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Paper Title: Self-Righting Craft ­ Basic Principles and Design Requirements



K C Thatcher CEng MRINA, Principal Naval Architect (Retired), RNLI, UK


Records show that the naval architecture of self-righting has been known and understood for at least two hundred years.  For much of this time its application was limited to small, shore based, rescue boats, but the past few decades have seen the provision of self-righting capability widen into a diverse range of craft from offshore standby vessels to trans-ocean rowing boats.  Whatever the size and use, the aim is always the same ­ to provide safe refuge for the crew by incorporating a mechanism whereby the vessel will return upright following a knockdown or capsize. 

Despite this growing popularity, self-righting vessel design is still viewed by some naval architects with suspicion.  The purpose of this paper is to provide a background to self-righting methods and basic guidance on design, testing and outfit requirements.  Although much of the content has been based on the author’s experience with rescue craft, it should be noted that the principles and techniques described are applicable to all types of vessel.


Transactions RINA, Vol 155, Part B1, International Journal of Small Craft Technology, Jan-Jun 2013 

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