Physical Tools

Marine designers use general tools like tape measures, cameras, pencil and paper.  But we also use some highly specialized tools.  You can’t go to the hardware store and lookup the aisle for “marine designer tools”.  These are highly specialized, poorly advertised, and often built by the marine designer themselves.  This page provides information on the tools that a marine designer uses.  This includes construction plans for customized tools.  And recommendations for tools to purchase.  This doesn’t include any of the normal tools used for construction of the vessel.  It is only tools used by the engineers for design of the vessel. 

Freeboard Tool

Often the naval architect needs to take freeboard measurements to precisely measure the floating waterline of the vessel.  Problem is, even in harbor, there are small waves that make a precise measurement very difficult.  This freeboard tool dampens out the waves and allows precise measurement from up on deck.  All from the comfort of the deck of your ship.  You can make your own freeboard tool.  Download the full plans and construction instructions.


Shipcheck Kit

What do I keep in my shipcheck kit?  Here is a list of the many items I found essential over the years.

  1. Writing tools (yes, I use all of these)
    1. Mechanical pencil
    2. Ball point pen (qty 2)
    3. Colored ink pen – red
    4. Colored ink pen – green
    5. Colored pencil – red
    6. Colored pencil – green
  2. Engineering paper
  3. Clipboard
  4. Flashlight
  5. Boiler suit
  6. Work boots
  7. Hard hat
  8. Spare batteries for all electronics
  9. Engineering Calculator
  10. Spare USB drive
  11. Business cards
  12. Camera
  13. Dimension card with magnets
    1. Place this in any picture that I take and I can scale the image to get dimensions.
  14. 25 foot tape measure with metric and imperial markings
  15. 100 foot tape measure
  16. Cell phone
  17. Documentation for vessel
    1. General arrangement
    2. Details of client contacts
    3. Other necessary drawings
  18. Box cutter
  19. Ear plugs
  20. Equipment to mark on surfaces
    1. Sidewalk chalk
    2. Crayon
    3. Permanent marker