SCS4- Ship Construction and Stability 4

Ship Construction and Stability 4

Stability is one of the most challenging exams in obtaining WKM certification. You are required to have a thorough and complete understanding of both transverse and longitudinal stability. Also, you must memorize all necessary formulas, as you will not be able to take these into the exam.

The exam focuses on the application of formulae to solve mathematical problems. You do not need to be a mathematician, but you must know your formulas and have a good grasp of the concepts involved.

Some ideas to help the self-studier:

-Start small, begin with learning the definitions and the basic ideas of the concepts without any numbers attached. Move on to practise questions next (each book has some in the back). Start at the questions that deal with a single concept and then move into more complex questions as you go.

-The formulas must be memorized. As you go through your studies note which formulas you need. Make up flash cards and study these daily so you know which formula to apply in each situation and you know it well. As long as you apply the correct formula the math is not too difficult.

Ship construction focuses strongly on terminology. You must understand the different stresses exerted on different hull shapes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of various rudders and propellers. You will need to be able to draw and discuss various construction methods and specific parts of ships.

Exam Syllabus

Ship Construction and Stability, Level 4 (Page 76, Section 5.12)

Recommended Reading:


Ship Stability OOW by Martin Rhodes is very user friendly with coloured diagrams, large font, and simple organization. This book is ideal for the candidate who has never broached the subject of stability in mathematical & technical terms. Theories are limited to what is necessary to solve the problems at hand, and formulae are straightforward. The topics covered are broad enough to successfully complete the exam.


Ship Stability Mates/Masters This book is highly recommended by the majority of those asked. It includes many diagrams that help to explain the ideas. This book also includes practice questions in the back so you can work on your calculations. This would be a good resource for somebody who already has a solid foundation in stability, and is ready for an in-depth approach.


Ship Stability This is a DOKMAR book, and as such uses a lot of full colour diagrams and photographs. It is recommended for those who like visual aids to their learning. Dokkum has also included information about sailing vessels and other types of ship that are not typically represented in stability textbooks. However, this book does not include practice questions, and does not cover all topics of the exam syllabus. This book will be a good complement to a more comprehensive text.


Merchant Ship Stability This is is the classic, written by Pursey. It has been updated many times over the years, most recently in 2006. Of the three titles we recommend it has the least drawings, but does use many examples to help explain concepts. This book includes practice questions.



Ship Construction Published by Butterworth and Heineman (same as Ship Stability for Masters and Mates). This is a good, solid book on ship construction; it has a decent amount of diagrams, and they are useful. This is a comprehensive book which covers everything you will need to know to pass the exam.


Ship Knowledge Another Dokmar book. Excellent, with lots of full colour diagrams and photos. It also has some very useful (and cool looking!) graphical representations of stress on a hull and the resultant construction requirements. The one weakness of the book is that it is superficial with main topics due to the wide range that it covers, but its diagrams are very helpful in visualizing key concepts.


Merchant Ship Construction Written by Pursey as a companion to his Merchant Ship Stability. This book was updated in 2002, but is out-of-date in regards to modern shipyards practices and computer processes. Nonetheless, it is  an excellent book for those just starting to learn about ship construction and it covers all of the basics and major principles.

One thought on “SCS4- Ship Construction and Stability 4

  1. There was a page of corrections that I’ve seen with Pursey’s ship stability, anyone know where to find that? Thanks (would recommend despite this).

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