|Naval Architecture Advances|
|Building Needed||Naval Board|
|Leads To||Reformed Naval Administration|
This is a new approach to the business of designing, building, arming and commissioning warships for the navy.
The struggle to find a perfect design for a ship of the line occupies many minds in many admiralties around the world. Ideally, the perfect design for each type of vessel will be a standard, repeatable plan that any competent shipwright can execute. There must be compromise between the various elements of the ship: armament and its type, speed, sail area, strength of hull, endurance (in terms of supplies carried) and so forth. If any of these are unbalanced, then the ship will sail or fight poorly, and the fleet be weakened as a result.
Historically, distinct "classes" of warships built to standardised designs emerged by a process of experimentation. Shipwrights were expected to use naval architects rather than build ships by rule of thumb, the way things had always been done. Navies encouraged the practice because a certain pleasing neatness resulted if ships were built to recognise standards. In Britain, for example, the work of Sir Thomas Slade (1704-71) was exceptional: he produced a standard plan for the third rate 74, and over 40 ships were built to his design.