What are the limits of a Yacht Designer?

Discussion in 'Education' started by FirthofForth, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Hi AdHoc. Looks like i may have posted my previous message far too soon! :) Yet more great feedback from yourself.

    I'm frankly fascinated to hear that these problems occur in the commercial sector as well as the recreational sector. Why is this? I would have thought that the commercial client would be much more discerning/picky/selective? In the pharmaceutical sector where I happen to work, vendor selecton for any type of service is subject to pretty rigorous controls and standard operating procedures. So what's going on here with these commercial projects?

    What size/type of commercial vessel are you typically seeing these problems in?

    I have to say as well when googling, not a lot seems to be coming up in terms of specific "design" contracts, though I have found one on "building", and I'm sure I'll unearth more as I keep digging. :)
     
  2. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    As Eric notes, money!..it is the same in all sectors/fields.

    In general, for my line of work, the owner (purchaser) of the vessel and the operator are not the same. Thus the owner wants a boat as cheap as possible…not interested in the best quality or advanced high tech wizardry that you may shout about. They only care about cost..cheaper the better.

    Whereas the operator, they want all the bells and whistles and more. They want eqpt that doesn’t breakdown after its warranty phase is over, they want the best of the best, for all sorts of reasons. Yet often left with a pig of a boat simply because it is cheap. In every sense of the word at times too.

    At my previous company we lost out on so many contracts, owing to price. We would have clients come to us saying they love our boats, love the quality love the design…but, not happy with the price. So we lost out on many…we were considered the Rolls Royce/Mercedes in quality & price compared to the Renault/Fords.

    Nothing, it is how it works.

    I recall the classic advert in the 70s of President Nixon with the caption..would you buy a second hand car from this guy?? Just because he’s the president does not equate to honesty/integrity. The same is true in my commercial field of yards/designers etc….being a known/name is no different. It is very cut throat out there with clients pushing down price and a yard/designer desperate for work, to undercut you, exacerbates this.

    All :eek:

    Just because the projects may run into tens of millions of dollars does not mean it is a squeaky clean highly professional market. There are many that are...but there are equally as many that are not.
     
  3. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Wow - well if that isn't an insight AdHoc I don't know what else is!

    Here I was naively thinking that all of the monster ships powering through the Straits of Malacca and Suez Canal were pinnacles of engineering design. I had always known that recreational craft were of varying quality, but had somehow always assumed that in the commercial sector, things would be much tighter?

    I see you're based in Japan, a country I normally associate with high quality engineering and production. So I'm assuming these problem yards/designers are to be found in other countries?
     
  4. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    That's not my field, so I can't say 100% for sure. But generally these 'bigger' and 'slower' commercial vessels are well made, owing to vast sums of money involved there is a lot of oversight.

    They exist anywhere. With clients only too willing to opt for a cheaper option, location makes no difference!
     
  5. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Hi Ad Hoc. Thanks very much for clarifying that! Are you able to elaborate on what typical vessels you attend to in your field, size/type/function? I only ask as I would be interested to know what sort of commercial vessels other non N.A qualified designers are trying to tackle in your market space. If not though, don't worry I can understand. I greatly appreciate all of the feedback you've given me anyway!
     
  6. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    I do just about any type of boat, but, generally it falls into: anything high speed and novel....and the designs may have 1, 2 or 3 hulls and ranging from: SAR to fast ferries to patrol boats to work boats to paramilitary boats, and from around 15m - 70m in length.
     
  7. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Thanks for sharing that Ad Hoc. That's quite a range, containing some pretty interesting vessels.
     
  8. rxcomposite
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    rxcomposite Senior Member

    Yes they are but this is where the NA is pushed to the limit. The NA's working on this types are only a small part of the group. The engineering divisions that design these ships comprises of Structural engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Marine Engineers, Electrical Engineers, and sometimes Statisticians or Mathematicians. It takes a lot of disciplines to come up with the right solution.

    For comparison, I used to work in a small Marine Engineering group of around 20 persons. Though the head is a senior NA, plus 2 or more junior NA, the group is usually, Electrical engineer, Mechanical engineer, and Civil engineer plus loads of draftsman especializing on marine drafting.
     
  9. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Thanks very much for that valuable insight rxcomposite!

    It reminds me of an interesting conversation I had with a highly experienced NA who kindly let me bend his ear a few months back on a different subject. However in the course of our conversation, he alluded to the same multidisiplinary nature of such teams. I think in his particular case, he had found himself increasingly being focused in the design and management of ship electronic and automated systems, some of which involved a lot of programming.

    In the end he transitioned to the world of surveying and boat repair. I think his perspective was that at least that way he could consider the whole vessel rather than just one small aspect of it.

    I think this is what TANSL was partially alluding to in post 19. The time of the Renaissance Man is long gone! Society needs us to be a specialist in the right or left toe nail but not both!
     
  10. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Southampton Solent University (not to be confused with University of Southampton) has a three year course accredited by RINA leading to a BEng (Hons) Yacht and Powercraft Design. http://www.solent.ac.uk/courses/201...wercraft-design-beng/course-details.aspx#tab1
    This is a well-established engineering degree that aims to produce graduates with the theoretical understanding and design skills of a professional naval architect working in the yacht and small craft industry. This could range from designing small racing sailing yachts through to a billionaire’s superyacht or patrol boats and commercial craft.​
    Southampton Solent University also has a three year course leading to a BEng (Hons) Yacht Design and Production. http://www.solent.ac.uk/courses/201...-and-production-beng/course-details.aspx#tab1 The Landing School has an arrangement for graduates of their one year design diploma program to continue to study at Southampton Solent University. http://www.landingschool.edu/academics/degree/bachelor.html

    The University of Southampton has a number of courses in Ship Science leading to BEng (three years) and MEng (four years) with various areas of specialization. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/undergraduate/courses/ship_science.shtml It appears that the courses are accredited by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers. One of the courses leads to MEng Ship Science / Naval Architecture http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engine...642_meng_ship_science_naval_architecture.page and another leads to MEng Ship Science / Yacht and Small Craft http://www.southampton.ac.uk/engine..._meng_ship_science_yacht_and_small_craft.page

    The University of Southampton courses appear to cover engineering and technical fundamentals in more depth than the Southampton Solent University courses.
     
  11. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Hi David, thanks very much for your comprehensive post.

    Yes you're quite right, those are outstanding courses. I also have the university of Strathclyde in Glasgow just down the road from me, and as everyone knows Glasgow needs no introduction in terms of its Maritime Pedigree. However all of these courses are full time.

    Around two years ago, I developed a dreadful case of "boat-itis", which has resulted in me checking out boat yards, visiting harbours, obtaining half-hulls, building models, and stock piling various assortments of ship plans, not to mention books! It's quite clear this interest of mine isn't going anywhere and will be here to stay for many years. I'm getting to the point now though where basic reading isn't enough. I really need to start understanding about the principles being applied to the creation of these vessels in general, and I want to try my hand at it. So as a result, I really need some type of professional training.

    I'm a family man in my mid 30s, with an established well-paying career in another sector, so I have to be realistic about what I'm aiming to achieve. For me the goal is not necessarily to supplant my current career. That would be unwise, and unrealistic. My idea is to create a second career or professional outlet on the side. Satisfaction being the main objective, not necessarily monetary gain, though some monetary gain would surely be nice. However whatever I do I always believe in doing it professionally to the absolute best of my abilities.

    At present, I have the option of either:

    1. Pursuing a part time undergraduate degree in engineering on the side, which I can do here in the U.K, which can also lead to Chartered Engineer status, and then following it up with an MTEC in Marine Engineering at one of the known schools of NA in the U.K.

    OR

    2. Opting for a Westlawn or MacNaughton diploma. Landing is out due to the residential requirements.

    They are two very different approaches. Establishing the realistic limits and requirements of a non N.A yacht/small boat designer were important for me to know to make a decision.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2014
  12. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    FoF,

    Well considering your domestic situation and also the above, then perhaps as an interim of sorts to whet the appetite, this may suffice:

    http://www.lloydsmaritimeacademy.com/event/naval-architecture-distance-learning

    It is not a 'full on' course, but does provide you with a taster of NA and see if it is indeed what you're looking for.
     
  13. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Thanks Ad Hoc. Yes this was actually one of the first courses I looked at. I remain very interested in it.

    Initially when I first starting investigating it, I had some substantial concerns around the use of the name "Lloyds" and so made some direct inquiries with both Lloyd's of London, and Lloyd's Maritime Academy, both of whom satsified my concerns.

    For anyone like me, reading this post at a later point, I'd just like to clarify that the two are not the same organisation. The Lloyd’s trademark used by Lloyd's Maritime Academy is in reference to Lloyd’s List - the worlds oldest newspaper created in 1734 showing shipping lists and activities. It was originally published under Lloyd’s List Publishing (LLP) which was merged with an events company IBC Group in 1998, creating Informa group plc. Lloyd's Maritime Academy is a division of Informa group plc.

    Their head of distance learning advised me that "academically accredited courses go through the necessary procedures relevant to the academic partner for that particular course. The certificate courses that LMA awards are developed in line with market interests and relevant industry bodies provide their support where appropriate to ensure a suitable quality level is established and maintained".

    In the case of that course I believe it is RINA. It is listed on their website, and the course director is a highly respected Naval Architect.

    Meanwhile Lloyd's of London responded as follows:
    "We do indeed have a licence agreement with Informa under which they are permitted to use the Lloyd’s name and this includes Lloyd’s Maritime Academy."

    So hence all seems above board.
     
  14. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    FoF

    Indeed...it is nothing like a real NA degree course. BUT...its does look like it gives you a good introduction into NA and what is required. After which you can decide how far to take it. The depth wont be there, but treat it like a basic apprenticeship...
     

  15. FirthofForth
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    FirthofForth Junior Member

    Thanks Ad Hoc. I think that's a very good suggestion. I have to say as well if you as an NA like the look of it as a basic introduction, then that's re-assuring.

    The following phrase from the brochure struck me as quite interesting "the premise of the naval architect’s role has evolved over the centuries from traditional artist and designer to highly skilled engineer." Written by the Course Director - himself a Fellow of RINA.

    This implies that they started out much more like today's boat designers, before evolving into engineers. I suppose that's why N.A is the only engineering discipline not to be called "engineering" then? Tradition has stuck?
     
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