confused - in the 10th grade and looking to become a naval architect

Discussion in 'Education' started by grantlen2211, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
    Posts: 2,607
    Likes: 416, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1669
    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    SNAME: Society Of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers. It is the worldwide professional organization for naval architects. If you want to be one you should be talking to them.
  2. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 5,894
    Likes: 312, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1749
    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Great advice - designers of all sorts often discover so much by doing, as well as from books.

    If you aren't able to afford a full size boat, drawing and building decent sized models is a very useful and educational side hobby too.

    I remember helping my young cousin with his first model yachts, and he is now a qualified NA
  3. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
    Posts: 2,607
    Likes: 416, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1669
    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    That is how I started. That, and my Dad and I built a small sailboat when I was about 15. Experience is the best teacher. It teaches you what works and doesn't work. Models are a lot cheaper than the full size and you can get balsa or bass wood at any crafts store. That, waterproof glue and paint and you're in business.

  4. gdoug
    Joined: Mar 2012
    Posts: 9
    Likes: 4, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 51
    Location: Stuart FL

    gdoug GD

    I was once you

    I have some good advice for you.
    Like everyone is saying you need experience with CAD. AutoCad is great to know. You also need to start dabbling with 3D modeling software. Most are expensive, so if you cant swindle your way into a seat of SolidWorks, ProE, Rhino, or the like just use Google Sketch Up. It's free and it will give you grasp on how 3d modeling sofware work. They all work off of the same priciples, if you can 3D model in one you can transition to others. Best thing to do it take objects around your house and try to create them in 3D. start with simple shapes like a cup, and move to more difficult shapes like a stapler or computer mouse and so on.

    Education wise:
    There are two roads you can take if you want to design boats professionally and be good at it. You can either be a naval architect or a mechanical engineer.

    They are both very mathmatically intense.
    Mechanicals study mechanics, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, electrical enginnering, structures, process design, part design etc. An ME degree will give you a broader more general engineering knowlege base.
    Because of this it is easy for mechanical engineers to switch fields and career paths easily. Which is nice. Especially when the job market drops out. There are more options. I design robotic boats, I have other mechanical engineering friends that deisgn spaceships for SpaceX, jet engines for Pratt & Whitney, Defense robots for IRobot, cars for Ford. A degree in ME will broaden your opportunities.

    Naval Architecure is similar to ME but more specilized. It goes more indepth into hydrodynamics, FLuid, ergonomics, and hull construction particular to marine vessels. It is not as diverse of a study or industry. It is more difficult to switch careers if you want.
    And it's my experience that many good technical naval architects were mechanical engineers first.

    I grew up boating and always knew I wanted to be a yacht designer, but chose to be a mechanical engineer. I did this because there are more colleges that offer it in cooler locations than Naval Achitecture, and also becuase I didnt want to pigeon hole myself into a career or title.

    I interned at a boat builder doing design. I have worked for yacht deisgners, and designed several hull forms and underwater vehicles myself. It is not difficult to understand yacht design and naval architecture coming from a mechanical engineering degree.

    Also, the big future in this industry is in material, hybrid propulsion and robotics. That is where you want to be. Those systems are mechanical and electrical. If you're smart enough to understand electrical and mechanical systems you are smart enough to design hulls.
    If I were to do it again I wouldnt do anything differently.

    My only other advice to you is to make sure you go to a college that offers an intern program. Even if it's not engineering and you work as a laminator somewhere that's fine, but it's not a very big industy and you need to get experience as soon as possible.

    Also, FYI about the recreational boating industry: There it's hard to make money in it.
    3 people like this.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.