Career Advice

Discussion in 'Services & Employment' started by ausi14, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. ausi14
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: melb, Australia

    ausi14 New Member

    Hi everyone,
    At a bit of a crossroads in my life. Have just finished my mechanical engineering degree and i'm unsure of what to do next. I have the option of pursuing the more traditional lines of work, however i feel i might be better off doing something else.
    i have a real passion for high performance sailboats (i sail i14s), and know a fair bit about composite construction through my own reading/playing.
    so i suppose my real question is are there any opportunities for a person with my qualifications to enter the high tech composites industry.
    project managment of custom builds?
    dont really fancy having to do a 4 year boatbuilding apprenticeship, however my fear is that no one will want to take me on without this practical knowledge.
    so is there anyone out there that can offer any advice or suggest a particular career path.


  2. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    I should think a project manager would
    1, have considerable knowledge of boating, sailing , boathandling
    2 at least 15 years in the building industry itself, much of this hands on
    3 personel management skills
    what you are saying is, you have just got your drivers licence and now you wish to be employed by Ferrari to drive a formula one car?
    Nope mate you have to do the hard yards, first, sorry
  3. RHP
    Joined: Nov 2005
    Posts: 836
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    Location: Singapore

    RHP Senior Member

    You have to get your hands dirty first or whatever decision you make will be based on hope rather than experience.

    I believe Madoff is looking for a new assistant.
  4. ausi14
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 3
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: melb, Australia

    ausi14 New Member

    Thanks fellas,
    appreciate the help. Ok with that being said, is ther somewhere where a person of my skills/experience(limited) could fit into the process?
  5. RThompson
    Joined: Nov 2004
    Posts: 155
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    Location: New Zealand

    RThompson Senior Member

    Have you approached the likes of High Modulus, or some other high performance yacht design service company?

    Although having hands on boatbuilding experience is good, there is no requirement to be a boatbuilder before you can get into high performance yacht design.
    Take two senior America's Cup designers: in a conversation recently one says the way forward is to get good at numerical simulations (CFD, FEA, DVPP etc) - thats the big growth area.
    In another direction, the other designer says grass roots design experiments and boat building in your garage are an excellent way forward. I think this reflects the background of the two gentlemen. These conversations were at the High Performance Yacht Design conference recently where a majority of the papers turned out to be about some kind of numerical simulation.

    You are into skiffs, so maybe design/build one thats cheaper and faster than the others? or at least aim to.
    The fact you are fresh out of school could be to your advantage as the maths etc are fresh. in particular numerical simulations of stuff should be at your fingertips.
    so get a job where they will treasure your current skills (High Modulus etc), and then design and build your original and blisteringly fast skiff in your garage. if it (and its skipper) are good and you win with it, then your mates will want one, and so you build another one etc etc.
    Don't sell yourself short.
    good luck.


    PS: Before someone jumps down my throat, I'm not saying a B.Eng fresh out of the box is automatically 'good' at engineering - clearly there is a lack of experience - I am saying that a fresh graduate is exactly that: fresh. with a mind full of recent numbers, equations and methods - why forget it all (and waste it) while you hang off the end of a angle grinder for years.
  6. swabbie

    swabbie Previous Member

    Hi Adam,

    I agree with Rob's advice, you don't need to physically build boats or anything else to understand the unit design, it can get you more credability in the market place plus a better position to personally assert your ownership of a project but you have plenty of time to try it all, see what fits and get some runs on the board.

    Try contacting the big material suppliers like SP Corecell (Al Gorman), if you want to focus on GRP engineering, these businesses have their own engineers to support sales with design offices based in UK and USA. There are hull production companies in Italy, China and Turkey that manufacture hulls only for builders that need mech engineers.

    Good luck!!
  7. Guest625101138

    Guest625101138 Previous Member

    There is a serious problem if you have a passion for boats. It does not go away. You are thinking about pursuing your passion for boats earlier than most. Most get caught up in the mechanics of life like making a living and the passion simmers for sake of making a living.

    The best outcome is to combine the need to survive with your passion but this may be hard to achieve.

    You have already had sound advice about modelling. There are some powerful tools that are worthwhile acquiring and building an understanding in.

    Threevery well priced tools are Delftship, Michlet and JavaFoil. All are free. They are the basic tools for modern boat design. You can get infinitely more from these basic tools than the price suggest.

    You then move up the scale to things like Autocad, Solidworks, CFD modellers, FEM etc.

    At the same time you are building the number crunching ability you need to learn about boat handling. Just hang around yacht clubs and you will soon get picked up as crew if you show some interest.

    The third element is to learn about the materials. In the last 5 years I have worked my way through timber, aluminiun, fibreglass and now carbon sandwich panel. If you want to be at the cutting edge then really concentrate on carbon sandwich. I doubt that anyone serious about yacht/cruiser racing/performance will bother with anything other than carbon in ten years. The other materials will be for workboats and commercial craft.

    The other option to all this is put the passion to bed for a while and get involved in heavy engineering at a construction on operating level. (Timing may not be real good right now though). If you get in the right work and focus on good investments you can work toward retirement at 35 and then chase your boating passion.

    Rick W

  8. Guest62110524

    Guest62110524 Previous Member

    USUALLY I agree with Rick, but this time I do not, abt one point he made
    Carbon will never take over from metal in large yachts
    please take a look at and google up Huisman the worlds number one rated yard
    Sound advice from my mate though abt the CAD and yes if you hook into boats it,ll never leave you
    I started to sail at 13, I saved for that dinghy and had no help from my parents, so I appreciated what I had more
    Now I drift to the harbour first, no matter where I beYou may get a job as a deckhand on a superyacht, suprising where contacts will lead
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