Naval Architecture vs. Yacht Design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by dishsail, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Chandler,

    Yes, my naval architecture degree (University of Michigan, 1971) is an engineering degree. Naval architecture is an accredited 4-year college engineering degree, therefore, I can call myself a naval architect. Although small craft designers such as those from the Landing School, Westlawn, or McNaughton, do practice the principles of naval architecture, they are best described as just that, small craft designers or yacht designers. This is a generally accepted, although not universal, definition, a point that I think has been made earlier in this thread.

    The definitions take on a much more serious importance with the advent of PE licensing now available in naval architecture and marine engineering (a concept for us that has pros and cons). The prerequisite for taking the PE exams (there are two) is a 4-year college engineering degree. So there are legal ramifications about the titles.

    Eric
     
  2. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Eric,
    In the USA, Is of any use to be a Member of the SNAME to the end of getting a PE?
     
  3. Raggi_Thor
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    Raggi_Thor Nav.arch/Designer/Builder

    This was an interesting thought, that lack of knowledge should set the mind free... I agree with Eric and others, it's probably the opposite, the more you know the more you can imagine. It's like the actors say, good improvisation requires a lot of practice and rehearsal.
     
  4. atahawaii
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    atahawaii Naval Architect, P. E.

    This does not sound right. Some naval architect's are very imagnative and extremely creative. Some are pioneers in stepping out of the box. It is also to their advantage that they have an educated background, because they can sift out unfeasible ideas very quickly.
     
  5. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    I think if you are a SNAME member, you get a discount on the PE review course they run. Otherwise, there is no connection.
     
  6. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    As a professional, I think it is always worthwhile to be a member of your national professional society. SNAME actually writes the second PE exam (two different versions, called the Principles and Practices exam for naval architecture and marine engineering) and they sell them to an organization called National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES). The NCEES provides the exams to the separate states, who administer the exams to the examinees. The NCEES grades the exams, but the states issue the PE licenses based on passing exam grades. So our licenses are state licenses, not federal licenses. This causes problems because each state's laws are different, and the PE does not necessarily transfer easily from one state to another. That's the gist of how the system works. SNAME does provide a study course for the second of the PE which is offered to anyone who wants to take it, but it is much less expensive to SNAME members, as Chris Barry said.

    There are, of course, other benefits to being a member, if only to stay abreast of the issues facing the industry. I have been a member of SNAME since 1968, joining when I was in college, and I paid for life member status in 1974 shortly before moving to England for a 3-year stint with Exxon Corporation. At that time, shortly after I arrived, I joined the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) in the UK, and I have maintained my corporate membership status with RINA ever since. This evolved into getting the CEng. license in the UK when RINA merged with the Engineering Council. Therefore, I am aware of developments in the UK by virtue of receiving the RINA publications. I don't know that I get too much benefit from that, nor have I had opportunities in the past to contribute. But I hold out the hope that as my career progresses, perhaps I will get more use out of my RINA membership. I do have a fondness for the UK, and soon, when I am through paying for my children's college tuition (many thousands of dollars leave my wallet every year--in fact, I have only one more payment to make!!) I hope to travel back there more frequently.

    Eric
     
  7. Robert Gainer
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    Robert Gainer Designer/Builder

    I did not know that you could be a member of SNAME if you were not an engineer or NA. I am a yacht designer in New York can I become a member?
     
  8. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Robert,

    There are 4 main grades of membership, in descending order: Member, Affiliate, Associate, and Student. You would likely qualify for Affiliate Membership, certainly Associate membership. Go to www.sname.org for more information.

    Eric
     
  9. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

    Thanks a lot for the info, Eric.
     
  10. Toby P
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    Toby P Junior Member

    Eric,
    I am a RINA member and Chartered Naval Architect in the UK. It is good to see you enjoyed your time here and kept up your RINA membership! I was thinking of reciprocating and joining SNAME. Is it worth it? How do the journals and papers from SNAME compare to RINA? Although now working exclusively in large ships, my degree specialised more in small craft (tugs, yachts, high speed catamarans etc) and sailboat design is definitely where my heart is.
     
  11. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    For the ship naval architect, I think SNAME is very good, and probably every bit as good as RINA. For small craft, it is less so. However, there has been a long standing committee on small craft naval architecture, and a selection of small craft papers is available from SNAME on CD, containing over 300 papers of the more than 500 that have been published.

    There are two regular journals that all members get as a result of membership: The quarterly MARINE TECHNOLOGY, which contains society news and reviews, and a selection of technical papers. These papers are taken from the various section meetings (the country is divided into sections, and each section has monthly meetings at which one paper, usually, is presented.) The papers in Mt are not judged papers, that is, they do not have comments by other members and rebuttals. The other journal is the annual, called TRANSACTIONS, which is the collection of technical papers presented at the annual meeting, held every year in the autumn at different locations around the country. These papers are judged. There are also other journals that you may subscribe to for extra money, for example, the Journal of Ship Production. So as a technical resource, SNAME is very good.

    One thing I have noticed in recent years is that the papers that have been written are not very practical. That is, the subject may be interesting, but there is little practical use that can be made of the material presented because the authors leave out critical parts of the science. That is, if you want to employ the idea that they describe, you have to hire them to do the work. This is unlike the situation some 30-40 years ago and more, where papers were of more practical use, such as Savitsky's paper on planing powerboats.

    As for small craft design, there are resources, such as the Chesapeake Sailing Yacht Symposium that occurs every two years and of which SNAME is a partner. Sometimes these are useful and interesting.

    I would say that you could join SNAME for a few years and see if you like what you see. If so, continue, and if not, drop it.

    Eric
     
  12. CDBarry
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    CDBarry Senior Member

    SCC T&R Committee

    If you have any comments or ideas about what SCC should be doing, you should probably contact the chair directly. I think he will probably be willing to listen, especially to you. Thank you, by the way, for your recent assistance. I highly commend you for taking the time and effort.
     

  13. Toby P
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    Toby P Junior Member

    Thanks fort that Eric. I think I'll bite the bullet and give it a go.
     
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