The centre of gravity of a shape of uniform thickness can easily be found by this method. It provides a simple technique for complicated shapes, far quicker than by using calculus for example, although not producing an accurate answer to the handling of a yacht, the calculation of the moments caused by the wind and water acting at the 'centre of lateral area' of the sails and keel are still used as a starting point.
A free standing backboard has a pin from which a selection of flat shapes can be hung. A simple pendulum suspended from the pin enables the line of action of the weight to be transferred to the lamina. The centre of gravity is the position on the shape where two or more such lines intersect.