What is naval architecture

Naval architecture is a form of specialized engineering that focuses on the design, construction and maintenance of marine vessels. There are many elements to naval architecture which encompass the complete vessel life cycle ranging from researching the initial ship design to the launching and dry docking of the vessel.

Naval architecture explained

Naval architecture is a vitally important subject to be aware of, if you are considering having a vessel designed and constructed from scratch. A naval architect will conduct the initial research and design your vessel to your personal specifications and in line with marine industry standards and maritime laws. There are numerous elements associated with naval architecture, including;

Ship design

This is the preliminary stage of naval architecture and involves in-depth research and analysis to be conducted to with regards to designing a vessel as per the requirements of the intended vessel owner and in strict compliance with the necessary maritime requirements and laws in the country of ship construction and registration. The preliminary design will then move to the next stage of detailed design provided the initial design is approved.


This stage of naval architecture is vast and encompasses the overall building of a vessel in line with the detailed design specifications. The construction will be carried out by specialist workers to industry health and safety standards and marine regulations within a specified timeframe. The completion of the construction will be followed by trials to ensure the ship is safe and sea worthy.


Once the ship construction is completed the last stages to naval architecture is launching the ship, up keeping its maintenance and performing dry docking activities as required.

Main naval architectural subjects

The subject of naval architecture is complex and vast in scope with many specialized terms and procedures used to ensure ship design and construction is carried out to the highest quality. The primary related naval architectural subjects include; hydrostatics, hydrodynamics, structures and construction.

One of the most important factors of naval architecture is the development and implementation of marine safety regulations and damage control. The aim of naval architectures is to ensure ships are certifiable with the relevant authorities and can meet statutory requirements to be considered a legal and sea worthy vessel.