Originally the dimensions of a timber after it has been reduced to its standard size. Its modern meaning covers the dimensions of all parts which go into the construction of a ship's hull, including its frames, stringers, girders, plates, etc. Rules governing these sizes, based on long experience and study, are published by various classification authorities, and most ships of any size built throughout the world are constructed to them.
When yacht racing increased in popularity during the last quarter of the 19th century the introduction of proper scantlings prevented the construction of unseaworthy boats such as skimming dishes.
Subjects: Maritime History.