Marine Design - Does anyone use Sketchup for boat design?

Does/has anyone used Sketchup to design and then build a boat?

I am interested in knowing if the modelling tools and or plugins available for SU are capable of creating an accurate 3d model of a boat that can be used to create a table of offsets for a hull and deck.

If so, I would love to chat with you about your experience and or see your work.

I have searched the forum and found a few threads where folks have discussed select issues of designing a hull, but there seems to be little to no evidence of completed work, i.e. design then build.

Looking forward to hearing your input and opinions.


SketchUp should be accurate enough, more depending on its user than the program itself.
What kind of boats do you have in mind, steal / wood? saill /engine? What size?
Please show some examples (images) of what it is going to be.

p.s. are you an experienced boat builder?

Check this forum post nr #29 (right side, top line).
I can’t see if SketchUp was involved but it looks quite similar.

edit: it seems to be a SketchUp model, see #12

Indeed she made a SketchUp model of the H28. See here. I think the author is using the model more for planning the build. She developed the model from the lines drawings in that example. The table of offsets is available in the book she referenced.

I’ve draw a few boat hulls in SketchUp. You could develop a hull and create lines and ToO but SketchUp won’t be able to tell you things about where the water line will be for various loads or the righting moment or other important info. You might want to look at DelftShip for designing your hulls. If you want a SketchUp model, you can get files from DelftShip to import into Sketchup.

I liked the post where she says: I’m going to scale the boat 110% in vertical direction. :grin:

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You might get some info with different solids created with different angled planes intersected with the hull. At least waterline and righting moments is possible.
It’s going to be a tedious job though.

DelftShip may do these things in just a few clicks. Never used it to actually design a hull.

DelftShip could do all of this and more. And changes to the hull shape and size can automatically adjust the waterlines and other figures. It’s got some nice graphics for displaying what the numbers say, too.

If you can find it still, there was a free version called Free!Ship.

@greg1 See:
I played with it in the passed but had to uninstall when needing disk space. This is from several years back though. I may look into it again. Hulls have always interested me, especially sailboats with elegant hulls.

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Thanks for this. I have been using SU for a little while but am not a proficient user by any stretch. A couple of domestic kitchens and a commercial retail space.

I want to design and build a sailing trimaran up to 9m LOA, flat panel, glass over ply utilising as much CNC machining as I can.

Yes, I am an experienced boat builder.

Nice find. Thank you. Interesting method she outlines.

Thanks for the Delftship lead. I have taken a look at their website but need to make enquiries about how active the dev’s are and what kind of support both official and from a user community there is. I am also on a Mac and DelftShip is a Windows only OS.

The Pro version appears to have a developable panel feature which would be nice, but the price seems extremely cheap compared to other marine software.



Saw your post for about a day ago, and it caught my eye when I saw that you were asking about boat design with sketchup.

I’ve been using sketchup for boat designs for about 3-4 years now, with a couple of plugins, you can more or less do all kind of designs.
There are a lot of different ways to create shapes and hulls in sketchup, so I will recommend you to just begin with some tutorials until you build your own skillset under the boat modeling category.

When it comes to measurements and spot on scales, sketchup has the potensial to be pretty accurate. As a member said earlier in this thread: “It is more up to the user than the program”.

Hope to see some models from you in the future!:slight_smile:
Here is a project I’m currently working on.

125 feet raised pilothouse yacht:


Ready for Monaco :grinning:

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May I ask what kind ‘plugins’ do you prefer ?

Belgian greetings

Of course! I usually stick to curviloft and roundcorner. Sometimes SubD, but as said, mainly curviloft and roundcorner.

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What about “delftship”… anny good ?
But it is not a SketchUp plugin…

Hi Hope you are okay in Covid-19 times …
Hmmm Can’t find curviloft in the extension warehouse… is it spelling wright?

Not the Extension Warehouse. Not all extensions are hosted in the Extension Warehouse. Curviloft is available from Sketchucation. And the spelling is correct.

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