Superyacht Design Costs

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Mat-C, May 20, 2010.

  1. Willallison
    Joined: Oct 2001
    Posts: 3,590
    Likes: 130, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2369
    Location: Australia

    Willallison Senior Member

    Yes - thanks Gonzo - the cost of the "materials" can vary greatly - it was more the cost of the designers themselves that I think Mat was thinking of...
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,507
    Likes: 659, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    I think that NA and builders are more consistent in prices than interior designers.
     
  3. nemo
    Joined: Apr 2002
    Posts: 132
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 137
    Location: GENOA, ITALY

    nemo Naval Architect

    I was talking about a 20million construction budget, the final price is another thing.. anyway, since there is a gap between € and $, I think we are talking about the same figures..

    Regarding your original question, I am afraid there isn't a straight answer.. however, I believe 3% for the styling and GA is a bit too much (leaving apart the top end designers).. normally what you get is a GA, exterior 3D model (note that often they don't give the model to the shipyard, which will have to rebuild their own), some detail design as it may be necessary (i.e. external furniture, awnings, handrails..) and a certain amount of meetings with the shipyard and owner's representatives to check how things are going on. Their responsibilities are very limited, as they tend to blame the shipyard if anything goes wrong. For example, I recently had to put pillars where they didn't foreseen them in their design, but it was clearly impossible to have such a span without them.
     
  4. Mat-C
    Joined: May 2007
    Posts: 255
    Likes: 12, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 141
    Location: Australia

    Mat-C Senior Member

    I agree... 3% does sound a lot... hence the question, as this is the figure I've heard. Even 1% sounds rather a lot... 200K for the work you mention...??
     
  5. MechaNik
    Joined: Jan 2011
    Posts: 139
    Likes: 5, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 62
    Location: Greece, Italy

    MechaNik Senior Member

    1% would not be a lot for the total design bill (might as well be a yacht broker). You can break it down many ways but 6-8% of the construction costs would be closer to what a client should expect to pay in design and consultation fees for a yacht in that size range.
    It is just a significant amount of work with a lot of variations but does not equate to a great hourly rate.
    Paying a proven design team a premium royalty to produce another successful vessel is considered well worth it. Start right finish right.
    Besides, are they building a boat or a status symbol?
     
  6. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
    Posts: 5,852
    Likes: 290, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1749
    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Dont forget, a really talented designer can increase a boats value dramatically, by making it more visually appealing, it makes the selling/resale value much higher. People with that kind of money will appreciate a more attractive design.
     
  7. Kaluvic
    Joined: Jan 2010
    Posts: 123
    Likes: 3, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 32
    Location: Yemen and Lebanon

    Kaluvic New guy

    I recently contacted a well known NA and asked about design costs for a 20-22 meter sail boat...He confirmed 100 USD an hour and said that a good rule of thumb is 8.5%.
     
  8. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 2,303
    Likes: 185, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2281
    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    I'm not sure that makes sense......

    There are some huge variables involved but......

    Design hours for a 65'-72' (20-22m) sailing yacht will be approximately 14-1600 man hours...including a standard (yacht level) interior design.....this includes engineering to class but not Classification itself. Features like lifting keel, tank or wind tunnel testing, fancy interior, and ultralight displacement will increase design effort (hours) and thus cost......

    The current cost of building a high-quality custom sailing yacht in the 65'-72' range will be at least $3.5-4m usd, 8.5% of that is approximately $300-340k, while the cost at $100/hr equals $140-160k? Seems a large profit margin?
     
  9. MechaNik
    Joined: Jan 2011
    Posts: 139
    Likes: 5, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 62
    Location: Greece, Italy

    MechaNik Senior Member

    So how many designers actually charge by a percentage of the build costs, rather than using it as an indication to scare away tire kickers?

    If you did do it this way, then surely you would need a rather comprehensive scope of supply and then, at that stage why couldn't it be costed? Assuming that it is the type of project your firm normally deals with.

    Although if I was to charge by a percentage of a project cost, I would hope there was significant margin in it to see me through all the drivel associated with yacht building. So rarely do boats finish up exactly as first drafted.
     
  10. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 14,507
    Likes: 659, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    Charging a percentage of the cost is falling in disfavor. Savvy customers want a total cost on contract. Builders and designers have little encouragement to build fast and efficiently if they make less money that way.
     
  11. Eric Sponberg
    Joined: Dec 2001
    Posts: 2,003
    Likes: 207, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2917
    Location: On board Corroboree

    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    I don't know of any naval architects or designers these days that charge as a percentage of construction cost, and that is because most designs, really, never get built. If we waited for construction, we'd never get paid. Plus, the construction can take years, and that would mean spreading the design fee out over too long a time.

    Usually, a naval architect charges a fee either as a fixed price or as direct hourly time plus expenses. The design is usually paid for by the time the last drawings are done, and these are usually finished before the boat is built. If the naval architect is required to be on task during the construction, then there is usually another clause in the contract that covers time and travelling expenses to handle that work. Again, that is an hourly rate plus expenses that is over and above the design fee.

    Eric
     

  12. Tad
    Joined: Mar 2002
    Posts: 2,303
    Likes: 185, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 2281
    Location: Flattop Islands

    Tad Boat Designer

    Years ago I worked in an office that charged a percentage of build cost as a design fee.....it was 6% for custom designs......The reality was that this was a fixed fee.......The client always wanted to know the design fee right away, and the design contract was signed long before a build contract was created.....so we guessed what the boat might cost to build (before it was even designed) and asked for a fee based on that.......of course our build cost made no sense in many parts of the world.....I remember our cost estimate for a 100' schooner was about $4m (based on build cost in Maine) and the Brazilian yard was doing the entire boat for something like $600k.......They rejected our design proposal as fabulously expensive.....

    In later years we would go through the exercise of estimating design hours......but in custom design with builders you may not know, everyone had different requirements....especially when you add owner's, project managers, owner's wives, owner's friends, owner's girlfriends, interior designers, classification societies, and a million sub-contractors into the requirements to be met......

    An hourly rate is the fair way to do it.....but find an owner willing to give you a blank cheque.......

    So I currently charge a contract fee (fixed) for a defined amount of work, and payment is based on delivery of drawings......
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.