The shape of the section lines is shown on the Section Plan; their position fore-aft is shown on the Half-Breadth and Sheer plans. The longer you look at it, the more the realize: There are three plans, each of which has a set of straight lines and a set of curved lines. To accurately depict the complex curves of a three-dimensional ship in a two-dimensional drawing, naval architects use a combination of lines: Section Lines, Water Lines, and Buttock Lines. Slice that same loaf of bread lengthwise in horizontal slices, and you have the curves of the ship depicted by the Water Lines. Note that the Section Plan only shows half of the shape of the hull, one side of the plan shows the sections from the bow aft to the mid-section, the other side shows the sections from the stern forward to the midsection. The Sheer Plan also shows the top edge of the bulwarks (the sheer), and often shows the position of the deck(s).


These few lines on these three plans are all that are needed to build an accurate scale model of any ship. On closer examination, you find that the curved lines on one plan have the same labels as the straight lines on another, and vice versa.
These lines are shown in various combinations on three views of the ship: The Sheer Plan, the Section Plan, and the Half-Breadth Plan. The Section Lines show the curves of the ship from the centerline in a vertical plane beam-wise, as if the ship was cut like slices of bread. Their shape is shown on the Half-Breadth plan, while their position above or below the Level Water Line is shown on the Section Plan.
It also shows the rabbet line, where the ship’s planking meets the keel, stem and stern post.


The shape of their curve is shown on the Section Plan, while their position forward or aft on the keel is shown on the Sheer and Half-Breadth plans. The Table of Offsets offers a way to double check the draftsman’s work on the plan, but are of more use to the full-size ship builder than the model shipwright.



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