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The University of Southampton

SESS6066 Sailing Yacht and Powercraft Design

Module Overview

This module takes a practical approach primarily through assignment/project lead application of concepts of yacht design, applicable to both powered and sailing craft. Four assignments in areas of initial design, hull design, sailplan and rig development and structures allow the participants to experiences the use of a variety of design tools and methodologies and develop skills in making engineering and design judgements.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The operational requirements of typical yacht types and the definition of how intended function influences the design process.
  • The methodologies for hull form parameter selection.
  • Sailplan and mast design methodologies.
  • The synthesis of hull structural design.
  • The considerations and methodologies used to design powercraft.
  • The powercraft design tendering and award based on concept design exercise.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the process of yacht design and the associated regulatory regime
  • Employ appropriate design methodologies to the production of preliminary and design drawings for a new vessel.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Increased abilities towards making engineering judgements / estimations
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Ability to create hull geometries using a hull fairing package
  • Carry out typical design calculations for the powering, stability, loading and structural strength of high-speed power craft
  • Make informed judgements between conflicting aspects of vessel performance in design.
  • Communicate your design through a technical brochure.
  • Understand the process of design review and assessment


• Balance of air and water forces. • Velocity prediction programs. • Static stability. • Rating and handicap rules. • Hydrodynamics of hull, keel and rudder. • Aerodynamics of sails. • Mast and rigging design. • Materials in construction. • Structural design of hull elements. • Powercraft Design. • Loading - classical methods of assessment, empirical methods. • Regulatory regimes - role of regulation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Supervised design office sessions supported by key lectures. Learning activities include • Individual work on all four assignments.

Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Completion of assessment task50
Follow-up work12
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Proceedings of other conferences relevant to high-speed craft. RINA conferences, High- Performance Marine Vehicle conference series

Proceedings of FAST conference series. 


Assessment Strategy

Referral method: All coursework may be modified and re-submitted. It is a requirement to re-submit all four coursework elements and each must achieve a minimum of 50%.


MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 75%
Final Assessment  25%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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