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For Immediate Release 04-35

Contact: Caroline Chetelat, (410) 956-1050, x22

[email protected]



Westlawn Announces the Largest Single Curriculum Upgrade in It’s History


December 9, 2005, Edgewater, MD:  After many months of work and preparation, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is proud to announce that the largest single curriculum upgrade in the school’s history has been released.  This comprehensive update was made possible by the generous support of The J. Orin Edson Foundation, and is called the “Student Guide 2nd Edition.”  Because there is such a vast amount of information in the Student Guide 2nd Edition, this new upgrade will also serve as a new fifth Module, enlarging the four-module format that has been Westlawn’s standard for some two decades. The new Student Guide 2nd Edition, was shipped not only to all current students and all newly enrolling students, but to all graduates for the past 2 years, free of charge. Westlawn students who graduated more than 2 years ago (from either the full Yacht Design Course or from Yacht Design Lite), can order the new Student Guide 2nd Edition for $50.00, postpaid in the US, or for $50.00 plus shipping overseas.


Not all the information in the Student Guide 2nd Edition is wholly new, of course. Westlawn has been training many of the worlds most successful designers for nearly 75 years. (Go to Success Stories to see a list of our successful alumni.)  Over that span of time, almost all the course materials have been rewritten or updated at some point. Nevertheless, there have been substantial changes over the past 25 years—changes in composite construction, changes in computers and CAD applications; changes sail materials; in systems and electronics—to just scratch the surface. The Student Guide 2nd Edition addresses these changes. It also does add extensive new information on an array of subjects, and goes on to further elaborate and expand on many subjects that were covered in previous course material to include the following:


•  updated instructions to students;

•  detailed discussion of hydrostatic, stability, and weight calculations;

•  sailboat mast and rigging calculation and layout;

•  advanced composite construction design;

•  fin-keel design;

•  the preliminary design process; CAD usage and applications; multihull design; and much more. (A condensed index is below.)


In addition, the Student Guide 2nd Edition contains new, extensive reference papers on drivetrain installations, fuel systems, exhaust systems, and exploring the structural-design considerations of carbon-fiber composites.


Furthermore, a comprehensive new set of reference drawings, from design-office working drawings, has been added. These include detailed designs for two different aluminum motor vessels (one planing and one displacement); an FRP planing motorcruisers; and the complete set of drawings for a Farr ILC 46 (thanks to the generous support of Farr Yacht Design). This new reference collection of real-world working drawings will further enhance our students’ knowledge of industry design standards and practice.


Like all new Westlawn material, the Student Guide 2nd Edition is in fully metric and English units throughout. In addition - for the first time - engineering practice in metric units is directly covered in detail. This is particularly important for US designers working on projects for export to the EU.


Dave Gerr, Director of Westlawn said, “Even though the new Student Guide 2nd Edition is the largest single curriculum upgrade in Westlawn history, it is only a start. We’re committed to an ongoing program of course upgrade and enhancement, to keep Westlawn at the forefront of small-craft design education. Indeed, there are three more curriculum upgrades in progress as I write this—a complete rewrite of the aluminum construction text; an extensive new text on structural engineering, a new text on propellers, and a reference paper on rudders and steering systems. Look for these new upgrades to be released in the next 18 to 24 months!,” continued Gerr.


Even after these updates, Dave Gerr says, “There are still more updates planned! A few that are scheduled are: a paper on rigs and rigging for small boats, a paper on tonnage measurement, and a more comprehensive coverage of ventilation, to name just three. We feel strongly that Westlawn is the place to go to learn small-craft design, and we’re committed to keeping it the best education in boat design anywhere. Explore our website to see what our alumni have accomplished,” concluded Gerr.


Condensed contents of the Student Guide 2nd Edition:





                What Is The Student Guide?

                How To Use The Student Guide

                Additional Books REQUIRED For Westlawn Study

                Reference Papers & Reference Material

                Reference Drawings

                Career Advice

                Requirements For Submitting Lessons

                Submitting Original Drawings Thru The Mail

                Receiving Lesson Reports Via Email

                Neatness Counts

                Using Spreadsheets




1.1 - Mathematical Equation Procedures & Rounding Large Numbers

                Proper Math Equation Procedure

                Rounding Large Numbers

                Greek Letters Used In Formulas/Equations

                Do Not Use Commas As Decimal Points


1.2 - Hydrostatics, Planimeter Use and Readings, Required

                Hydrostatic Data

                Hydrostatic Calculations, Planimeter Readings, and Section Half-Area

                Planimeter Scale Factor and Planimeter Use

                Hydrostatic Data Sheet REQUIRED With Every Design –

                                USE AS CHECKLIST

                Additional Data-Sheet Information REQUIRED – USE AS CHECKLIST

                Hydrostatics And Baselines Or Reference Lines


1.3 - VCB, Trapezoidal Rule, Estimating the VCG & Calculating

                Hull Shell CG

                VCB Vertical Center of Gravity Calculations for Hydrostatics –

                                “Morrish” VCB Method

                Trapezoidal Rule Instead of Simpson’s Rule

                Preliminary Estimation of Center Of Gravity

                Vertical Center of Gravity and Stability Calculations

                Calculating Hull-Shell Center of Gravity


1.4 - Finding Volumes – The Prismoidal Formula


1.5 - Weight And Trim Calculations

                An Example Weight Calculation

                Weight-Calculation Margins And Allowances

                Combining LCB, LCF, MTI, And PPI To Find Combined Flotation And Trim

                Indicate Location of LCB and LCG Clearly On Weight Calculations

                Transverse Center Of Gravity Calculations


1.6 - Preliminary Stability Estimates, Estimating GZ And GM At Various

                Heel Angles


1.7 - Evaluating And Thinking About Speed – Speed-Length Ratio

                and Froude Number

                Speed-Length Ratio (SL ratio)

                Froude Number (Linear – “Fnl”)

                Froude Number (Volume or Cubic – “Fnv”)


1.8 - Units Of Pressure, Stress And Force For Metric

                Structural Calculations




2.1 - Drafting, Manual & CAD - Introduction


2.2 - Drafting—Manual Drawing  & Lineweights In CAD And

                Manual Drawing

                Don’t Mix CAD And Hand Drawing – Use Proper Vellum And Mylar

                Lineweights And Lead Hardnesses

                Hide Hidden Lines

                The Drawing-Board Surface

                Marine Manual-Drafting Techniques

                Details In Drawings

                Practical Marine Drafting

                Drawing Conventions

                Hull Lines Drawings

                The Midships Symbol And “FP” AND “AP”

                Table of Offsets

                “Blueprints” vs Giant Xerox

                About Inking

                Drawing Size

                Folding Drawings

                Title Blocks

                Drawing Scales And Drawing-Scale Labeling

                Dimensioning and Dimensioning Systems

                Gridlines On All Drawings

                Shading And Hatching On Drawings

                Lettering Size And Lettering Quality

                Notes On Number Of Section Drawings Required (Module 3)

                Fore-n-Aft Frame Reference Locations (Module 3)

                The Importance Of Quality Drafting


2.3 - Submitting Drawings Electronically & Maximum CAD Drawing Size


2.4 – CAD, Computer Systems & Software:

                Recommendations Regarding CAD

                How To Order Academic-Discount Software

                Some Common High-End CAD Programs

                Suggestions On Computer Systems


2.5 -  Drafting – CAD Drawing:

                Details In Drawings

                Gridlines -  Additional Information

                Shading And Hatching -  Additional Information

                Units In AutoCad

                Making Proper Use of Model Space

                Using Paper Space

                3D Drawings/Modeling In CAD

                Color In CAD Drawings

                Color and Lineweights In AutoCad

                CAD Plot File Formats

                PDF Check Plots

                AutoCad “Express Tools”

                3D Modeling And 2D Working Drawings

                Standard Steps for Doing a Boat Design in CAD


2.6 - Developable Surfaces

                Developable Surfaces or Hulls of Conic Sections




3.1 - Laying Out a Workable Arrangement

                Seats and Tables

                Helm Seats

                Toilets/Heads, Showers


                Counters and Cabinets

                Headroom, Doors, Passageways, and Hatches


                Side Decks

                Lifelines And Stanchions

                Sight lines From The Helm

                Avoid Excessive Open Spaces

                Avoid Movable Furniture

                Draw In The Cabin Sole

                Using People Blocks in CAD


3.2 - Common Mistakes

                Don’t Forget Limber Holes

                No Sharp Outside Corners

                Engine: Clearance, Sound Insulation, Ventilation, Access, Removal, Exhaust

                Engines Are Not Mirror Image

                Don’t Run Insulation Down Into The Bilge

                Masts Should Not Penetrate The Trunk Cabin In line With A Window

                Show Masts In The Inboard Profile And Arrangement Plans

                Don’t Put Opening Windows In The Topsides Of Sailboats

                Don’t Locate Tanks Near The Ends Of The Boat

                Don’t Install Tanks That Run Athwartships

                Rudder Center Of Pressure Is At 35% Of Mean Cord


3.3 - Design For Production


                Minimizing Liability

                Minimizing Waste

                Reducing Labor Time

                Optimizing For Transport And Delivery




4.1 - Factors Governing Sailboat Performance

                Sailboat Performance—Design & Form

                Practical Design Guidelines For Sailboats

                Evaluating Sail-Carrying Power – Dellenbaugh Angle and Wind

                                Pressure Coefficient

                Righting Moment On Small Sailboats

                Extreme Performance Monohulls

                Twin Rudders On Sailboats

                Sailboat Examples In Westlawn Texts


4.2 - Saildrive Installations


4.3 - Mast and Rig Design

                Rigging Loads Must Be Balanced

                Desirable Mast Bend

                Shroud Tang Location

                Shroud Layout In Profile View

                Continuous and Discontinuous Rigging

                Modern Standing Rigging—Wire, Rod, High-Modulus Fiber

                316 Alloy 1x19 Wire Rigging Size And Strength Table

                Laying Out Shrouds And Chainplate Locations

                Dimensioning Headsails For Proper Sheet Lead

                Swept-Back Spreader Detailing

                Calculating Shroud Loads And  Mast Compression With Swept-Back

                                Spreaders And Proper Sweep-Back Angle

                Avoid Drooping Booms & Boom Clearance

                Boom Section Size

                Running Rigging Sizes


4.4 - Chainplate Design

                Standard Flat-Bar Chainplates

                Chainplate Attachment and Design Load

                Stress And Bearing Area For Chainplate Bolt Holes

                Chainplate Bolt Diameter And Number Of Bolts In Plywood

                Reducing The Number Of Chainplate Bolts With Annuluses

                Minimum Chainplate-Bolt Spacing

                Chainplate Bolt Diameter And Number Of Bolts In Fiberglass

                Thickness Ratio

                Chainplate-Bolt Shear Area Requirements

                Chainplate Bolts In Cored Bulkheads

                Fastening Chainplate Knees To The Hull – Secondary Fiberglass

                                Bond Stress In Shear

                Chainplates Fastened To Tie Rods – Secondary FRP Bond Stress In Tension

                Reinforcing The Hull Structure At The Mast And Chainplates


4.5 - Unstayed Mast Design

                Unstayed Masts –  Overview

                Unstayed Masts Are Cantilever Beams

                Calculating Loads On An Unstayed Mast

                Determining The Size Of An Aluminum Unstayed Mast

                Determining The Size Of A Carbon-Fiber Unstayed Mast

                Limitations Of Unstayed Masts

                “Unstayed” Masts With Headstays

                Spar Taper On Unstayed Masts

                Standard Spar Taper

                Calculating Deflection In Unstayed Masts


4.6 - Keel Design

                The Multiple Functions Of Keels

                Brute Force vs Finesse

                Traditional Long Full Keels

                Theory Of Modern Fin Keels

                Fin-Keel Planform

                Aspect Ratio

                Lift-To-Drag Ratio

                The Standard Trapezoidal Keel

                Fin-Keel Geometry Definition

                Fin-Keel Area Relative To Sail Area And Aspect Ratio

                Proportioning The Optimum Trapezoidal Planform For Best Lift-To-Drag

                Example Keel Drawings

                The 67% Root-Cord Compromise Keel

                Use Of The Optimal Planform Keel

                Keel Section Or Foil Shape

                Foil Geometry And Nomenclature

                Selecting A Standard Foil Section

                Foil Sections Change With Height On The Keel

                Keel-Bottom Shape

                Bulb Fin Keels

                Bulb Forms With Less Induced Drag

                Other Fin-Keel Forms

                Extreme Keels – Forward-Projecting Bubs, Wing Keels & Winglets

                The Scheel Keel

                Centerboard And Keel-Centerboarders

                Keel Ballast Attachment




5.1 - Notes On Catamaran Design


5.2 - Trimaran Hull Proportions


5.3 - Multihull Hydrostatics


5.4 - Catamaran Nomenclature


5.5 - Trimaran Nomenclature


5.6 - Ama (Outer Hull) Buoyancy and Stability, and Flying a Hull


5.7 - Ama (Outer Hull) LCB


5.8 - Multihull Crossbeams


5.9 - Multihull Crossbeam Loads


5.10 - Sailing Multihull Stability and Performance Indicators:

          Bruce Number, RPI, Stability Number & Stability Factor


5.11 - Multihull Sailplan Lead


5.12 - Notes On Multihull Rigs & Righting Moment


5.13 - Don’t Use Long Keels On Multihulls


5.14 - Visibility From The Helm On Catamarans




6.1 - Length-To-Beam Ratio


6.2 - Chines


6.3 - Deadrise


6.4 - Section Shape, Chine Shape In Body Plan


6.5 - Buttock Angle And Shape And Planing Angle


6.6 - Hook, Wedges, Shingles, Trim Tabs And Planing Trim Angle


6.7 - Spray Knockers Or Chine Flats – More On Chine Proportions

                And Location


6.8 - Example Lines Of Good Planing Hulls


6.9 – Spray-Rail Location And Proportions


6.10 - Location Of LCG And LCB


6.11 - Displacement-Length Ratios


6.12 - Prismatic Coefficients


6.13 - Tumblehome In Planing Hulls


6.14 - Avoid Hollow Waterlines Forward


6.15 - Planing-Hull Examples In The Westlawn Texts


6.16 - Estimating Range And Fuel Tankage




7.1 – Aluminum Construction

                Think Aluminum

                Avoid Sharp Corners In Metal Construction

                Floating Frame vs Standard Frame in Metal Construction

                Metal Boat “Egg-Crate” Framing Details And “Intercostal” Framing

                Bulkhead and Frame Locations and Installation in Metal Boats

                Longitudinal Layout


7.2 - Laminate Schedules And FRP Construction Details

                Glass Content By Weight


7.3 - Guidance On Internal Framing For Fiberglass Hulls


7.4 - Hydrostatic Head Height For Displacement-Boat

                Structural Calculations


7.5 - Advanced-Composite FRP Construction and Composite Fin Keels

                Notes On Advanced-Composite Fiberglass Construction

                Carbon-Fiber Laminates

                Deep Composite Fin Keels With Ballast Bulbs


7.6 - Notes On Wood Construction

                Lumber Size Specifications

                Use Scantlings From The Elements of Boat Strength




8.1 - Halon Discontinued for Fire Extinguishers


8.2 - Electric Systems

                DC Ground Wiring And DC Wiring In General

                12-Volt DC vs 24-Volt DC

                Bonding (Grounding) And Negative (Grounded) Conductors

                Separate Drawings For DC And AC Systems

                AC Wiring (Including Isolation Transformers And Selector Switches)

                Electric Wiring Color Code (US Practice)

                Alternators, Battery Charging, And Battery Banks

                Inverters And Battery Chargers (Converters)

                Separate AC And DC Wiring Onboard

                Circuit-Panel Basics

                Electric-System References


8.3 - Electric Component Sizing Guidelines

                Estimating Battery-Bank Capacity

                Battery Considerations

                The Proper Alternator

                Shoreside Chargers

                AC from DC — Selecting an Inverter

                Sizing an Electric System

                House-Bank Battery Consumption and Charging Time

                Inverter Current Draw        


8.4 – Sizing Mooring And Docking Cleats And Chocks


8.5 - Specifications




9.1 - Starting Your Preliminary Design Work


9.2 -  Defining The Midships Section


9.3 - Estimating Power And Range


9.4 - Laying Out A Preliminary Sailplan


9.5 - Checking Sail-Carrying Power And Stability

                Estimating Waterplane Moment Of Inertia And GM

                Estimating GZ From Estimated GM

                Estimating Sail Carrying Power—Dellenbaugh Angle And WPC


9.6 - Drawing The Preliminary Lines


9.7 - Improving And Correcting Your Preliminary Sketches


9.8 - Checking Weights, LCG, VCG, And Lead


9.9 -  Preliminary Drawings As Opposed To Preliminary Sketches



APPENDIX A – Example Weight-and-Trim Calculation


APPENDIX B – Example Laminate Schedule And Construction Details


APPENDIX C – Modern FRP Laminate Mechanical Properties Tables


APPENDIX D – Example Preliminary Sketches And Drawings


APPENDIX E – Example Title Blocks




-   Exhaust System Fundamentals

-   Tanking Up (about fuel systems)

-   Drivetrain Fundamentals

-   Black Magic (about carbon fiber)

-   Specifications For An Aluminum Motorcruiser

-   Portion Of Specifications Dealing With FRP Construction

-   Portion Of Specifications Dealing Mast and Rigging



-   Drawings For Farr ILC 46

-   Drawings For FRP Express Cruiser

-   Drawings For Aluminum Motorcruiser

-   Drawings For Aluminum Fast Ferry



Founded in 1930, the Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology is the only nationally accredited and state certified distance-learning school of small-craft design in the United States.  As the not-for-profit educational affiliate of the American Boat and Yacht Council, Westlawn's primary function is to assure a continual source of highly skilled designers to the marine industry.  To learn more about Westlawn please call (410) 956-7100 or explore more of the Westlawn website.