodation and engine room layout

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include Supervised weekly design office sessions supported by lectures in specific aspects and guest lecturers from industry where appropriate. • Learning activities include • Individual and group work on marine craft design calculations. • Individual and group work on producing a concept ship general arrangement plan.

Wider reading or practice10
Supervised time in studio/workshop30
Preparation for scheduled sessions11
Completion of assessment task72
Follow-up work11
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Database. of relevant marine craft and design information.

Various papers. in Transactions of RINA and SNAME

Relevant statutory regulations. such as LSA, accommodation, load lines (freeboard), HSC code, Large Yacht code, SOLAS, Small Commercial Vessels code, etc.


Assessment Strategy

Referral Method: Report submission and supporting calculations for a chosen substantive technical element of the design (e.g. stability, powering or structures calculations) and an improved General Arrangement drawing (i.e. improving their own contribution to previous collective effort). This will be assessed via a structured viva where a series of questions will be asked and responses noted. = 100%


Analysis and report


MethodPercentage contribution
Final Assessment  100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: SESS2017

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