Skene's Elements of Yacht Design, 8th Edition
Francis S. Kinney
|Unfortunately there is now a reprint of the sixth edition out there to
confuse the issue. While there is no doubt that the sixth edition included some useful
information on what is now traditional design that is not included in the 8th
edition, it is the eighth edition which deals with so much of what is now conventional
yacht design and construction. The 8th edition remains the best general text
book on yacht and small craft design. As such it is a key book to own. Your reviewer has
referenced his copy so often over the last 30 years that it is completely worn out.
Despite the above statements there are some reservations about the book in todays context. At the time Mr. Kinney last revised this work carbon fiber and a few other advanced materials had not been introduced to yachts as yet and computers of low enough cost to use in yacht design had not yet been invented. Even pocket calculators were very new and cost as much as computers do today. As a secondary effect the use of computers has made it economically feasible to use a lot more engineering in yacht design. At the time it was written many of the methods cited were "short cuts" designed to cut calculation time and give a good approximation. Today most designers can afford to do quite a bit more.
The student looking to design using modern materials and computers will presumably be supplementing this book with the materials in the Yacht Design School degree program, or some other program. The interested yachtsman will probably find about everything they would wish to know.
Until this book is revised or someone like us writes one which can adequately replace it, the 8th edition of "Skenes" remains the single most useful book on yacht and small craft design. Every designer I know of has a copy. (tm)