A project to develop guidance useful for the structural designer, especially those in the early stages of their career, is being considered by the SNAME Hull Structure Committee. There are numerous relevant sources of information that can help designers develop sound ship structures, but the guidance provided is generally fragmented and often just one part of the design guidance provided. An aspect usually missing in these sources is the clear exposition of a fundamental understanding of structural behaviour which is crucial to good design. The purpose of the guidance envisaged is to provide explicit guidance organized by these structural concepts. The paper provides a summary of the structural design process, describes the key structural concepts, summarizes the information and understanding that the typical young designer brings to her or his job, and outlines the kind of guidance that the authors believe will contribute to developing proficient structural designers and hence to better ship structures.

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