Yacht Design School?

Discussion in 'Education' started by USRower, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Dave, what does this accreditation mean? Do Westlawn graduates now meet an education requirement to be regular RINA members? Does RINA consider Westlawn to be equivalent to a university degree program? If so what type of degree program?
     
  2. dgerr
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    dgerr Senior Member

    Yes. Graduates of Westlawn Institutes full Yacht & Boat Design program are now eligible for full membership in RINA.

    A degree program, by definition in the U.S., includes all the general education courses in subjects such as history, languages, etc. Westlawn only offers the core or major subject matter courses, no gen ed course, so it is not a degree.

    Dave Gerr, Director
    Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology
    www.westlawn.edu
     
  3. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is incorrect.

    It helps you get along the way, but in no way does it automatically provide one with the assurance of becoming a full member , ie MRINA.

    To become a full member is a 2 fold requirement, academic and industrial training.

    The industrial training requires the applicant to demonstrate professionalism and competency in carrying out the daily tasks of a naval architect, with a broad range of disciplines. This is signed off and witness by a full member/mentor.

    The academic side, or graduates of an academic course, in the words of RINA, for clear clarification:

    ”.. A graduate of the Southampton University will not qualify for full membership until he or she has achieved the required professional competence through appropriate training and experience, although given the opportunity, we would expect them to do so in 3-4 years. Similarly, a graduate of the Westlawn course will not achieve full membership on the basis of the course, but must achieve the same level of professional competence….”

    You need to be clear on what you’re telling students what they can realistically expect to achieve through the Westlawn school, with regards to professional memberships.
     
  4. dgerr
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    dgerr Senior Member

    Thanks Ad Hoc for your clarification. You are correct and it's important to be precise about these things. I should have said:

    Graduates of Westlawn Institute's full Yacht & Boat Design program are now eligible for full membership in RINA under the same terms as graduates from other colleges.

    Dave Gerr, Director
    Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology
    www.westlawn.edu
     
  5. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    David, i think you're missing the point again.

    I’ll reiterate RINA’s comments, verbatim, from RINA

    "The degree course at Southampton University, say, will fully meet the academic requirements, whilst the course at Westlawn will only contribute towards meeting the requirement, and implicitly must be “supplemented” by other courses..."

    So graduates of other degree programs, in the US such as at Michigan, SIT etc, would be the same as graduates of Southampton’s degree program. Westlawn is not a degree, hence RINA’s comment that it must be supplemented by other courses, on the academic side of membership eligibility.

    Westlawn is a step in the right direction, but the Y&B program does not provide automatic eligibility to full membership academically speaking.
     
  6. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    I wonder just where a Westlawn small boat designer would really fit in the industry? There are a lot of gaps in the course as far as NA is concerned.

    Significantly how much standing would a Westlawn grad get articulating to a NA degree?

    That more than anything should illuminate the gap between the courses. I suspect it will be some of the first year general subjects of a 4 year course.
     
  7. alanrockwood
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    alanrockwood Senior Member

    Following up on my last post, the person I talked to had gone through the Landing School and then obtained a degree in Naval architecture. He was also of the opinion that Westlawn was probably comparable to the Landing School.

    He had several interesting comments. The first thing he said was that the Naval architecture degree would not necessarily prepare you with all you need to know to be a good yacht designer because there are many aspects of yacht design that are covered in a yacht design program that were not covered in his naval architecture program. He also said that a yacht design program will bring a person up to a certain level very fast. However, he also said that using what you learn in a yacht design you can design good boats that are safe within the range covered by the training, but he would not feel comfortable in attempting a design outside that range based on the training in the yacht design program. Also the yacht design program is not calculus based.

    The naval architecture program is based more on first principles, including calculus, and can be used on a wider range of boats, ships, etc. It would also be applicable to small craft, but the naval architecture program did not cover small craft and would therefore require some kind of adaption of the principles to apply them to small boats.

    He left the impression that both programs gave very good training, and he was happy with both programs, but the training was different in the two programs.

    I guess the bottom line is that both are good. They do not cover all of the same material, though there is some overlap. Depending on what one's goals are, one program or the other would be better. Of course, if one has the time, money, and inclination one could go through both sets of training, as did the person I talked to.

    By the way, he has been working as a naval architect in the defense industry for a number of years, but now he wants to get back into working with small craft.
     
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  8. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    Yes the small boat design courses teach a limited set of abilities in the field of naval architecture.

    Significantly it's approach is based on following clear understandable construction rules written for any laymen to understand.
    Without engineering fundamentals you have a very definite limit to your design abilities.
    You can also fall into traps because you don't understand the structural nature of the collection of parts that you size from the rules. Or even if they are actually required, for an example look at my post here:

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/metal-boat-building/massive-stem-bars-why-31955-4.html#post463751

    A NA's approach is usually a combination of rule based, and specific design, followed by analysis.

    Without learning some very fundamental first principles that Westlawn doesn't even touch on, you couldn't hope to accomplish a lot of the work that falls to NA's.
     
  9. alanrockwood
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    alanrockwood Senior Member


    I am sure that what you say is true. By the same token, based on my discussion with someone who has had both types of training, a Naval architect is not trained to accomplish a lot of the work that a yacht designer does. Of course, it is always possible to learn what one does not already know.
     
  10. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    No different to a medical student. They learn the fundamentals.. then gradate and go to hospital for clinical training…once that has been done…they can then specialise, with on the job training and education. Same is true for NA. We are taught the basic fundamentals. If one specialises in small craft design….it just requires more training to understand the nuances and particulars of that type of craft. But the understanding of fluids, structures, stability etc, remain the same..just different ways of applying them.

    I don’t understand why many think a degree in NA is a carte blanch “degree” that covers all fields of design to be a yacht designer to a supertanker designer. Like medicine, the degree, it provides you the basic grounding and training to explore and understand every field from first principals. One could never hope to cover all bases in a 3-4 year degree program of many craft design types, same with medicine. Your degree is just as an apprentiships….then once you start working, is when you learn and specialise in the filed of your choice.

    Westlawn doesn’t give you that. It says here is yacht/small craft design, and that’s it basically. And without providing the basics fundamentals of how/why etc from first principals, one shall not be able to progress beyond it into other fields.

    Whether that is good or bad is up for you to decide upon your career path.
     
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  11. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    In post-Soviet countries naval architects are getting specialization on 4-5th year of study. In most of universities there is specialization in small craft or high-speed craft design on choice of student (others are offshore technologies, ship construction, ship design, etc.).

    Besides, in USSR small craft design specialization existed in universities within NA courses since early 1960-70es (maybe before, not sure); I know there were at least two students design offices (SDB - students design bureau) which designed specially sailboats/powerboats, some of those designs were built by students (the biggest one I know was 24m steel ketch!). On graduation, those NAs joined design offices and worked on high-speed craft and small craft; mostly for naval and commercial applications. This is how scientific schools for hydrofoils, hovercraft, WIG, planing craft, etc. were created.

    I can find and post some screenshots from textbooks on the subject, so one can see the level.

    I studied in early 1990-s and those days in my university there was no official specialisation on small craft design (but now there is a course), but I was allowed to do all course work for boats if it was possible. Of course, once I designed a bulk carrier and calculated offshore drilling rig as mandatory programme; but rest of time I was doing calculations/drawings for boats. There was an excellent library available, access to tank facility and computers. Faculty staff was available for consultation, most of them had experience with small craft - these research guys do lot of things during their life, some of them designed sailing yachts, tested boat hulls, and some have written books/papers on the subject. And my graduation design work was 11m racing sailboat with towing tank experiments and development of own VPP software, for design optimization. Two other guys did cruising sailboats, and one student designed planing patrol boat in FRP. So, in about 50 graduates at least 4 were in small craft field, without any official specialization. The university is not just giving the knowledge; it is giving the chance to get as much special knowledge as one wants!

    I believe those talking about 'naval architects do not study boat design' just live inside their own myth. Maybe they judge based on educational system of particular country? But the world has much more colours.
     
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  12. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    They are springing up everywhere now :)

    http://www.southampton.ac.uk/ses/un..._meng_ship_science_yacht_and_small_craft.page

    and

    http://www.solent.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/yacht_and_powercraft_design_beng/course_details.aspx

    How times are a -changing eh? :p
     
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  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Yes they are; decades ago there was no complicated certification of small pleasure craft. Now it is more complicated and requires NA to be involved from early stages. Then, look at development of composite materials, naval craft technologies, high speed commercial craft - other applications for yacht/small craft/high speed craft designer. Look at complexity of super- and megayachts. I can't imagine person without NA degree handling damaged stability calculations for HSC, or FEM analysis of composite structure!

    I believe most of unis in Europe have introduced such small craft courses.

    Moreover, recently I have brought bunch of books on small craft design from China. I am sure they have this specialization also; I can't read the Chinese but I can understand through illustrations and formulas - good level. They seem to test their own systematic series of semi-planing craft. And Donald Blount and some others would be surprised to see all their articles incorporated in Chinese textbooks ;)
     
  14. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member


    At the university here (AMC/University Of Tasmania) Yacht design is taught in detail as an optional one semester unit at 4th year level and would constitute around 1/20 of a degree in Naval Arch/ Marine Eng. The course is basically similar to the material in Principles of yacht design but with more of the underlying maths included. Most students would skip that unit in favor of something like advanced FEA techniques and just read the 'yacht design' material since it's relatively quite basic and very easily learned.

    I've done a lot of work for yacht designers over the years both from Westlawn and self taught individuals. I have a pretty good assesment of the level that industry runs on and I'd urge all Westlawn designers out on their own to either employ a NA to check their work or to go through a classs society process initially for every different class of vessel they design.

    You can get through a Wesltlawn course knowing what the structural parts of a vessel are called and where they are located but having no idea what they really do structurally within the load path, or when the design has serious inbuilt failure mechanisms or how to apply factors of safety wrt fatigue, or even a good understanding of really basic material properties.

    For example how many Westlawn grads reading this know the difference between something as trivial as shear yield vs tensile yield ? Westlawn should provide a thorough basic engineering unit IMO with material properties fatigue and stress strain and embracing proper SI units.
     
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  15. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

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