Lessons to be Learned From the Study of Indigenous Craft

When:  Jun 16, 2020 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (ET)
Presented by SNAME Chesapeake, Hampton Roads, and ASNE Flagship Sections

"History doesn’t repeat itself, but sometimes it rhymes” – Mark Twain

The design and construction of water-borne craft using “scientific” methods is a relatively recent development in the context of the whole history of marine craft, and is by no means universally applied even today. Many traditional vessels in current service still rely on the process akin to Darwinian natural selection, or maybe better described as continuous experimentation. This process continues today.

From Madagascar outrigger fishing canoes to Bangkok water taxis with “long-tail” propulsion systems, and from Haitian fishing boats with high performance new sails built from poly-tarp material to whaling umiaks in NW Alaska covered with tensioned membrane skins made from walrus hide, there can be value in studying design, construction and operational approaches of these craft. As with any design, these vessels must meet a full suite of owners requirements, including performance and cost, construction schedule, useful service life, repairablity and maintainabality Such examination can lead to insights for the modern naval architect.

Lessons for today’s naval architects and ship design engineers such as optimizing weight/strength relationships, minimizing resistance, utilizing available materials in clever ways, developing repairable structures and adapting and repurposing new materials and components etc., can all be learned from the study of indigenous craft.

The author has been fortunate in that his professional career has taken him to many parts of the world from the Arctic to the Tropics, which has allowed him to pursue his interest in studying indigenous craft. This presentation will describe the authors experience in this field and uses a number of specific examples to illustrate the premise that there is value in learning from the store of practical experience available from indigenous designers and builders.

Speaker Name & Bio
Peter Noble, SNAME Past President

Peter Noble is a naval architect, marine and ocean engineer with a wide range of experience in the maritime and offshore sectors. His career has included positions with shipyards; with ship and offshore design consultants; with offshore and marine research and development companies; with major classification societies and as chief naval architect with the international oil company.

He currently undertakes consulting and advisory assignments internationally in the fields of maritime, offshore, and arctic technology as well as engaging in lecturing and supporting student and young professional activities on a global basis and in his spare time pursues his interest in small craft, particularly indigenous craft. Peter is a past president of SNAME.

RSVP Only. No cost to attend.

For questions or for more information, please contact 
Jim Spain - jspain@umich.edu
POC for Chesapeake Section 

Davy Hansch - David.Hansch@hii-nns.com 
POC for Hampton Roads


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