Is a Naval Architect best way resource?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Kirbynoworries, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Kirbynoworries
    Joined: Jan 2016
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    Kirbynoworries Junior Member

    I am trying to obtain a small passenger vessel in the US in the 28 to 30 ft range . Shallow draft and outboard or diesel propulsion. Coast Guard certified for 10 plus passengers .
    Would like this vessels interior to be nicer ...like a Duffy style .
    I have searched high and low for an existing manufacture with no avail .
    I can find cheap pontoon boats ..but looking for nicer .
    Would I be on the right path in hiring a Naval Archetict or is there a better path to take ?
     

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  2. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    How many do you mean by 10 plus? More than 12 changes the regulations and requirements.
     
  3. Kirbynoworries
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    Kirbynoworries Junior Member

    More than 10 only changes the scope of master and crew ...
    Over 6 with a mmc changes scope of vessel ...
     
  4. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    If you have something very, very specific in mind....with a very well defined Statement of Requirements (SoR)...then yes, a professional licensed Naval Architect can guide you through the design/build process to get you exactly what you want while managing the necessary trade-offs to meet federal and state specific requirements. Otherwise, a well established reputable builder (most who have a go-to licensed Naval Architect as required), should be able to provide a cost effective option if you are not hard and fast on requirements, still meeting federal and state requirements if specified. FWIW, in the US, federal and state requirements are a matter of public law. Anyone can design, and/or build, a vessel to meet those requirements. What a professional licensed Naval Architect brings to the table is a legal obligation to you and those requirements that are in their contract.
     
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  5. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

  6. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Kirbynoworries - As jehardiman suggests a cost effective solution would be to start with a suitable existing hull design for which a builder already has molds and design the boat using that hull. In Maine for example there are numerous builders who custom finish the hulls they build or that they obtain from another builder. Many of the builders have experience building USCG inspected boats and as noted will have a naval architect/designer on call who can handle the technical aspects.

    Requirements about whether someone doing boat design needs to be a licensed naval architect vary significantly from state to state in US. In Maine for example many of the boat designers are not licensed naval architects. My understanding is the situation is very different in Washington State.

    Information about builders in Maine is available at Members - Maine Built Boats https://mainebuiltboats.com/members/
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    In the USA anyone can design a boat. The burden to make it comply with regulations is on the owner and/or operator unless there is a contract stating otherwise.
     
  8. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    So, if the designer doesn't deal with those things, what does designing a boat consist of?
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2020
  9. Kirbynoworries
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    Kirbynoworries Junior Member

    Guess I should have been more specific...sorry bout that .
    The boat will be used for private tours .. the marina it is jeep at can not facilitate a vessel more than 32 ft .The shallower the draft the better ...it is extremely shallow in the area .my current vessel draws 18 inches which works well and is a 26ft catamaran . And I really like the set up on my current vessel except the not being able to have more than 6 pax.
    There are a lot of boat builders where I am ...but none of them wants to mess with a commercial vessel under 40 ft .
    I will post some pictures of what I am thinking.
    Yes I can buy the pontoon style boat....but they are not nice enough for what I am doing .
    The bottom boat is my existing ...i will post a better pic
     

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  10. Kirbynoworries
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    Kirbynoworries Junior Member

    Current vessel
     

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  11. bajansailor
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    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    Ok, so we have a maximum length of 32' for your marina - are there any limits on the width of the vessel?
    For example, could you have a 32' x 16' power catamaran?

    Re '10+' passengers, how many do you want the boat to be able to carry, bearing in mind that the rules get more rigorous (I think) once you go beyond 12 passengers?
    Is it not possible at all to get your current boat rated to carry more people?
    What make is she? Do / did the Builders ever produce a slightly larger version?

    What is your proposed budget for this vessel?
     
  12. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    If you need shallower draft and more carrying capacity, a monohull is the only solution. Depending on the operating conditions a flat bottom or a very shallow vee. Can you use a jet-drive?
     
  13. Kirbynoworries
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    Kirbynoworries Junior Member

    I could go wider ...but within reason .would like to also be able to trailer it . Thus making it more econonicly for maintenance and hurricane evacuation.
    For what I am told it is very hard to turn a recreational vessel into a coi vessel .
    I don't mind going over 10 when you get to 12 you need a mate ...so it's not so big of a deal .
    From what I am told it's nearly impossible to get a coi on a rereaction vessel .
    But if somebody knows better than me I am all ears
     
  14. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Read Subchapter T. Many recreational boats are converted. They are things like watertight bulkhead required.
     

  15. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Hummm, Florida seems to default to US law for small passenger vessels...it is very hard to find anything from their websites...but googling "undocumented passenger vessel florida" brings up lots of FWC/USCG busts for not having documented operators. Here is the only thing I could find from an internet search...note that the county/city may also have a say...
    Transportation: Air, Rail and Water – Open MyFlorida Business http://openmyfloridabusiness.gov/business/48/transportation-air-rail-and-water/

    As you know, an undocumented/uninspected passenger vessel under 100 tons is limited to 6 "passengers for hire" max and requires a documented operator if operating in federal waters (CFR 46 Subchapter C). So if you want more than that, you are in to Subchapter T like Gonzo said and for that, as you have alluded to, it might be best to have it built from the keel up so the build inspections and documentation can be done easily. (see 46 CFR section 170.402 at https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/46/176.402 ) Trying to put together a documentation package after the fact is a real issue.

    While in WA state you are required to have a professional license to offer services "for hire" as a Naval Architect, nothing requires that a licensed Naval Architect be used to design a boat built in the state. Realistically, anyone can design and build a boat or ship in the US. The "design" of a vessel is just making sure the physics is met, so anyone could be a "designer". And if that vessel is built for personal or "public" (i.e. state or federal) use, it doesn't even have to meet any federal requirements save pollution requirements (setting aside the USCG's "manifestly unsafe voyage" trump card). The issues come when the vessel is offered for sale or hire to the general public. In these cases, because of the interstate commerce clause (U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8), the federal government, through the USCG, has taken the authority to regulate the safety of the general public. But just because there are federal regulations doesn't mean that you need a licensed Naval Architect, though it can make it easier (or not, depending on their experience). Anyone can go through the regulations and ensure that the requirements are met, the documentation is developed and maintained, and the appropriate inspections and approvals are gathered.
     
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