Do boat designers need to be naval engineers

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by JordieS, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. JordieS
    Joined: Apr 2011
    Posts: 89
    Likes: 1, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 26
    Location: Australia

    JordieS Junior Member

    Hello everyone,

    I really enjoy drawing up ideas of things like boats and stuff and want to be a designer. I was just wondering if the exterior and interior designer work with a naval architect to give them sketches and drawing of an idea and then the naval architect sort of produces a 3d model and makes everything construction ready.

    I see big yachts that were designed by exterior and interior designer and a naval architect.

    Just wondering how it works help appreciated thanks.
     
  2. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 2,765
    Likes: 159, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Do You really think NA needs those sketches?
     
  3. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 6,109
    Likes: 356, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 2488
    Location: Japan

    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    A "designer"...has many definitions. You need to make sure you understand which one it is you're referring too. Also the definition does not always cross countries, in their definition and application too.

    Depends what the client wants and which field of "design" you're in.

    We had a client may years ago wanted the exterior and interior designed, by that i mean styled and colours selected, by a world class "stylist". That was the client's wishes, so we did so, and we did the naval architecture.

    Doesn't always work that way though...as stylists just subcontract the naval architecture to 'another', rarely the other way around. Since the stylist is given the prestige rather than the number crunching naval architect. A classic example of style over substance....but, it pays the bills!
     
  4. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 2,765
    Likes: 159, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Ad Hoc, yes, in reality situation is often like that, but...

    Naval Architect is architect. Stylist - who is? A hairdresser?? Of a guy with computer who can do nice renderings?

    We took the position not to work with third-party designers on exterior styling; we have our own designers with and without NA degree working as part of one team. If all colleagues do the same, 'hairdressers' without basic knowledge/experience will have no place on the market. I would say 99% of those 'stylists' are useless dummies with exaggerated self-confidence.
     
  5. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 696
    Likes: 21, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 226
    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    Gee, that's a little strong, 99%! Was Phil Bolger an Naval Architect, a degreed architect?

    I have met all kinds of engineers, computer, electrical, mechanical, structural and aeronautical, but seems the ones who take the cake are the naval types as to arogance. I'm beginning to think they are just unaware at times and don't really mean to insult others.

    Alik, I really enjoy your posts and contributions and hope you don't take that personally, but I bet you do, just wish you wouldn't.

    I'm not an engineer, just a simple education with an MBA but in my opinion designers hold their own in different markets, especially those that are not financially viable for an engineer.

    Look at smaller boats, like Slider, a small beachable catamaran, Ray designed the boat and he is not a N/A, does that make the boat a failure? It may in the eyes of the N/A, but certainly not in the public's eye where success is measured in acceptance.

    You can look at large private yachts as mentioned above and it could very well be that the N/A might have an opinion as to colors, materials, textures, lighting and amenities, but they can't be on the cutting edge of every aspect as they offten assume to be. Designing anything, anything at all, is a social science as well as a physical science, from a frying pan to a Gulf Stream or Leer.

    If you consider designers in residential and commercial construction they are well received by the engineering types, at least good ones. A good designer needs to be aware of the parameters and requirements that must be met, but they may have a better eye for style and function than do many engineers.

    I have basically said before, and largely ignored here due to it I'm sure, that creative approaches to solve a problem don't really come from N/As, as they seem to me to have blinders on keeping themselves in those narrow scopes of tradition, where there is little risk to financial security.

    And you can't blame them much either, as their reputation is pretty much their business. They could really go out of business if they were to stray too far from the norm and get a reputation of designing some wild floating contraption that has little economic benefit. While they could be artists, they are not hired for their artistic abilities, they are hired as engineers, for that stamp of approval.

    IMO, there is certainly a place for designers, especially in smaller crafts and markets. I'm sure there are designers that are more financially successful than some N/As, but an N/A is probably more "successful" than most designers. If you were asking from a vocational/professional aspect, you'd be better off as a N/A, especially if you have the talent to design.

    You need to recognize your limitations, as I know my nautical design knowledge is between slim and none, but that's why I'm here, to learn from these guys.....as many others are too.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
    Posts: 4,862
    Likes: 114, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 1180
    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    A good yacht designer needs to be an engineer.

    Yachts are luxury toys, An engineer must have artistic design flair to be successful with yachts

    . In the perfect world a Naval Architect posses both skills.

    I see plenty of robust ,well designed , vessels that are just plain ugly as well as plenty of elegant vessels who are unserviceable, unusable and fall apart before your eyes.

    When in doubt always choose the marine engineer, then compliment his skills with an artistic designer.
     
  7. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,228
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    I think both the stylists and the engineers and architects need to be somewhat flexible in their relationships with one another from one project to the next. In essence, they need to be able to adapt to the customer's view on the subject. Each customer will arrive with their own built in view of how the styling and engineering should be merged and you probably won't change this early on in the project. Just adapt and decide whose day it is to be in the barrel.
     
  8. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 2,765
    Likes: 159, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    This is all about definitions. Designer is the one who develops the design, i.e. answers the questions 'how it looks?', 'how it works?' and 'how to make it?'. The work of designer is combination of art with engineering, it does not matter designer has a degree or not! Naval Architect working in field of ship design is a designer.

    On opposite side is stylist; he only cares about appearance and not about technical aspects. They make those sketches and forget about visibility from wheelhouse, fit liferafts in side recesses instead of fenders and do not care about fire exits. So I am talking about stylists, and You? Please, re-read my post again prior to lecturing me... thanks.

    I often say if one can't design at least a small boat alone, from sketch to structure and basic calcs, better not touch boat/yacht design. The ability to perform complete cycle of (small) boat design is the difference between designer and stylist. Am I wrong?
     
  9. daiquiri
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 5,372
    Likes: 239, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 3380
    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I personally have a lots of respect for a good styling work. Sex sells, that is a fact, and I appreciate a good and sexy design - be it a boat, a car or a domestic appliance. I am a trained engineer and my education was mostly about math, physics and mechanics. But in my library there are a dozen (or perhaps few more) volumes and monographs about industrial design, around three dozens about art in general, and they all are always a big source of joy and inspiration for me.

    Harley Earl and Pinin Farina, for example, have designed (styled) some of the finest cars in the history, and they were industrial designers, not engineers. But they had a deep practical knowledge of how the cars work, and about what can and what cannot be industrially produced. That knowledge, together with their artistic skills, have gained them a well-deserved fame.

    A fine example of Harley Earl's work:

    [​IMG]

    A fine example of Pinin Farina's work:

    [​IMG]

    IMO, engineers or (getting back to ships) NAs with purely pragmatic and scientific approach could not arrive to such level of artistic details and finish. It takes more than math and physics alone, it takes an artist. On the other hand, the artists have to be closely watched by engineers and NAs, because they often tend to forget (or are unaware of) the laws of physics, or the practical limits of production process.
    The best results are IMO obtained, as always, by a right mix of the two worlds. :)
     
  10. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
    Posts: 3,486
    Likes: 95, Points: 58, Legacy Rep: 1148
    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    bringing up the "stylist" is what almost made me hit the ceiling too
    guess there must be good ones but from what I met: "hairdressers"
     
  11. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 4,348
    Likes: 195, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    Perhaps there has been some confusion between technically knowledgable designers who do not have degrees in naval architecture, and stylists/designers who concentrate on asthetics and appear to have limited technical knowledge.
     
  12. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 2,765
    Likes: 159, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Why naval architect can't be an artist?? Naval architect is of treated as 'pitch brand' as only capable for engineering issues. This is not true; during my NA studies in my class 3 of 15 had diploma in drawing art!

    'OK You got NA degree, so now take calculator and go do some cals; and Creative Me will Draw Great Sketches! - says the guy who often has no any degree or skills other than software.
     
  13. DCockey
    Joined: Oct 2009
    Posts: 4,348
    Likes: 195, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1485
    Location: Midcoast Maine

    DCockey Senior Member

    It may be going a bit far to call Harley Earl an industrial designer. Perhaps he would be better described as a manager/leader of stylists who's ideas were turned into reality by engineers.
     
  14. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 2,765
    Likes: 159, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Yes You right David; for me there is no confusion. And the conflict here is between experience and knowledge of boats (whatever is the degree or not), and hairdressers making pictures of fancy makeovers, and believing that those stubborn engineers/NAs would make them work.

    Besides that, old days designers such as Fife, Stephens, Herreshoff, Uffa Fox and others obtained knowledge of boats/engineering during their practice in marine drafting. (I might be wrong, none of them have formal degree in NA). Only making perfect lines plan required years of training, parallel looking at drawings of other boats, under supervision of experienced designer! Today, drafting is easy with computers so one will skip this stage and can become 'boat designer' in two weeks by studying the software :D We see a lot of this in the forum, just browse the gallery...
     

  15. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
    Posts: 2,228
    Likes: 139, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1082
    Location: Beaufort, SC and H'ville, NC

    philSweet Senior Member

    The car business would be totally different from the boat business in this respect. Styling for a product that is part of a brand line-up and that will be mass produced is not going to have the same relationship with production as would a stylist for a one-off or semicustom. Just totally different worlds in terms of constraints. Maybe more like custom executive jet design.
     
Loading...
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.