MadSci Network: Physics

Re: How does the shape of a boat's hull affect the speed that it travels?

Date: Thu Mar 23 00:08:23 2000
Posted By: Dennis K. Van Gemert, Engineer/Scientist, Expendable Launch Systems
Area of science: Physics
ID: 953662036.Ph

The pointed boat hull is more hydrodynamic than the round or square boat hulls.  Hydrodynamic is much the same as aerodynamic, as both air and water are fluids.  Being more hydrodynamically efficient, the water moves around the pointed hull much easier; thus, resulting in less drag and in return, a faster boat.  This basically means that the less water mass that the boat’s hull has to push out of the way, the faster it will move through the water.  Also, there is friction between the boat’s hull and the water; thus, the smaller the drag profile area, the less drag is imparted on the boat.  Drag being an opposing force working against the movement of the boat.



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