Displacement boats are designed to minimize resistance when travelling forward through the water, whereas planing boats are designed to travel on top of the water. Prior to the use of engines, all boats were built with displacement hull forms.
As the power available in outboard motors increased, and planing became a possibility, the traditional boat builder was presented a design challenge. In the traditional process, David Taylor suggests in Boat Building in Winterton, “there were right ways and wrong ways of building and designing a boat [based on past experience] but no governing principles. Decisions were made according to custom and originality in decision making was not particularly encouraged”.