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Feature Articles


The Feature Articles section contains non-technical articles of historical or general interest, usually unpublished, or not readily available to members and others. 

Articles for publication may be submitted to the Chief Executive at for consideration. 

Enabling Technology and the Naval Architect 1860-2010

Enabling technology permits the naval architect to do more with fewer resources, increasing output, decreasing cost and improving productivity, with the resulting benefits being widely distributed in a worldwide economy. For example a bulk carrier’s energy consumption per ton-mile today is less than 3% of what it was a century and half ago ­ due to more efficient machinery, larger hulls with lower resistance per ton and improved propulsive efficiency, yet with higher speed and shorter port times.

This paper by Dr I Buxton was originally published in the International Journal of Maritime Engineering (IJME). The paper and its discussion can now be downloaded as a PDF (10.5MB).

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects  1860-2010

In 1860, the Institution's mission statement -if the founding members would have recognised such a term -was "to promote and facilitate the exchange of technical and scientific information ... thereby to improve the design of ships", and of course, that has remained its aim over the past 150 years.   Read more

Innovation in Small Craft Design - A Tribute

Few sectors of the maritime industry have seen greater innovation in design than the small craft sector.  Both commercial and recreational small craft have benefited from the inspirational ideas of designers - ideas which although perhaps considered revolutionary at the time, have had a longstanding impact on the design of small craft today. Read more

The Work of the Institution of Naval Architects 1860-1960 - A Brief Historical Note

In 1860, when ships were advancing from the era of wood and sails into that of iron and steam, there was little scientific knowledge available to assist the shipbuilder during this period of transition. The Great Eastern, wonder ship of her age, had just been built and launched on the Thames, a tremendous conception and undertaking, calling for many bold and novel solutions of problems which must have arisen for the first time during her construction and launching.   Read more

The Royal Institution of Naval Architects and Lloyd's Register

Given their common roots in the UK maritime industry, it is not surprising that throughout the 150 years in which the histories of both organisations have overlapped, many members of the Institution have held important positions within Lloyd’s Register.  Such connections can be traced back to 1860, when the joint Chief Surveyors, Joseph Horatio Ritchie and James Martin were two of the 18 founding members of the Institution.   Download Article

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