Nicholas Barczak


Emergency Electric Propulsion

Designing an electric system requires more than just spinning a propeller. Much of an electric boat focuses around safety and emergency planning. This article covers several key decisions to design an electric system that delivers far more than propulsion. Instead, our electric system ensures reliable safety.
Title - 5 Myths with Electric Yachts

5 Myths with Electric Propulsion

Electric power and electric propulsion are still growing industries for yachts and small ships. In this field, a few marketers may stretch the truth a little to make sale. This led to many myths and misunderstand about electric propulsion. Today I debunk five common myths.

How to Design a Ship

How to design a ship? How to go from a blank sheet of paper to a sensible design for a ship, when you have nothing to start with? So here are my secrets revealed.

Lying with Numbers

A critical review of my previous analysis with an eye towards statistics and the importance of context in numbers.
The Value of Life

The Value of Life

Why would you pay more for engineering than for the ship? The value of engineering comes from the lives protected, not the design of the yacht. How much is that protection worth? This risk analysis has an answer to the value of safety.

Commercial Ship Safety

Commercial ships are a world apart from recreational yachts. They contend with tougher requirements, and they need far more safety features. But what are those differences? How is the commercial ship safer?

How Propulsion Works: Classifying Ship Propulsion

No doubt, the math of propulsion devices is complicated. But it is all the same physics. By dividing each of these devices into their essential tasks, we find new opportunities. New methods of propulsion from different combinations of old tricks. Insight into this continuum allows us to better classify marine propulsion and dissect past successes to search for new combinations.
Ever Given Maneuvering Options

Ever Given: Maneuvering Options

How to maneuver a massive freighter into port? CAREFULLY. We design freighters around the scenario of open ocean passage at full speed. But each freighter needs to enter port, pass through canals, and a host of other precision maneuvers executed at a fraction of their design speed. How do massive commercial ships manage precision maneuvers every day?

Ever Given: What We Don’t Know

Like everyone else, I watched the story of the Ever Given and formed my own theories about what happened. Except I was wrong. As the events unfolded, new information came out and I learned the increasing complexity of the accident. Each time, I developed a new theory, which failed with new information. Over a year later, what is the answer? Let’s review what we know and still do not know about the Ever Given incident.

Stability Letters Explained

For small vessels, the major problem with stability letters is explaining it to the captains. Today I will review a stability letter and give plain English interpretation of all the boring mumbo-jumbo.

Three Neat Tricks with Marine Cranes

Three neat things you didn’t know about marine cranes! Every now and then, it’s fun to step back and appreciate the innovation that allowed us to adapt industrial cranes to the marine environment.
Extendable knuckle boom crane

Cranes on Ships: Introduction to Crane Integration

In the marine world, we see cranes daily; they are very useful pieces of equipment. Despite their common appearance, we need to remember their potential for disaster. Cranes on ships generate new, subtle risks for lifting operations. Unless you know what to look for, the risks can go undetected. This article reviews the major dangers of cranes on ships.

Strength and Stiffness: Design of Structural Foundations

No foundation is perfect. Each design reveals new insight and opportunities for further improvement. The art of foundation design finds an efficient arrangement to redistribute concentrated loads into the general ship structure. I review basic strategies for foundation design.
Example of Inspector

Class Societies

Class societies are not perfect, but they are absolutely necessary. We need organizations to provide quality assurance on ships, whose primary motivation lies solely in the quality of the ship, and not with national interests. Despite this necessity, a class society works best when we remember that they are not perfect. Everyone has their bias, and when we balance these biases, we create a fine seaworthy ship.
Kit boat construction supplies

5 Steps to (NOT) Build a Boat

No matter what, building your own yacht will always require more than you anticipated. Before making the commitment to build your own boat, take time to seriously consider all the hidden costs and extra effort required. The best yacht for you is the one you can finish.