Training & Development for our marine surveyors

Continuous and Ongoing Skills Improvement – Marine Surveyor Training

Tales from the International Boat Building College (IBTC) at Oulton Broad

1.  Lofting

Lofting is a drafting technique (sometimes using mathematical tables) whereby curved lines are generated, to be used in plans for streamlined objects such as aircraft and boats. The lines may be drawn on wood and the wood then cut for advanced woodworking. The technique can be as simple as bending a flexible object, such as a long strip of thin wood or thin plastic, so that it passes over three non-linear points and scribing the resultant curved line, or plotting the line using computers or mathematical tables.

Lofting is particularly useful in boat building, when it is used to draw and cut pieces for hulls and keels, which are usually curved, often in three dimensions. It was also commonly used in aircraft design before the widespread adoption of computer-generated shaping programs.

Here I am (Louis Bodmer of European Marine Surveys) applying the art and skills of lofting a boat on real scale and fairing the waterlines in the half-breadth view. It takes a vast floor to do so!

Just a quick example of the skills and knowledge I’ve gained while training at the International Boat Building College (IBTC) on Oulton Broad.  My colleague Jacob and I have been lofting an 11ft clinker sailing dinghy.

It has been very interesting seeing some obscure figures in a table of off-set gradually developing into some fair and pleasing lines and becoming a boat which eventually will float!

We are now into the next step and building the first components of the boat as the transom, keel, hog, stem and apron.

More updates to come as the work progresses !