Naval Architect

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Jammer Six, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    How does one go about choosing a designer?

    I'm interested in building a skerry cruiser as small as I can make it.

    But I don't know any designers, and I'm not sure how to proceed.
  2. JSL
    Joined: Nov 2012
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    JSL Senior Member

    Your first step would be to sketch and make some notes on what your requirements are so everybody (including the designers) know your objectives
  3. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Are you looking for a lapstrake double ender that sails and rows reasonably well? Does it need accommodations to sleep onboard?
  4. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    I would think a much better 1st step is to write down WHY you want a small skerry cruiser.

    Is it small because
    1) You cant afford a bigger one
    2) You are an inexperienced builder
    3) You want to set an ocean crossing record
    4) You have a small shed to store it int

    is it a skerry because
    1) It has to be an authentic copy
    2) It has to behave a certain way on the water

    You can add to the list what it should be made of, who is building it, what is your budget, where you intend sailing it, where you will be keeping it and any other little detail you can think of.

    Your sketches will not be much use to a designer until then.
  5. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Remarkably, none of those "answers" have anything to do with my question.

    Next case.
  6. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
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    Willallison Senior Member

    Look for some boats similar to the ones you are interested in. If you can't find stock plans for what you want, contact some designers from those you have found....choose the one that 'fits best'

    As to the other responses - they are just anticipating the 1st question any decent designer will pose to you - what's the SOR (Statement of requirements).
    And I would venture to suggest that the reason they asked these questions is in order to better recommend designer(s) for you...
  7. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    rwatson Senior Member

    True - i find that designers will need to know all that before they can even agree to proceed, let alone produce a suitable solution.
  8. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    messabout Senior Member

    There are numerous professional designers right here on the forum. Almost all of them have the credentials, experience, and intelligence to do your design work creditably.

    Every one of them will need the SOR before they even begin a serious conversation with you.
  9. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Who are they?
  10. Grey Ghost
    Joined: Aug 2012
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    Location: california

    Grey Ghost Senior Member

  11. bregalad
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    bregalad Senior Member

    Skerry Cruisers were built to the square meter rule, which was never hugely popular in the U.S.
    The most common Skerry Cruiser classes would have been the 30 sq.m. and 40 sq.m. classes.
    Until recently Paul Kotzebue maintained a web site where he offered free plans to a variety of boats he had designed that closely followed Sq. M./Skerry Cruiser parameters, but I believe he has retired and taken down the web site.
    The original rule required a rudder attached to the keel/ Modern interpretations favor a separate skeg mounted rudder, but follow the type in most other characteristics. The modern variants are not permitted to race against the traditional designs.

    One place to start you search would be

    The late Knud Reimers produced a number of Skerry Cruiser designs. In terms of small boats designed to, or greatly influenced by the sq. m. rule I'd look at the 27' Tumlarens, designed by Mr. Reimers. To the best of my knowledge plans can be found with some searching.

    I also believe there may be some plans for a small(ish) Skerry cruiser available on the Uffa Foxsite but I don't have a link.
    The Skerries and Tumlarens are beautiful boats.
    Good Luck
  12. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Jammer Six, indeed, hardly anyone answer your question. Here everyone talks about what he wants to talk even if has nothing to do with the original question.
    Grey Ghost has given you three names, consult with them.
    In this forum there are other very good, no American, designers. For hes knowledge of hydrodynamics / aerodynamics, I have great faith in daiquiri. To copy an existing model, or scale it, is very easy, believe me. To design the most appropriate rig for the "new" design, is more difficult. That's where, in my opinion, you should be more careful.
    If you want a sailboat, you should look for a good designer of sailboats, possibly the type you want. Forget the beautiful designs motor boat or motor-sailing boats.
    Ask for the portfolio to each of the candidates and do not be amazed by the beautiful renderings; ask for actual photos of built boats, sailing in the sea.
  13. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Hi Jammer Six,

    First, thanks to Grey Ghost for including me in his list of suitable designers. Second, I have done a preliminary design of a composite Skerry Cruiser called the SC 40. You can see it on my website here:

    But to answer your question directly, here is what you do: As suggested above, you should write out your Statement of Requirements (SOR). This will be a list of everything you want in your new boat, all of the features, the method of construction, special hardware, anything and everything you want in your new boat. Include whether you want to build it yourself or have a professional builder build it. Include pictures of boats that you like that you have seen and studied and that have features that you want. Not every boat picture will have all the features that you want, of course, and that is why you are considering a custom design. But the compilation of pictures, together with your SOR, will give the naval architect a pretty complete picture of what you want. Put all this information into a single document, embedding the pictures therein.

    Then, go to the websites of some of the designers that you have heard about or know about on the advice of others. Get their contact information and give them a call or send an introductory email. You can include your SOR as an attachment. In your email, or in your phone call, ask the designer whether he has an interest in designing your boat, has the time to do it, and what his price would likely be. Just by talking on the phone or corresponding by email will quickly sort out which designers are more easy to deal with, or will be in the right ball park on price. Prices may vary considerably, and you want a designer that is both easy to work with and affordable. Based on the responses you get back, you should be able to select a designer that will meet your needs. As suggested above, you can ask for a sample of their work to see if they can provide the kind of detail that you want. I'd ask not only for pictures and references, but also for a sample construction drawing or two. A custom design requires a detailed set of plans (lots of plans!), and the easier the plans are to read, and the more organized they are, this is a reflection on the designer's ability.

    If you would like more information on how this process works, I wrote an article about that on my website. You can see it here:

    I hope that helps.

    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  14. Jammer Six

    Jammer Six Previous Member

    Thank you.

  15. philSweet
    Joined: May 2008
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    philSweet Senior Member

    You don't choose one. They aren't melons. You negotiate a contract. So you come to the table with the makings of a solicitation, regardless of how crude. Just know enough to know what you want and be able to know the right response when you here it. It's important that you can list the deliverables. If your expertise doesn't lie in naval drawings, then perhaps you want the designer to oversee the build. That means you are shopping for not just the design, but the entire procurement. It also means that the designer and the builder should be neighbors, or one and the same.

    We don't know any of those things, so we ask. When you answer, perhaps we can do better than the Yellowpages. The first three responses were perfectly reasonable. If they struck you as off the mark, bare with us for a bit and all the bits and pieces will come to gether. It's not unlike building a custom house.

    Please provide a brief description of what the boat will be doing, where it will sail, what features/appliances/comforts you wish, and what you want the designer to do. As others have mentioned, there are numerous small craft designers who can be reached though this forum.

    How does what you want compare to the recently built sqmtr Vortex?
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