Sir Edward James Reed (1830 1906) was appointed chief constructor of the Navy in 1863, and later founded his own ship design consultancy. He pioneered the methodical use of scientific calculations to determine a ship's weight, strength and stability, and was responsible for a number of revolutionary designs at a crucial period, when ships began to be armoured or rebuilt in iron in response to more powerful weaponry. This book, first published in 1885, sets out his approach to the problem of ensuring stability in iron-built ships. Reed discusses scientific theories of flotation, buoyancy and stability and applies them to contemporary ship design and shipbuilding techniques. Reed also describes the experiments of French naval architects in this area, providing the first English translations of their research. It is an important record of the Victorian naval and scientific understanding of iron-built ship stability, corrective design and building methods."