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Naval Architecture Digitalized Introducing Arithmetic And Geometry Into Late Mediaeval Shipwrightry

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Chapter Summary

A new kind of naval architecture using regulations, calculations and drawings originated in the late mediaeval Mediterranean. In contrast to most objects of civil architecture and engineering, ships of those days consisted of bent pieces of timber. When regarding the hull of a medieval nave or a galera there can hardly be found any straight line or any right angle. Exactly four curved lines were necessary to design any ships hull: Keel, stem and sternpost outlined the midship plane of the lateral plan, whereas the widest frame defined the vertical cross section. The shipwrights rules were certainly devoid of any scientific or mathematical foundation. Their existence was due solely to the simple fact that common shapes could be reproduced easily by their means. Modern ship designers usually get an image of their projected vessels by drawing the lines of the hull.

Keywords: hull; keel; late mediaeval shipwrightry; naval architecture

10.1163/ej.9789004173453.i-447.61
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