Requirements for being a Yacht Designer

Discussion in 'Education' started by Stamford86, May 5, 2010.

  1. Stamford86
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    Stamford86 New Member

    Hi there, forum users.
    I'm a student fo 3rd grade of Naval Engineering of the UPM (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Psain). As part of a study I'm making for one of my university subjects, I need to speak with a Yacht Designer, as it is the branch of Naval Engineering I'd like to fucus my studies.
    I'd would be great if any of you, any yacht designer, could dedicate me a few minutes for answering a few questions via email, questions as what programs do you use often for yacht designing, or what previous knowledges do you need...

    Thanks for your attention
     
  2. conceptia
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    conceptia Naval Architect

    can you be specific over your queries?
     
  3. Stamford86
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    Stamford86 New Member

    Well Conceptia, It would be great if I can speak with you via email. BUt here are my queries:
    As Naval Architect or Yacht Designer:
    What do you do in your day work?
    What tool do you use? CAD tools, as Autocad, or Rhinoceros.
    What knowledgements that you adquire in the University do use more often?
    What skills do you need for being a top notch designer?

    and some other questions

    Thanks for your attention.
     
  4. zeroname
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    zeroname Naval Architect

    Become a student member of RINA ( www.rina.org.uk)
    Their Magazines are excellent and cover answers to all of ur queries too.It also publish an interview of a well-stablish personals in this sector.They will send magazines to your home.

    If you dont want to be a member , you can read their Magazine online too.Continue to read you will know more than your queries.
     
  5. quicksail
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    quicksail Junior Member

    Stamford86:

    My advice to you is get the highest amount od education you can in school, engineering degree, masters .... The reason I say this is that in todays world more and more liability is being placed on naval architects and "yacht designers". If you ever want to open your own office at some point I figure you will have to meet some sort of regional certification. The days of "amatuer" yacht designers is fading as more and more recreational owners, builders and the commercial world all want more for there money and want someone to sign off on it and that it will hold up in the court of law.

    Just imagine yourself looking to build anything larger than 40 ft it is a significant investment. Now would you go to the guy in his basement that knows the CAD programs and the basic knowledge of structure and design or would you go to the guy that stamps and sign his name on the calculations and drawings, which make him liable for any failures of that vessel in the future (approx. 8 years here).

    Most naval architects and yacht designers alike use cad software to draw now. 3d modelling is the future so learn as much as you can. Structural scantling calculations are also used a lot with more and more validation via FEA software so learn that too. Just remember everything is built of of first principles and you need to know this to properly use these FEA programs. Finally some artistic talent is always good to both get your point across in drawings and to design eye pleasing vessels. Finally, learn as much as possible. This industry is made up of know it all types that may or may not know what they are talking about. Read industry magazines and reports as well as the boring studies and technical reports. You will become the smartest sounding guy when you pull some reference to a technical study on the docks somewhere. It is amazing how many times you can expose the local "expert" just by apply some common sense and basic engineering principles.

    I appologize for the run on reply but these are the realities of the industry as I see it being a young professional working in this industry. Good luck and if you wish to make a lot of money get out now while you still can!
     
  6. Stamford86
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    Stamford86 New Member

    Thanks QuickSail, your post its quite helpful.

    But there is another question I'd like to ask: what makes de difference between a completly unkown designer and a world class one? Is just that the world class have more engineering knowledge than the other? or the creative skill and the artistic talent have a lot to do with?

    Thanks.
     
  7. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    You will need to read a lots, and to study a lots - every day until you retire. The world is moving forward at a steady pace, whenever you stop or slow down, you actually go backwards.

    You will also need to learn how to critically review the existing designs, in order to understand the reasons behind various design choices and the ways they could be improved.

    And, you will need to learn the Noble Art of Selling Yourself.
     
  8. conceptia
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    conceptia Naval Architect

    daiquiri you said. I just remembered an old proverb.. "the man who graduates today and stops learning tomorrow is uneducated the day after." :)
     
  9. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    In today's world term 'yacht designer' is usually applied to persons having no formal education in the field. To become a 'yacht designer' today one needs to download free software, and speak confdently about boats :)

    Speaking about naval architects working in boat design field, one should understand that 'small boats is small money'. But some of us do it - mostly becasue we've got a passion for boats.

    So, the only thing TS needs is a passion for yacht design, other components of success will come sooner or later.
     
  10. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

  11. quicksail
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    quicksail Junior Member

    Great article Eric. It really hits the nail on the head in terms of what the industry is about. Daiquiri your comments couldn't be more true.

    Stamford86 you are probably seeing a common thread here. The main difference I see between a good designer and a great one is like Eric said in his article, CREDIBILITY. There are many good and even great designers working in offices all over the world. Most are working under someone else's name. The reason for this is two fold; one is that the firm's founder has a reputation for designing great/fast/beautiful/ground breaking designs and has a list of previous vessels or two, they are good at selling themselves and are "fashionable" to the clientel who buys boats. Either way usually all firms are supported by talented employees working in the background.

    The usual route for a yacht designer is to work in a firm under someone and "learn" the skills and then if you are brave enough strike out and start your own design office. If you have been envolved with enough projects at a reasonable level people will be more inclined to commision you to design their boat. It takes time and a little bit of luck but that's life.

    Have fun and good luck.
     
  12. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    I would add a couple of things:

    You need to have a real passion and a lot of experience of the boats you want to design. Don't even entertain dreams of designing a race boat unless you have a lot of sea miles on race boats and the same with cruising - the best designs incorporate your experience.

    Then take some time to work in a yard that builds or even repairs the sort of boats you want to design. Time spent in the bilge or other 'intimate' parts of boat will be reflected in your designs.

    Don't worry too much about all the cry of litigation and qualifications. Most highly qualified 'Naval Architects' spend their time doing boring boat surveys as they have no creativity to offer the design process. The successful designers are often (but not always) very well qualified, but they all have the ability to dream up boats that the market wants and then to design them so boat builders can produce them at a price the market can afford. This knowledge of the market and empathy with the requirements of the builders comes from real practical experience.

    Go to a RINA yacht conference or even a MaxSurf users meeting and look at the watches on the wrists of well known small craft designers. Invariably they are splattered with resin, burnt by welding sparks or faded from too much sun and sea. All 'the smart suits' will be qualified as 'designers' but they earn their crust by working as surveyors / lecturers / industry or government regulators, etc. At the end of each working day, they might be able to look lovingly at all their framed certificates (and probably a healthy bank account!), but rarely will they be able to look out over an anchorage and spot their creations riding to their rodes.
     
  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    This is quite correct, but best combination is both qualifications and real-world experience. I know few amateur designers who spent years (and lot of customers' money!) to understand basics that are covered by introduction courses in naval arctitecture.
     
  14. b1ck0
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    b1ck0 Senior Member

    Being a designer and Naval Archtect is two different things.
    The designer can design anything, it's a natural gift ...
    The Naval Architect is the man who makes the initial design to become a real boat.
     

  15. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Not agree.

    In naval architect's profession we should put more attention to word architect that defines creative part of the job. Naval architect is not just appendix to calculator as some designers without proper qualifications used to think. Naval architect is both: creative and qualified specialist.

    In our practice, I never touch the concepts developed by 'designers': if they think they can design anything, let them provide complete package of plans, calculations and specifications :D You can't? Don't waste customer's money and time then...
     
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