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Ships and Science: the Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600–1800 - By LARRIE D. FERREIRO

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Ships and Science: the Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600–1800 - By LARRIE D. FERREIRO


Publisher Mit Press, 2010 ISBN 026251415X, 9780262514156 Length 441 pages


"Naval architecture was born in the mountains of Peru, in the mind of a French astronomer named Pierre Bouguer who never built a ship in his life."


So writes Larrie Ferreiro at the beginning of this pioneering work on the science of naval architecture.


In Ships and Science, Ferreiro argues that the birth of naval architecture formed an integral part of the Scientific Revolution. Using Bouguer's work as a cornerstone, Ferreiro traces the intriguing and often unexpected development of this new discipline and describes its practical application to ship design in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.


According to the author, the three main topics of naval science were:

  • Maneuver, concerning the movement of ships under sail (including issues of masting);
  • Resistance, concerning the speed of ships in water; and
  • Stability, concerning the ability of ships, when inclined, to return to their upright position.

This book provides a mass of original new data on the history of naval architecture for the period 1600–1800 in its most fundamental theoretical aspects. Also, it clarifies the central contribution of Pierre Bouguer whose Traité du navire, de sa construction, et de ses manoeuvres truly constitutes an intellectual hinge between the two worlds of scientific and technical ideas and besides takes into account the practical applications.


For those interested in both the philosophical and scientific basis for the evolution of ship form and construction, this book provides a very detailed and readable narrative.  For those seeking specific guidance to build any ship, however, it will not serve the purpose.








Edited by trippwj


Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor, nor should life rest on a single hope.

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