Years ago I saw a Blender tutorial (around the 2.48 days I'd say, though I seem to recall the tutorial itself was older) detailing a method for making structures like a boat's hull. Basically when you had a complex surface that curved in multiple different directions at once you could "generate" it by drawing lines of vertices illustrating the curve, for example you might draw the line along the very bottom of the hull and then lines for the left and right sides where it meets the deck. You could then "skin" this "frame" you had built with autogenerated faces.
I didn't follow the tutorial at the time because I was doing something else and subsequently have completely forgotten the technique's name or how it was done. I seem to recall the tutorial called it "skinning", but searching for that hasn't given me anything useful. Does anybody know what this is called? Does it even still exist in modern versions of Blender?