Writing magazine articles is a very effective way to market your business. You get to talk about what you know and the interesting things that you do, and above all show off your yacht designs. Plus, you get paid for it. Getting paid to promote yourself is a lot smarter and much more effective than paying money out for advertising which most people don't pay as much attention to anyway, at least, not as much as when they read an article.

Some of my articles have proven quite popular, and I get frequent requests for copies. I am happy now to provide some of these as PDF downloads. The first few articles listed here are just that. Click on the title, and you may download the PDF file and save it for your own use.

Lately, I have done a lot of writing for Professional Boatbuilder magazine in Brooklin, ME. For a few years recently they had been archiving digital versions of the magazine online for free, but now they are charging money for access to their back issues. Therefore, some of my articles that used to be available at the ProBoat website are no longer easily reached for free, so I include those as downloads here.

Finally, other articles that I have written specifically for this website are listed below--clicking on the title will take you to the appropriate page. Enjoy. And if you have any questions or comments about any of these articles or about my work, I would be happy to hear them--you may send me a message at the "Contact Us" buttons.


The Design Ratios: [851 Kb] This series of articles appeared on during January to March 2010 and covered the basic naval architecture design ratios that are used in small craft design. Paramount in this series is my discussion of S Number (S#), a way to rate all sailboat performance on a scale of 1 to 10. The discussion thread proved to be quite popular, as did S# itself, and to date (March 2011) has received over 20,000 hits. This PDF document is the entire series of "lectures", if you will, in the order as they appeared. It does not include the discussions that followed, but if you want to see the original thread with all the discussion, you can click here. Otherwise, click on the title at the head of this paragraph to download the collected lectures. In addition, you will want to download four other documents listed below. One is the original S# article as it first appeared in 1988, one is a spreadsheet for calculating S#. By the way, the S# article was also republished in the June 2010 issue of The Masthead from ABYC's Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology, which you can see by clicking here. There is an article from Cruising World magazine where Ted Brewer's Motion Comfort Ratio first appeared. Finally, there is another spreadsheet for calculating Bruce Number as used in multihull design. Enjoy the reading:

The Original S# Article: [1.480 Mb] Article where the S# originally appeared in 1988.
S Number Spreadsheet: [200 Kb] My spreadsheet for calculating S#, with the original database.
Motion Comfort Ratio: [1.001M b] Article where MCR originally appeared in 1990.
Bruce Number: [47 Kb] My spreadsheet for studying catamarans and Bruce Number.

Recycling Dead Boats: [3.22 Mb] This article appeared in Professional Boatbuilder magazine in August/September 1999, issue #60. It is my most requested article because so many people around the world are worried about the increasingly large mountain of fiberglass boats that are piling up in our landfills. What can we do about it? This article provides some answers.

Decommissioning Of End Of Life Boats: [233 Kb] Related to my article, this is an update of the problem of dead boats from the European perspective. It is published by the International Council of Marine Industry Associations. The version posted here in this PDF file is from December, 2007.

PROJECT AMAZON: An Open Class 60 Sailboat For Single-Handed Round-The World Racing: [6.19 Mb] I like to think that Project Amazon was and is an iconic design. It is referenced freqently, even now more than 10 years after she was built. Project Amazon encompasses many features that I still think are on the leading edge of yacht design. As a case in point, there are a few new boats now in the current (2008-009) Volvo Round-The-World Race whose designers have incorporated lifting strakes into the hull--like a powerboat. I put lifting strakes on Project Amazon back in the mid-90s, and I was not the first designer ever to do so. I published the definitive article of all Project Amazon's design features in Marine Technology, Spring 2000, Vol. 37, No. 2, the quarterly journal of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. The complete article is here.

PROJECT AMAZON and The Unstayed Rig: [6.12 Mb] After I designed Project Amazon, I wanted to write a benchmark article on unstayed (I prefer the term "free-standing") mast design. With Project Amazon's free-standing wingmast rig as the centerpiece, I also talk about other good or notable examples of free-standing rigs, both from my portfolio and those of other designers. This was published by Professional Boatbuilder magazine in October/November 1998, issue #55. It hit the newsstands about a week before the start of the 1998 Around Alone Race in which Project Amazon was entered. The timing could not have been better.

Design Brief: Modeled And Tweaked: [2.103 Mb] In issue #114, PBB invited me to do a design brief on the Moloka'i Strait motoryachts that I designed for Moloka'i Strait Marine. This is the story of the design development with focus on the construction of the MS 75. Notes are also provided on the new design of the MS 79.

Keels and Rudder Design: [5.39 Mb] In 2004, David Vacanti, Kevin Milne, and I presented a session at IBEX on keel and rudder design, engineering and construction. David spoke about shape and hydrodynamics, I spoke next on design and construction, and then Kevin spoke on manufacturing as he owns Mars Metal in Canada, makers of cast lead and fabricated metal keels. Our talk was turned into two articles for PBB. This title link is to the first article that David Vacanti wrote for issue #95.

Keels and Rudders: Engineering And Construction: [6.103 Mb] This is the second article that Kevin and I wrote for issue #96.


How to Commission a Yacht Design and Have It Built.

Commissioning a yacht design is really quite an adventure that can bring months of enjoyment.  Seeing your boat come to life, well, there just isn't anything else quite like it.  The complete process is pretty straightforward, and this article tells how it is done.


So You Want to Be a Boat Designer...?

Here at Sponberg Yacht Design, I get asked for advice by a lot of people about how to become a boat designer.  It is not necessarily the smartest career move, but it can be done.  This article explains why, and what you can do about it.


Engineering the Sailboat—Safety in Numbers

This is one of my early magazine articles that appeared in SAIL magazine in 1985, reprinted and updated here.


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