Larrie D. Ferreiro

Larrie D. Ferreiro is a naval architect and historian who served for more than thirty-five years in the US Navy, the US Coast Guard, and the Department of Defense. An Adjunct Professor of Engineering and History at George Mason University, he is the author of the award-winning Ships and Science (MIT Press) and Brothers in Arms, a Pulitzer Prize finalist in History.

  • Bridging the Seas

    The Rise of Naval Architecture in the Industrial Age, 1800–2000

    Larrie D. Ferreiro

    How the introduction of steam, iron, and steel required new rules and new ways of thinking for the design and building of ships.

    In the 1800s, shipbuilding moved from sail and wood to steam, iron, and steel. The competitive pressure to achieve more predictable ocean transportation drove the industrialization of shipbuilding, as shipowners demanded ships that enabled tighter scheduling, improved performance, and safe delivery of cargoes. In Bridging the Seas, naval historian Larrie Ferreiro describes this transformation of shipbuilding, portraying the rise of a professionalized naval architecture as an integral part of the Industrial Age.

    Picking up where his earlier book, Ships and Science, left off, Ferreiro explains that the introduction of steam, iron, and steel required new rules and new ways of thinking for designing and building ships. The characteristics of performance had to be first measured, then theorized. Ship theory led to the development of quantifiable standards that would ensure the safety and quality required by industry and governments, and this in turn led to the professionalization of naval architecture as an engineering discipline. Ferreiro describes, among other things, the technologies that allowed greater predictability in ship performance; theoretical developments in naval architecture regarding motion, speed and power, propellers, maneuvering, and structural design; the integration of theory into ship design and construction; and the emergence of a laboratory infrastructure for research.

    • Paperback $50.00 £40.00
  • Ships and Science

    Ships and Science

    The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1800

    Larrie D. Ferreiro

    The first book to portray the birth of naval architecture as an integral part of the Scientific Revolution, examining its development and application across the major shipbuilding nations of Europe.

    "Naval architecture was born in the mountains of Peru, in the mind of a French astronomer named Pierre Bouguer who never built a ship in his life." So writes Larrie Ferreiro at the beginning of this pioneering work on the science of naval architecture. Bouguer's monumental book Traité du navire (Treatise of the Ship) founded a discipline that defined not the rules for building a ship but the theories and tools to predict a ship's characteristics and performance before it was built. In Ships and Science, Ferreiro argues that the birth of naval architecture formed an integral part of the Scientific Revolution. Using Bouguer's work as a cornerstone, Ferreiro traces the intriguing and often unexpected development of this new discipline and describes its practical application to ship design in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Drawing on previously untapped primary-source and archival information, he places the development of naval architecture in the contexts of science, navy, and society, across the major shipbuilding nations of Britain, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Italy.

    Ferreiro describes the formulation of the three major elements of ship theory (the science of explaining the physical behavior of a ship): maneuvering and sail theory, ship resistance and hydrodynamics, and stability theory. He considers the era's influential books on naval architecture and describes the professionalization of ship constructors that is the true legacy of this period. Finally, looking from the viewpoints of both the constructor and the naval administrator, he explains why the development of ship theory was encouraged, financed, and used in naval shipbuilding. A generous selection of rarely seen archival images accompanies the text.

    • Hardcover $10.75 £8.99
    • Paperback $35.00 £28.00