Anyone who owns a computer can see the potential-- surely I can use this thing to design boats.
Well, yes and no. CAD oriented boat-design software is available and it does work. Using such a program, however, is NOT going to make you a competent naval architect.
Boatbuilding Software
[other stuff]

[my stuff]



Free (or nearly free) boat design software on the web:
Blue Peter Marine Systems
Hullform 6S (DOS)
An updated commercial Windows version is also available

 [Doug's review]: An older program, but still very powerfull. Steep learning cure.

Carene 40/50
Two shareware (free to non-commercial users) versions featuring hardchine designs, one for boats with transoms, one for boats without.

 [Doug's review]: Easy to use, algorithmically generated boats, with planking development. Boat shape changes only by plugging in different numbers.

Carlson Design
Freeware VB application for designing hardchine plywood boats

 [Doug's review]: This is a really fun program--easy to use and great for sketching out designs. Develops planks. Not for pros, as there is no numerical input interface--you cannot input an existing set of offsets

UNFOLD -- a tool for Stitch and Tape designers

Now Available for Download (see below)!

   UNFOLD is a C++ program I wrote which develops planking surfaces for ANY existing design. The input format is text, and is similar to standard offsets.

Unfold does NOT check to see if the surface is 'developable' (it was designed for kayaks and many S+T kayak designs are 'tortured' and are not, strictly speaking, developable surfaces).

   If the plans have previously been built using plywood, they (almost certainly) WILL be developable. This makes UNFOLD suitable for use in converting many 'traditional' designs into Stitch+Tape.

 UNFOLD generates a postscript printout which includes:

  • A graphic of the plank shape, with indexed numbers.
  • 'Offset' measurements of the plank, in both decimal and 'english' fractions (1/8, 5/16, etc.), listed by index number.
  • Stats (Length, width, etc.) of the development


An Example printout from 'Unfold'

NOTE: UNFOLD no longer prints the offset tables on the postscript doc, but in a separate
text file.

UNFOLD is now available for release. Follow this link to the official UNFOLD homepage. The documentation is readable online.

PLEASE read the UNFOLD docs before downloading the program, as it NOT a boat design program.

UNFOLD has a separate webpage, and is not a sub-page of Doug's Boat Page.

Let me know if you are using UNFOLD.