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Moving Technology Limits for High-Speed Craft

  • October 02, 2017
  • 4:00 p.m.
  • 117A Surge Building,
  • Mr. Donald Blount
  • Faculty Host: Dr. Stefano Brizzolara


The presentation will be based on the design and construction of three very high-speed, large vessels (41m to 68m) having requirements which many naval architectural professionals doubted could be achieved.  Requirements will be briefly stated and how challenging design detail solutions were approached.  Various technologies, both new and extended, will be highlighted for these three vessels having gas turbines powering waterjet propulsors.

Bio sketch:

Mr. Donald L. Blount founded DLBA, a naval architecture and marine engineering design firm, in 1988. The company is noted internationally for design and engineering of high-performance military, commercial and recreational vessels. Noteworthy vessels exceeding speeds of 60 knots include gas turbine powered vessels M/Y Destriero (222 ft, 1,000 mt), which established in 1992 the current Atlantic Ocean crossing record (58 hr 34 min) averaging 53.1 knots, and M/Y Fortuna (135 ft), the former Royal Yacht of Spain. Previously Mr. Blount was a civilian employee of the Dept. of Navy for 35 years. In the early years he conducted research and engineering programs relating to technology in the field of hydrodynamics. The later years were with the Navy’s Combatant Craft Department conducting research and designing and testing military craft, with the last nine as Department Head. In 2014 Mr. Blount published a book, “Performance by Design: Hydrodynamics for High-Speed Vessels,” and has authored or co-authored more than 50 papers and articles for international technical societies. He is a professional engineer and is a Fellow of both The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and The Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from GWU in 1963.