A career in yacht design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by KimL, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. KimL
    Joined: Nov 2009
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    KimL New Member


    I'm glad I found this forum. I'd like to ask for professional opinion. If you were self-taught, would anyone ever consider looking at your drawings/hire you? If so, are computer drawings a must?

    Thanx :)
  2. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    Welcome Kim,

    looking at, yes why not? Any new idea can be a valuable addition to the existing range of designs / styles.
    Hiring is a different pair of shoes. Because of the complexity of Naval Architecture, a plain sketch with a nice styling, is not a buildable yacht.
    A substantial understanding of the related science is a must.
    On the other hand, there are quite a lot of so named "yacht designers" living a wealthy life by doing nothing but fancy sketches! Of course the proper Naval Architecture behind their drawings is done by professionals.
    But they have the "names".

    So, if you are lucky with a approach, someone might be interested to give you a try.

    Why not trying here first? Here are quite a few pro´s around, which may be attracted.

  3. KimL
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    KimL New Member



    If I ever come up with something I think is nice to have a look at, I'll be happy to show it. (I am currently finishing my other studies.)

    Thanx a lot for replying.
  4. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Welcom KimL

    I concur with Richard/apex.

    Also, you need to understand what you're showing in terms of what responses you may get. Showing a general arrangement, all looking very nice and colourful etc, is very different from a detailed structural drawings, for example. The two are very different.

    As Richard noted above, the general arrangement type drawings can all look very good, but, is there anything beyond the nice picture?

    If when questioned, on such a drawing, you can demonstrate why you have done 'things' in a certain or particular way, then that adds to credibility. This then leads into is the reply you give a "practical" solution or a "technical" solution.

    The "practical" types solutions fall, generally, in that noted by Richard..many yacht designers don't actually do number crunching naval architecture design themselves, they get others to do it for them. But they make a very good living out of it.

    So, don't be put off that you are not "formally" trained. Which ever route you go down, just make sure that you can demonstrate a reason why you have sketched/drawn/styled something. But bare in mind at some point real hard number crunching will be required (naval architecture) to justify the 'design' and its claims. If you are unable to do that, either hire someone who can for you...or have it built and test it..which is the way many 'named' designers have in the past.
  5. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Can you please name these "designers" and what they generally provide to the "real" NAs?
  6. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Oh, that old chestnut again :rolleyes: ....i was counting down the minutes how long it would be until you pop up with the exact same reply as you give every single time to the exact same statement. Funny how only you ask this.

    Either you know who they are, or you don't. If you want to know more, ask all the yacht designers you know, since your implication is that all of them are formally trained and do their own calculations, then you can post the names of those you have asked and what their reply was with a list of their formal qualifications..... then you can have your own list, and do with it what you like.
  7. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    Once again the blowhard becomes a coward when his nonsense is exposed.
  8. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    You really seem to be living in a vacuum of your own making...anyone who works in the marine industry knows of the contribution made by companies that have provided such "design" services to 'named' designers over the years. (This is how many of these companies started..providing such specialised service)

    http://www.gurit.com/news.asp?section=00010001001500130002&sectionTitle=Marine Case Studies

    But if you wish to continue thinking all the hard number crunching part of the design etc is done all in-house, then clearly you've made your decision and wont be budged, regardless.

    I'll await your long long list of designers that do everything in-house and never use a subcontractor...
  9. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    So now you change the game. You insinuate "Name" designers can't do the work themselves and have to hire NAs to do the "number crunching". Now you want a list of offices that never farm anything out. Nice way of backing out of your position.

    Farr, Frers, Nelson, Reichel, Peterson, Donovan, Andrews, Botin, Vrolik, Dubois, Humphreys, Nivelt, Perry, Davidson, are all "Name" designers who have done many projects with everything including scantlings, laminate schedules, spar design, rudder shafts, etc done in-house.

    Of course they have all also done projects where they had only partial responsibilities.

    Now why don't you have the courage to post the names of the "Name Designers" you say can't do the work?
  10. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Ahh...so when it says here:
    http://www.gurit.com/news.asp?itemi...sectionTitle=Marine Case Studies&year=&month=

    That "..with Owen-Clarke and Rob Humphreys, Ellen took a departure from the French dominated norm for this race. In doing the composite structural engineering SP...

    and many others:
    "..SP, the marine business of Gurit, met the structural requirements of this design..

    Ahh...is that what you mean by:
    "...Of course they have all also done projects where they had only partial responsibilities..."

    Hmmm..sounds a lot like:
    "...many yacht designers don't actually do number crunching naval architecture design themselves, they get others to do it for them.."

    And sounds even more like "...So now you change the game....", what ever floats your boat!
    1 person likes this.
  11. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    So, since Humphreys was involved in at least one project where they had no responsibility for the "numbers crunching" that means they don't do it?

    Every name I mentioned has done projects where they did every bit of "numbers crunching".

    So again, will you remain a coward or will you care to mention the "name" designers who can't do the job themselves?
  12. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Paul has similarly attacked many of the truly helpful people that post here particularly if they are Boat Designers, Engineers or Naval Architects. A lot of people are getting annoyed with him..

    He has a tendency to twist discussions into something unrecognizable and then demand that you publicly defame someone to break out of what he has turned into a circular argument.
    In the absence of any facts he regularly uses this attempt at logic to appear to win an argument. If you do try and engage him with appropriate facts he’ll just tell you that you have psychological issues and disappear. Poof !

    The adjectives he levels at others by and large describe himself quite well and should be read accordingly. Pity him .

    Since nearly all design these days of larger modern racing vessels involve computer based structural design through specialist numerical methods (FEA) I wonder how many of the leading designers outsource and how many employ engineers within the team. The smaller design houses have commonly used outside engineering services. That includes leading designers that I know of too.

    Grow up. By now you should be aware that you need to sort out your rudeness. If you are so keen to call others cowards for not providing names, how about naming yourself ? We can have decent discussions without the rudeness it’s not that hard.
    1 person likes this.
  13. Manie B
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    Manie B Senior Member

    Just to get back to the topic

    KimL computer drawings are very important, even for your own projects, it makes life a lot easier. In general there are too many "designers" out there that are "self taught" so your chances of getting recognition and employment is rather slim. To take a concept "design" from a beautifull drawing to a production stage is a LOT OF WORK and very technical

    If you have faith in your design capabilities start by building one of your own small designs and try to move on from that, you will find that is rather difficult.
  14. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I believe that the fire exchange between Ad hoc and Paul B is due to the fact that the word "design" has multiple meanings in english. In non-english speaking world there is an fundamental distinction between the word "design" and the word "engineering". Design is art, engineering/NA is science in this division of competences.

    By "design" we (the foreigners :) ) usually intend giving a form to the object on basis of desired aesthetics, ergonomics and functionality. A "designer" here is a creative person trained in visual arts and its history, architecture, furniture design, material choice, theory of colors, textile etc. When refering to boats, a design stage of the project usually also involves a gross layout of the engine room, but seldom produces a detailed arrangement and nearly never piping/electrical schemes.

    Then there is an "engineering" part of the project, which is very different from the "design" part. The engineering involves functionality, life cycle assessment, scantlings, detailed drawings (blueprints), propulsion, piping and wiring shemes, laminate schedules etc. I believe NA's work can be more properly included here.

    So, the way it works here (in Italy) is like this:
    if you consider big names (Ferretti Group, Fipa Group, Sessa Marine etc.) then most of their engineering is done in house. They have some really enviable technical offices, I've seen some of them and they made my mouth water, so well-organized they were. The design part (as defined above) is usually outsourced to specialized (and truly excellent) design firms.

    Smaller boatbuilding companies either outsource both the design and the engineering part, or they might have a small technical office which can do the co-engineering or a co-design work, mostly concentrated on the optimization of production process.

    I think it is very important to make a proper distinction between the two therms, design and engineering, because many times I could witness that the aesthetical result of the designer's work is way above what an engineer or a NA can ever achieve. It is an art, and you either have it inside or you better do the other part of the job. Vice-versa, I could also witness that a designer many times lacks some very basic knowledge of physics, be it hydrodynamics, mechanics of materials or else - so only a proper synergy between the two worlds can give a winning product on today's (ever more demanding) market.



  15. Paul B

    Paul B Previous Member

    That is a reasonable way to look at things, but not wholly correct.

    Many "Designers" use that term because they do not have a degree that allows them to use the title NA. Actually, some people call themselves NAs without having the degree, but that is a whole other discussion.

    These "Designers" are fully capable of producing scantlings, laminate schedules, detailed drawings, etc. In the pleasure sailboat market I would suspect many more successful boats have been produced this way in the past 50+ years than with any NA or third party Engineering involvement.

    Even if the designer is only contracted by a yard to produce the shape of the hull, keel, rudder, and sailplan (as is done by many European yards, as you mentioned) there is still quite a bit of "Naval Architecture Numbers Crunching" by the Designers. A hull shape is not simply sculptural. Third party Engineers are not involved with the hydrostatics or balance as the shape is produced by the Designer.

    There are people like Ad Hoc and Johns who do not have the talent to do what the "Designers" do, so to soothe their egos they like to try to discount the abilities of these very successful people. If those "Designers" can do something Johns and Ad Hoc can't do, then the "Designers" surely can't do what Ad Hoc and Johns think they are good at? Sadly for them it is not a Zero Sum game.
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