naval architects & professional conduct

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by watchkeeper, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Again, beg to differ. Big aircraft type military contracts and Supertanker-esque to one side...

    The norm is a GA a Specification and the material weight. That is all.

    The estimator, as noted by D above, is already well versed in the construction, engineering and procurement and design of said vessel. Thus has many 'fudge' factors up his/her sleeve to account for aspects which normally come out in details of said type of vessel. Because s/he knows what is required and doesn't need detailed dwgs to second guess the costing. This is what separates a pen pusher from a quality estimator.

    Detailed dwgs, sure nice to have...but who is going to pay the NA to produce a full set of detailed dwgs which can take many months, and not even get a one does it. I provide clients estimates of my total costs and even their total build cost, if requested, without detailed dwgs.

    A good estimator is as invaluable as a good naval architect.
  2. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    New details revealed the NA in question is not a qualified NA or structural engineer nor apparently even worked in a dwg office but is designing commercial veesels including ferries.

    Facts are the person is bankrupt and fled ANZ, and failed to advise his clients of his lack of qualifications or training, a serious omission when being contracted to design a commercial crew vessel.

    There is obviously something amiss with ANZ Govt stds when an untrained, unqualified and by definition unskilled individual can set themselve up as 'boat designers' in ANZ then accept contracts to design public ferries and commercial vessels while not legally required to advise generally or their client specifically that they are not qualified and or trained.

    What next....I reckon I could easily design a 350Pax passenger airliner and I'll call it Titanic
  3. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
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    BPL Senior Member

    If your client / operator of this commercial vessel doesn't have any experience either (which it sounds like from what you say they've accepted and contracted without requirements for any drawings or qualifications), it could be for the best to walk away and not be left holding the bag.
  4. MikeJohns
    Joined: Aug 2004
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    Location: Australia

    MikeJohns Senior Member

    You cannot call yourself a PEng without a degree but 'Competence' is all that's required to call yourself a NA.The problem is that there are a lot of different paths to becoming an NA and not only a degree in NA. For example a lot of NA's studied Mech or even Civil Engineering at University for their base degree and then worked in shipyards and gained their 'competence'.

    Ultimately if you take on a ANZ naval architect ask them if they are a PEng or not. Even membership of the society of naval architects is not a great indicator of competence. But the institute of engineers is.

    Ultimately it's the level of professional indemnity insurance you will be most interested in. The insurance companies won't want to know you unless you can demonstrate competence to them, and in turn the courts should a claim arise.
  5. JRMacGregor
    Joined: Oct 2005
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    Location: Scotland, UK

    JRMacGregor Junior Member

    Agree it sounds like the client/owner was inexperienced. But maybe the yard cannot walk away without breaching its own contractual obligations.

    Its a bit difficult to comment properly on the subject without knowing the content of the contracts. The standard shipbuilding contracts mentioned by other posters above are not directly relevant - the only contract that is relevant is the contract the yard signed in this case.

    The yard will have signed a contract A with the client which puts obligations on the yard to deliver a boat.

    Since this is apparently not a design & build contract, then in this yard/client contract A there should be obligations on the client to deliver the design to the yard.

    If the scope/extent of that design package is not well defined in that contract, then the yard has a problem, because the yard still has to deliver the boat - even if the owner delivers only a few sketches, unless the yard can prove that there was a different agreement in place with regard to the package to be provided by the owner.

    That would put the onus on the yard to fill the gap between whatever design the owner/client provides and what the yard requires. Due to variations in designers and yards there is a lot of risk of a gap in all such projects.

    There will be (or should be) another contract B between the client and the "designer" which defines what the client is going to get, and thus pass on to the yard.

    In an ideal world, the definitions of the design package contained in contracts A and B would be the same. If they are not....................!!!

    Unfortunately for the yard, the contract B is not really their business and it does not matter too much what is contained therein. The yard obligations and client obligations to the yard are defined in contract A alone.

    I am sure the original poster knows all this (and it has been explained by others above already). But it means that the yard is not really in a position to pursue matters with the client's dodgy designer. The yard's real argument/problem is with the owner and not with this designer.

    Sorry to state the obvious. It must be a difficult situation.

    The good news is that in this case it seems as if the client and the yard are mutually trying to solve the problems caused by the failure of the client's designer.
    1 person likes this.
  6. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    You have fairly much summed it up and in this case the owner's unfortunately shopped for a NA/designer on the web and then failed to followup their short listed selection with due diligence or even question the individual they did finally select about his experience developing simular vessels previously (he has none) or talk to yards he had worked with.

    And experience is a another grey area - the vessel in question is a long way from the usual boats the individual/draftsman had previously developed having a completely different requirment for a much more robust structural design, that I believe the supplied design falls a long way short of meeting.
  7. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    I would say that use of naval architect title is confusing; it should be limited to those having formal degree and/or proper PE licence.

    Some facts:
    - confusion between 'boat designer' term, 'marine design' degree and official NA degree;
    - correspondence schools (like Westlawn) claiming they give education in naval architecture (without any NA with degree involved in tuition!); definitely they are not or limited by small boat size for non-commercial use;
    - Lloyd's Maritime Academy started giving correspondence 6-months course in 'naval architecture'; what title alumni will use, can one guess?? :)
    - in some countries like France, there are no NA's and anyone can use the title. Look at IFAN (French institution of 'naval architects') website - most of people there are whoever but not trained as naval architects.

    I have met many people claiming they are naval architects but they are not in close look; just working as draughtsman at boatyard does not make anyone a naval architect. This situation is definitely damaging the industry...
  8. Submarine Tom

    Submarine Tom Previous Member

    A couple of expressions come to mind:

    "Buyer beware" and

    "A fool and his/her money are easily parted."
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    WestLawn doesn't make this claim, but do claim to train yacht designers.

  10. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Location: Thailand

    Alik Senior Member

    They do; read any of their interviews or posts on this website. Yes, on their website they do not say it clearly. Also 'yacht designer' in my understanding does not cover commercial vessels.
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