Reading Boat Plans Easily

By Martin Reid

If you are a novice boat builder then when you take your first look at the boat building plans you may be overwhelmed. They seem to be written in a language of their own and actually that is the case. Like any industry, it has its own jargon. You will find that much of this is in the form of abbreviations. Once you learn what these mean, you're reading of boat plans will become much easier. Here are some of the more common terms to help you.

LOA It means length overall. This is in reference to the entire length of the craft. From stem to stern. This doesn't include the bow spirits

You may recall seeing long poles that stick out the front of some sailboats. These are called bow spirits.

LWL This is a tricky one because it often gets mixed up with lwl. LWL means load water line. Actually, this an old term that is never used any more.

lwl Is the length at waterline. When it comes to measurements this one is very important. This is the measurement of where the boat is sitting in the water. It gives the length.

D Near the center of the hull is the deepest point. The D stands for the depth at this point.

LBP Referring to length between perpendiculars. The purpose of this measurement is important for large crafts that are going to be carrying bigger loads. The thing to remember with this measure is that it doesn't include the overhangs of the boat because these are weaker areas. This makes it a more accurate measurement.

These few terms that we have covered here are mostly applicable to your small boat version plans. These are the type you will most likely be starting with. Naturally, the larger the boat the bigger the plans and the more complex the jargon gets. So you can see we suggest you start out with something quite simple.

To make your boat building adventure even less complicated you might want to consider some of the boat building software that is now available. There are many versions that you can find online to choose from. It's just a matter of doing some researching and finding one that best suits you.

There are many different options available for you to start your first boat building. The important thing to do is look at all your options before deciding on any one course of action.

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