Fast Crafts

Fast Craft Vessel






This High Speed Craft Human Factors Engineering Design Guide has been developed to assist in the design of High Speed Craft and particularly with the aspects relating to the crew and passenger, e.g. the high level of shock and vibration exposure that they are exposed to. The guide uses a simplified
theoretical design process, broken down into Feasibility, Main and Detail design phases, on to which Human Factors design features are inserted at the appropriate points in the design process. The authors recognise that designers and manufacturers use a variety of design processes and timelines,
but, it is anticipated that the design activities identified within the simplified process are recognisable to the majority of Naval Architects and Designers, and therefore that the appropriate Human Factors input can be facilitated at the appropriate points during the design process used.



This guide provides assistance to address a number of the Human Factors issues related to the design and operation of High Speed Craft. This High Speed Craft Human Factors Engineering design guide provides the following:


  1. Enhanced HSC platform performance and safety.
  2. Enhanced operational capability and readiness.
  3. Enhancement of the effectiveness of the HSC procurement/acquisition process.
  4. Facilitate stakeholder education, particularly for designers and naval architects.
  5. Reduce HSC through-life costs; i.e. reduced risk of injury, and therefore manning and compensation costs.
  6. Assist HSC designers, manufacturers and operators to reduce WBV exposure and therefore, where appropriate, compliance with the EU Physical Agents Directive (WBV and noise).




In general, the scope of craft addressed by this guide may be characterised by the crew/passenger being required to remain in their seating/standing positions during transits, particularly when operating in poor sea conditions. The types of craft that the guide is envisaged to assist in the design of include:


  • 3-12m - (10¹-40¹) RIB type craft.
  • High Speed craft (i.e. planning or semi-displacement) up to 30m (100¹).
  • Novel hull designs, e.g. PASCAT, SES, wave piercing.
  • Hovercraft.




The Guide is divided into two parts:


Part 1. This part provides background information and the development of the integrated Naval Architecture-Human Factors design process. It is designed to provide an introduction into the use of Human Factors within the design process and how the authors developed the integrated design process. This section also provides background on the High Speed Craft design process
for stakeholders who are not familiar with the design process within the procurement cycle.


Part 2. This part provides the Human Factors information required to support the designer at the appropriate points throughout the HSC design and evaluation processes. It provides the Designer and stakeholders with HF information tailored to the design process phases (Feasibility, Main and
Detail design phases), and at an appropriate level of detail for each phase.
Additionally, more detailed information is provided for stakeholders who require more in-depth knowledge of specific HF issues.


The HF information is divided into ten sections, within which more comprehensive information is provided. Subsequently case studies are provided as examples of how HSC have been designed with HF as an integral part of the design process. The Human Factors sections are:



A. HSC Motion
B. Sight
C. Sound
D. Environment
E. Health & Safety
F. Man-machine interface
G. Habitability
H. Maintainability
I. Design review
J. Test & Evaluation



Each of these Human Factors sections provide a short general introduction and cues to the Human Factors issues to be addressed within the different design phases. More detailed additional information is subsequently included with references where appropriate.