Hull Design

Hull Design Lab


About Lab: 

This Lab imparts the student’s / industry personnel would be taught how to create a wide variety of shapes which include surface hull forms, submarine casings and superstructure.

The hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Atop the hull may be a deckhouse or some other form of superstructure, like a mast. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.

The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type. In a typical modern steel ship, the structure consists of watertight and non-tight decks, major transverse and watertight (and also sometimes non-tight or longitudinal) members called bulkheads, intermediate members such as girdersstringers and webs, and minor members called ordinary transverse frames, frames, or longitudinal, depending on the structural arrangement. The uppermost continuous deck may be called the "upper deck", "weather deck", "spar deck", "main deck", or simply "deck". The particular name given depends on the context- the type of ship or boat, the arrangement, or even where it sails. Not all hulls are decked. 

In a typical wooden sailboat, the hull is constructed of wooden planking, supported by transverse frames (often referred to as ribs) and bulkheads, which are further tied together by longitudinal stringers or ceiling. Often but not always there is a centreline longitudinal member called a keel. In fiberglass or composite hulls, the structure may resemble wooden or steel vessels to some extent, or be of a monocoque arrangement. In many cases, composite hulls are built by sandwiching thin fiber-reinforced skins over a lightweight but reasonably rigid core of foam, balsa wood, impregnated paper honeycomb or other material


Hulls come in many varieties and can have composite shape, some are grouped primarily as follows:

  • There are four common types of boat hulls.


  • Flat-Bottomed Hulls

Boats with "flat-bottomed" hulls are very stable, great for fishing and other uses on calm, small bodies of water.

  • Round-Bottomed Hulls

"Round-bottomed" hulls are typically displacement hulls, and are designed to move smoothly through the water with little effort. An example of a round-bottomed hull is that found on a canoe. One drawback to the round-bottomed design is that it’s less stable in the water and can capsize more easily. So, extra care needs to be taken when entering, exiting and loading these types of boats.

  • V-Shaped Hulls

"V-shaped" hulls are planning hulls, and are the most common type of hull for powerboats. Deep v-shaped boats are designed to plane on top of the water at higher speeds and provide a smoother ride through choppy water. These boats are usually equipped with a larger engine than flat or round-bottomed boats.

  • Multi-Hulled

Finally, let's look at "multi-hulled" boats. These boats can have either planing or displacement hulls depending on the shape of hull and size of engine. Multi-hulled boats are some of the most stable on the water. They also require more room to steer and turn. Examples of common multi-hulled boats are catamarans and pontoon boats.

  • Baseline is a level reference line from which vertical distances are measured.
  • Bow is the front part of the hull.
  • Amidships is the middle portion of the vessel in the fore and aft direction.
  • Port is the left side of the vessel when facing the bow from onboard.
  • Starboard is the right side of the vessel when facing the bow from onboard.
  • Stern is the rear part of the hull.

Waterline is an imaginary line circumscribing the hull that matches the surface of the water when the hull is not moving.

The Hull Design Software allows students to quickly create hull forms or any geometric shape within the software suite. Hull Generator provides the capability to rapidly define complex surfaces using a minimal number of curves. From these surfaces solid bodies can be formed. 

Hull Generator incorporates “X-Topology” which refers to the process of forming a topological network from the curves supplied. This topology is used to infer boundary conditions at the edges of the surface patches formed for the multi-patch hull. 

Due to the abstract nature of Hull Generator a wide variety of shapes can be created which include surface hull forms, submarine casings, and superstructure.

NX Ship Structures

NX Ship Structure software provides a focused environment for modelling and manufacturing the structure of a ship. NX Ship Structure enables the user to conceptualize and model the surfaces and landing curves of the hull, decks, transverse and longitudinal bulkheads. It provides the user with tools to easily create and detail the plates and profiles that make up the structure. It also enables development of the production planning and generation of the structural manufacturing data. NX Ship Structure comprises two products: NX Ship Structure Detail Design and NX Ship Structure Manufacturing.

Software’s: NX Ship Structure, Paramarine