13 Best Boat Design Software For Free in 2022

Edited by Sanam Nayab • By Masooma Batool • Updated on November 24, 2022

The rapid advancement of technology has developed all other fields, especially Designing, Architecture and Engineering. Nowadays, designers, architects, and engineers from a variety of professions are reaping the benefits of 3D design and ultra-fast modeling as technology advances. The days of sloppy methods and heaps of drought paper dumped in the garbage cane are long gone.

Now, the brightest minds may take advantage of state-of-the-art software solutions that can better predict everything from measurement to compliance in the design process. These software are used by marine engineers, naval architects, and watercraft builders and designers. With the help of such software, they can make modern, well-designed, and more efficient vessels in accordance with industry guidelines and current design principles.

Why do You need a Boat Design Software?

A good design is essential to achieve ship certification (which ensures complete safety and optimal functionality of components and ships) and from designing marine propellers according to best practices to meet ABYC standards to complete the design of the vessel. Although there are many software options available, these do not meet the needs of all marine engineers and naval architects.


This article helps you quickly compare alternatives and choose the software that best fits your boat’s design needs, from CAD and CAM to Marine Propeller Design, Hull Between design, and everything. Currently, we compiled the following list of free boat design software available on the Internet.

1. Blender

Blender is a completely free, donation-oriented software that provides tremendous support to all types of designers, especially in the field of marine engineering. It is a 3D computer graphics software that includes all the tools needed to create and convert animated viewing, visual effects, arts, 3D printing models, and interactive 3D gaming models, all in one open-source 3D graphics software.


It is important to know that the Blender Foundation is responsible for its development and support. It is used for 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, raster graphics editing, texturing, manipulation, trimming, and fragmentation. Also, the features include fluid and smoke simulation, custom simulation, soft body simulation, sculpture, animation, rendering, motion graphics, video editing, and composing.

The current edition includes an integrated software development kit that allows users to design and test their own models without the use of additional software. Due to its user-friendly interface and instant access to effects, tools, and rendering, many MNCs prefer Blender as the Project Scope program that works in their project working chats.


  • It is made with a Python-controlled interface for easy customization.
  • Its Blender Cloud offered for a nominal monthly fee.
  • Its UV sculpt mode is used for quick ‘grabbing,’ ‘pinching,’ and ‘smoothing.’
  • It is Cost Free.

2. Bearboat

The Bearboat software platform is one of the kayak-specific applications available, as it is primarily designed for those who experience kayak and similar craft structural designs. Bearboat is a long-running internet show that started 20 years ago. Bearboat Classic, formerly known as Bearboat, was the first software to be transmitted on the Internet.

It was released in 1998 and can only be used on computers. Bearboat Pro, which worked on both Mac and PC machines, replaced the program in 2002. The Bearboat SP, first released in 2009, has replaced the Bearboat Pro after a long period of beta testing. For those who prefer previous software or are attempting to transfer existing designs to Bearboat SP, access to the older software is maintained.

Bearboat SP is capable of opening and converting Bearboat Pro files, but not Bearboat Classic ones. Bearboat Pro can open and convert Bearboat Classic files to Bearboat Pro files. Bearboat SP can then be used to convert them to Bearboat SP files. As a result, converting an old design from Bearboat Classic to Bearboat Pro necessitates the use of Bearboat Pro as a proxy.


  • Its ‘Visualize’ effect allows for 3D rendering, slices, and stability assessment.
  • It contains a unique ‘wetted surfaces’ tool.
  • It includes a specific ‘restore generic kayak’ tool for optimal customization.
  • It is Cost Free.

3. BoatExpress

BoatExpress version 1.0 is an excellent piece of free naval architecture software that helps with the whole boat design process for yachts and motorboats with hard or soft bulges. This software has tools that include key data on vibrating and hydro-static elements, several drawing canvas options, auto-generated drawing stations, and streamlined resistance force graphs.

This is the highly recommended software for beginners as it offers a low-cost, hand-operated chair for sailors to experience and experiment with boat design. Although it lacks some of the features of AutoCAD, it is intuitive, well-documented, and practically error-free, developed in the Small Talk programming language, and at least compatible with Windows XP. Gerard, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering, worked hard and thoughtfully to make this software a production quality.


  • It comes with a drawing overlay capability.
  • It includes intuitive file functions and printing options.
  • It enables the users to get online access to all data.
  • It is Cost Free.

4. Hull Designer

Hull Designer by Carlson Design is the best software for beginners, especially due to its low cost. This is a vibrant design program with intuitive visual and 3D elements that is very interactive. You can calculate the center of the buoyancy, the center of the background area, the length of the waterline, and the right time (pitch or heel), among other things. You can create architectural patterns for stem, stern, bulkheads, up to ten chains, and eight frames.

This software is congruent with all sorts of Windows. That is enough to design a yacht or somewhat simple hull shape, but it is not an alternative for Rhino. Not only does this software have a modern, user-friendly interface, but it also has everything a naval architect needs to build a safe ship, such as Pattern development, Chinese design assistance, Buoyancy, Waterline length testing, and much more.


  • It offers the hand-plotting capabilities.
  • It comes with Word 6.0 manual and sample drawing.
  • It includes output options directed to VRML 1.0, DXF, HPGL, or Carlson plotters.
  • It is Cost Free.

5. DELFTship

DELFTship Marine Software focuses on the development of advanced maritime software using contemporary technology developed at DELFT University of Technology. It combines a highly accurate and fully 3D model of the ship with state-of-the-art technologies and an advanced graphical user interface to create software that is both easy to use and highly accurate.

It offers four different types of software: free, professional, extension, and loading calculations. DELFTship Free is a free 3D Halfform modeling application that is ideal for schools, home users, and those interested in ship design. This approach enables quick and flexible modeling of even the most complex shapes.

It enables you to create any type of plow, perform basic hydrostatic and resistance calculations, as well as view, print, and export classic 2D lines, plan views developed from 3D models. DELFTship Professional, on the other hand, goes a step further by allowing users to create complex asymmetrical hull designs. This approach enables quick and flexible modeling of even the most complex shapes.


  • It provides the collection of customizable extensions.
  • It offers the trial version for free.
  • It syncs with DELFTload for advanced board stability calculations.
  • DELFTship Free- Cost Free, DELFTship Professional- €150.

6. FastShip

FastShip is a simple-to-use yet powerful software for creating hulls, superstructures, appendages, and other marine structures, with the capability to quickly and accurately construct fair surfaces. Because of FastShip’s versatility, any type of hullform can be depicted, and hull features like bossing, bulbous bows, twin skegs, chines/knuckles, broken sheer lines, and circular bilge turns can all be easily included in the design.

FastShip is used in all sorts of boats’ designs, and it can automatically create new hulls, such as ship type, overall dimensions, displacement, LCB, and the parent hulls provided with the system. Or customer-made parent hills. It exports AutoCAD DXF files to facilitate the preparation of a simple layout drawing or standard three-view lines drawing. It can also import and export Rhino 3 and 4 files, with the ability to preserve the intersection curves and cropping.


  • It provides the surface intersection and trimming modules.
  • It offers the real-time curvature elements.
  • The Hull Library for simple design organization.
  • It is Cost Free.

7. FreeCAD

FreeCAD is used for a variety of applications such as product design, mechanical engineering, and architecture. It is a parametric 3D modeler explicitly designed to create real-life objects of any size and has many capabilities similar to commercial CAD competitors. By going back to the history of your model and adjusting its features, parametric modeling allows you to modify your design.

This enables you to create geometrically limited 2D shapes and use them as a base for other objects. It includes a number of components to adjust the measurements and extract design details from 3D models to produce high-quality production-ready drawings. It reads and writes a variety of open file formats, including STEP, IGES, STL, SVG, DXF, OBJ, IFC, DAE, and many more, allowing you to integrate them into your workflow easily.


  • It is compatible with multi platform, e.g., Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • It is a highly customizable and extensible software.
  • It is a donation-based free software.
  • It is Cost Free.

8. FreeShip

FreeShip is open-source yacht design software based on Windows. This software allows you to design the structural design of a boat or yacht. When you build a new model, the software automatically creates a boat’s infrastructure, making the process of building a new boat much easier (project).

The nodes on the structure of the foundation can be easily used to modify the design of the ship. Additionally, you can use a number of accessible tools to make further adjustments to the boat’s design, such as Curve, Split, Collapse, Extrude, Insert Plane, and more.

This software prompts you to specify certain boat parameters during the construction of a new model, such as the number of longitudinal and vertical directions, boat length, beam length, units (meters or feet), etc. Intersection calculations, hydro-static design calculations, resistance calculations, and other essential calculations are all available in this software from the Advanced Calculations menu.


  • It offers four different perspectives views, namely Perspective View, Profile View, Plan View, and Body plane View.
  • Its interface is simple and user-friendly.
  • It exports the design as IGES, DXF 3D Mesh, DXF 2D Polyline, FEF, etc. file formats.
  • It is Cost Free.

9. Hullform

Hullform is ideal for both amateurs and professionals who are trying to make structural sound, basic hulls for ships and boats. The tool will create a basic vibrating model and refine its shape to give you a proper answer. This software provides a lot of convenience to the users when it comes to experimentation. Using the friendly-user interface, you can easily smooth the lines, change the angles and adjust the lateral offset.

When you create a new design, you can choose the boat’s parameters such as maximum beam length, steam rack, and overall size. Hullform can handle a variety of boat designs, including catamarans, ships, and yachts. From the main menu, you can change any feature of the model and add new features. You can adjust the lines, smooth angles, and adjust the lateral offset to correct shape and performance.


  • It provides extensive documentation that explains every menu option with detail for Free downloading.
  • It includes hydro-graphic accuracy modules.
  • It contains multiple statistics about the immersed areas, hull balance, and displaced volume.
  • It is Cost Free.

10. jSDN

jSDN is YUR modeling and analysis software based on NURBS. It is linked with SDN but has been updated with many new features and far more accurate calculations that are being tested with real-world designs. Although SDN was originally written in C, jSDN was written in Java to allow it to run on different operating systems.

The main purpose of jSDN is to enable designers to quickly prototype any type of sailing yacht, including hulls, spurs, sails, and appendages. Although working techniques and equipment are not limited to shipping ships, they are focused and optimized for them. jSDN software is available as a fully functional download for each operating system.

In addition to design files stored with the PRO mode license, jSDN runs in default-free mode, which means some features are disabled (signed design). To run jSDN in PRO mode, it is necessary to obtain and deliver a valid license file. A free PRO assessment license, fully functional, is also available that expires in 15 days.


  • It is available for Apple OS X, Linux, and Windows XP/Vista.
  • It includes hydrostatic calculations features.
  • It allows the function of a full NURBS curve and surface editor.
  • Cost Free with Pro version available.

11. OpenSCAD

OpenSCAD is a free application that allows you to create solid 3D CAD models, including complex vessels. Unlike most free 3D modeling tools (such as Blender), it focuses on the CAD components of 3D modeling rather than the creative parts. As such, it may be the program you are looking for if you want to make 3D models of machine parts, but it is almost certainly not what you are looking for if you are going to make computer-animated movies.

OpenSCAD is not a modeler that allows you to interact with it. Instead, it acts as a 3D compiler, reading in a script file that defines the object and presents a 3D model from it. This gives you complete control over the modeling process (designing), allowing you to adjust any stage of the process or design based on customizable factors.

Unlike some more sophisticated, compensating competitors, OpenSCAD focuses on critical design aspects for better structural integrity and safety. Constructive solid geometry (CSG) and 2D line extrusion are two modeling methods used by special programs.


  • It is available for all Windows, i.e., Linux/UNIX, MS Windows, and Mac OS X.
  • It has DXF file design parameter reading.
  • It is a donation-based free software.

12. PolyCAD

PolyCAD helps you design yachts and ships by creating, manipulating, importing, and exporting geometry. It has explored the possibilities of fast and accurate curves and surface modeling to help design Hull’s surface during its development, now more than 20 years ago. It started as a simple Hull Pace geometry editor before moving on to surface modeling with NURBS and parametric hill generation.

Advanced X-Topology goes beyond traditional hull surface design tools by introducing methods that allow hull shapes to be designed faster and more accurately than conventional surface design methods. It enables the imaging of complex, multi-patch surfaces using design intent. This is a state-of-the-art search into the modern Windows executive. During the design process, the user has access to tools such as snapping, constraints, modifications, and geometric and hydraulic analysis.


  • It supports a range of mouse movements.
  • It has a friendly user interface.
  • It offers a lofting module for fair shape creation.
  • It is Cost Free


South Bay Simulations, Inc. created SPLASH, a specialized software tool that focuses on surface panel code, flow modeling, and performance prediction for all types of yachts and ships. South Bay Simulations Inc. will release the new version of this software in October 2019. This software also has a demo version for beginners.

The software includes 3D modeling and rendering capabilities, allowing even the most visually impaired users to create 3D boat models to represent their final design. You can make changes to your boat plans. In addition, you will be able to change the other elements of the boat to help you come up with the ideal design. The boats have a very modern, clean, and flat design, which has been carefully considered and polished for maximum performance.


  • It includes fully-generated 3D capabilities.
  • It possesses full heel and yaw, sink, and trim capabilities.
  • It contains a detailed output of the model and flows data.
  • It is Cost Free.

Final Words

Mentioned above are the best boat designing software up-till now. These software are free of malware, and easily accessible to you with the feature of 2D and 3D vision of the image. You can choose one of these according to your devices and systems. And the main advantage of these software is that they are available in the market for free. Now you can do your job better and more efficiently with digital imaging without any blunder.

About Author
Written by
Masooma Batool
As an experienced content editor, Masooma Batool knows how to polish raw copy into engaging and persuasive content that connects with readers and drives results.
Edited by
Sanam Nayab
Sanam Nayab is a highly skilled expert in the field of technology, with a particular focus on Alternatives Comparisons and Games. With years of experience and a deep passion for all things tech, Sanam has established herself as a leading authority in the industry. Her expertise in comparing and contrasting different alternatives is unparalleled, and she has a talent for breaking down complex concepts into easily digestible pieces.

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