Do boat designers need to be naval engineers

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

  1. Lister

    Lister Previous Member

    No
    Lister
     
  2. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 7,765
    Likes: 1,658, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 2488
    Location: Japan

    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    On the face of it, this sounds plausible, but upon inspection I would disagree with this.

    I have a few friends whom are "stylist". But they are degree qualified in industrial design and similar. Whilst 'we' naval architects bring the whole thing together do the maths and other number crunching where required, where a design is required to be more than a "bunch of successful numbers" but "art" per se, like those absolutely stunning pictures posted by D of the Ferrari et al, then a stylist can bring a totally new dimension to the project.

    One i worked with in the past, came up with simply amazing ideas....one of the reasons why he did was because after endless years of designing boats to conform to known rules and regulations "we" tend to become a bit tunnel visioned in our thinking. Whereas he, was totally unaware of such rules and swept his brush here there and everywhere to create something rather beautiful. The fact it would not pass rules/regs was irrelevant to the client, he loved it.

    Being able to create something from nothing, a naval architect is a real skill, an "art" if you like. But also, to create works of art, visually, rather a cerebral one is also worth admiring. This too requires a trained eye, skill and that something special that makes "it" catch everyone's eye, or attention.

    The car industry is littered with examples. In that whilst the engineering is "sound", some cars sell and some don't'....aesthetics. Alfa Romeos are beautiful cars to look at...yet if we only focused upon the poor engineering and having to always take them back to the garage, the street would be littered with dull well running boxes!

    Every "designer" has its place.

    BUT, if a 'designer' (or stylist if you like) started to make statements about the performance and how much better it is because of "their" styling contribution (implying it goes faster or has great weight savings etc etc)...that is when lines must be drawn. Just as a stylist would intervene if a NA said the boat was only successful owing to their engineering acumen. Some products require both and i do mean some...if you are lucky enough to meet a well educated and trained "design/stylist" they can be equally admired as any engineer, for the same reasons.

    FWIW, i used to own an Alfa Romeo....had a smile on my face every day i drove her with the hood down stereo blasting....i wouldn't get the same experience in just any convertible! Later, my TVR was awesome raw power, wonderful noise and acceleration..but the beauty was not there.
     
  3. aranda1984
    Joined: Jan 2010
    Posts: 62
    Likes: 8, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 101
    Location: Vancouver, B.C.

    aranda1984 aranda1984

    Designers in general

    IMHO.... There are many levels in the group of professionals in charge of creating a complete design.

    Forget the customer for now, he already conveyed his wishes to the chief, now the chief is delegating the work to his underlings.

    Unless there is a strong person with vision and flaire at the top of this process, or unless you have a smooth cooperation between the enginnering and the art departments, you will end up with a camel, despite that you wanted a horse!

    Any major project, although it must be based on science, mathematics and general knowledge that you can only obtain by years of studies and experience, is probably 50 plus % science and the rest is art, gut feeling etc.

    Occasionally you see a bad example of a product line going downhill, because bean counters took over the project. (See the car industry.)
    Engineers taking over might produce a strong design, but that might not look all that good.
    Sexy lines might take over and engineering principles might suffer.

    If you have a chief engineer with artistic flaire, you probably have a winner.

    There are also trends, fashions and just dumb ideas from people with more money then brains!

    I read some very strong opinions expressed here, but you must admit, there is truth behind those strong lines!

    Over the years I had countless people asking me to hire them as designers.
    Many of them asked me in passing if I know of a book that has everything in it to help a designer...
    In Vancouver, the largest library has a whole floor dedicated to engineering and science.
    Frequently they do not have amongst the thousands of books what I am looking for!

    Having the ability to draw pretty lines is meaningless without the understanding of the engineering principles behind a project, unless you are only a small part of a team and you draw the lines as you were told.

    Certain people have muddied up the water in the designer field.
    For whatever reason these people set the fads, the fashions, the trends and they are thought to be great.
    (Well, at least until the fad dies out, or the fashion changes.)

    Looking at yachts, it is an absolute marvel how the interior's functionality fits into the form and structure. No outsider could do a better job, except do some interior decoration with pretty colors.

    You may add stairways leading to heaven, to the bow and to the stern, but eventually people will see that the emperor is naked.

    ...if you know what I mean.

    With respect,

    Stephen I. M.
     
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,126
    Likes: 497, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    According to to Walter P. Staplton, head judge, US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, " . . . an expert, is anyone one with above average knowledge, on any given subject . . .". This is an often used quote, in the description of someone's qualifications. This makes me and many here experts on many subjects, but the key point, missing from this often used quote is; there are degrees of expertness or another way, there's always a better expert.

    The is the key of this debate, so where you draw the line is a personal cranium conundrum and purely application specific and/or speculative.
     
  5. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 3,074
    Likes: 357, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Well, why there are no stylists in airplane exterior design, but they are still so attractive? Why boat design attracts so many stylists without engineering knowledge, and they pretend to 'coordinate' the design process, and pretend to define the whole concept of craft? I would agree that some of them are really good, but close 99% are not; they just think so. Pure stylist without engineering knowledge is helpless; one such guy told me once 'can't we make exhaust through the toilet?'.
     
  6. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    Beautifully put... almost artistic, in fact;)

    IMHO a designer (read stylist) with some training in naval architecture will generally be more valuable than one with out. There are exceptions, of course... there always are. To swing the pendulum to Alik's extreme and to suggest that designers are nothing more than 'hairdressers' and by extension, that there is no place for them, is no less absurd than to suggest that those same designers are a one-stop-shop, so we can do away with all the NA's.

    We have all seen examples of ridiculously impractical yachts, pretty rendered images, with little or no regard given to the 1st maxim of naval architecture - that the fundamental requirement of all boats is that they keep their crew safe.
    But these are styling exercises... and as long as they are presented and recognised as such, then where is the harm? We don't ridicule the flights of fantasy that automotive stylists come up with at each and every car show. Far from it... they are seen for what they are... and quite often the design cues are seen further down the track in production vehicles.

    Oh... and I once owned an Alfa too....:)
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Dirteater
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 203
    Likes: 22, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 300
    Location: Canada

    Dirteater Senior Member

    Hi Jordie,
    Your question is a little confusing. Do they have to be engineers?
    probably not. but I believe its the engineering aspects that does alot of the math.

    There's the old cliche "but will it float?" I believe it is the engineering thats see's that it does Proficiently. now that said... Architecture and Design are obviously critical for success as well.

    Engineering is the discipline, art, skill and profession of acquiring and applying scientific, mathematical, economic, social, and practical knowledge, in order to design and build structures, machines, devices, systems, materials and processes.

    I believe you need all 3 to find the desired results.
    I suppose the next question might be in what order
    would you apply these skills?
     
  8. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 3,074
    Likes: 357, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    This is not what I am trying to say. Today it often happens once one reads 'naval architect' on the card, they often say 'You are naval architect and thus can not design'. This is the point! They are ready to trust guys often without any training any because they can 'de-e-sign' (i.e. produce some renderings) because he is 'creative' and he is 'de-e-signer' (actually just stylist or even rendering artist). Level of such stylist does no matter for them! Thus my practice is - just do not work this way; 'sorry we do not work with third-party designers' is my usual reply to such stylists and customers.

    Meanwhile, naval architects in my country study 'Art design of ships' - special course on aesthetic aspects of ship design.
     
  9. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    On this we are as one... for every stylist that could engineer a boat, there would be a hundred NA's who could draw a pretty one....
     
  10. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Exhaust throught the toilet NO ! But Toilets that flush trough the exhaust has been done without any problems plus all the drains plus all the wastes etc etc . Because the owner didnt want any more holes throught the hull than was absolutly nessasary !!.
    Plus we had only one water inlet for everything in the boat and everything feed from that one place !! so what seems a silly idea at first really has its merrits !
    Some times we need fresh ideas no mater how stupid we think they are or they seem to be ! Designers need to be naval architechs and Naval architechs need to be artists ! to make art work takes engineering skills and knowledge !
    My favorite place is concepts and student designs some are down right unworkable but the fresh ideas and the completely differant ways of looking at things is good and really really interesting !!. We dont always see what we are looking at the same as other do ,specially when there are differant cultures involved .:idea:
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,126
    Likes: 497, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Of course there are designers that stylize aircraft interiors, as well as the paint schemes on the outside. Every texture and color inside them, is selected by these stylists. All large dollar projects will receive a certain level of "fluffing up" from stylists, to make them more palatable to the people spending the money on them. Other wise everything would be battleship gray or what ever was the cheapest color to produce.

    This is a silly discussion, as a design team needs several levels and layers of expertise; technical, legal, marketing, construction, hydrodynamic, electrical, plumbing, propulsion, etc., etc., etc. and each is usually divided into subsections to specifically handle various concerns, which includes the fabrics, surface finishes, colors, trim and styling details. To discount them is a ludicrous propagation of reality, in today's markets. A stylist doesn't need to be an engineer, the team has these and the guys working on the foils, don't need to understand the brush techniques used on the Mona Lisa either, they have folks on the team that do. If the design isn't of particular significance and a single person is preforming the work, well then they'd darn better have a grasp on the functions of the color wheel, basic proportion and aesthetics practices, or face a dismal outlook in their career. I've seen lots of clever, well engineered, though butt ugly designs over the years. Bolger seemed to praise this approach, though he did have an eye for proportion and aesthetics when pressed to show it. All the greats showed this trait; the ability to blend proportion, aesthetic and functional beauty into a timeless work. These are the exception to the general rule and is how it should be.
     
  12. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
    Posts: 3,074
    Likes: 357, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1306
    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    Agree, I was talking about exterior styling of aircraft. Undoubtedly stylists work on interiors, and graphical designers do exterior colours. But the shape and layout is defined by aircraft engineers/designers. With boats there is opposite trend: stylists tend to design the shapes, and are trying to tell NA's how the chine and bow should look - this is what is disappointing.

    This is exactly what we do! And the other side is: styling can only be done within such team, otherwise resulting design is almost never feasible/practical/safe.
     
  13. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    Have seen a plain and simple non interesting looking boats simply transformed by just a clever stylish set of stick on Graphic, and a plain off white base color .
    For the interior designs and colors women have a far better fashion sense than any male does ! a high percentage of men are semi color blind anyway !!. :eek::confused::(
     
  14. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
    Posts: 7,765
    Likes: 1,658, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 2488
    Location: Japan

    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Because for Joe Blogs’ in the street, to draw, via whatever software which is now so readily available, especially with endless Freeware as such, once drawn, it remains, just a picture of a plane; pretty or otherwise. To go beyond that requires a fair degree of knowledge and expertise in engineering basics, beyond that which Joe Blogs’ possesses to make it 'work'.

    Yet to do the same with a boat, all it requires is a 3D shape and enough volume that is greater than its weight and it’ll float. Heck this has been going on for millennium well before any formalised engineering approach. As such it is easier for Joe Blog’s to “design” a boat than to “design” a plane simply because Joe Blogs’ can build a boat, just as crudely, or otherwise, as those very first coracles were done eons before. Yet try doing it with a plane….requires a bit more than just a shape that’ll float!...wont get off the ground, ergo...design is crap and just a pretty picture and no more.

    So, aircraft “stylist” have a very minor role to play in the whole ‘design’ procedure compared to the very wide ranging and easily accessible boat design “stylists” can have. The rest is down to public perception of what a “design” is…
     

  15. Wavewacker
    Joined: Aug 2010
    Posts: 709
    Likes: 25, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 226
    Location: Springfield, Mo.

    Wavewacker Senior Member

    But, it looks cool and could be cleared for a flight level below 2000 feet! VFR and jump qulified babes only! LMAO!:D
     
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.