yacht design - short and correspondence courses

Discussion in 'Education' started by Alik, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

  2. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Alik

    It really depends upon whether someone wishes to learn about form and function and ergonomics along with its link into aesthetics etc, the essence of "styling"..or if they want to learn about the technical aspects of design i.e basic naval architecture and yachts - as in sails - designing.
     
  3. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Well, lets see what courses are available...
     
  4. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

  5. UNCIVILIZED
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    UNCIVILIZED DIY Junkyard MadScientist

    One thing about choosing "the right" course, is that a good answer may not seem so at first. And or you may need to look at the problem(s) & desired outcome(s) from a different direction, or backwards even.
    The easiest way for me to explain this is that back in the late 90's, I was taking a REAL hard look at finding a way to attend The Landing School's - Boatbuilding program. And in a phone chat, the astute gent on the other end of the phone asked me some questions, & picked up that I had a strong bent on learning how to build racing yachts.
    Which I confirmed definitively.
    Well, he suggested then that I take a good look at their Design program. And further stated that places like Eric Goetz tended to lean towards hiring folks from it, at times, often enough, over grads from their Building program. And this was because, a lot of the time when you're building a boat, you have to stop & figure out the forces on & math involved in building part X. And that this was right up the design guys' alley. However, if someone building the same part didn't have the math & engineering background, but still had great technical & materials knowledge, + craftsmanship, the project would have to be temporarily put on hold until the correct/best engineering solution was worked out. Given, of course, that the perspective employee/employee had a good grasp of working with composites, & that a good percentage of the rest were learnable via OJT.

    It's just a concept which I thought might bear looking at, as at first glance, sometimes such things aren't obvious.

    Perhaps for a visual demo, you might visit this thread http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f47/beneteau-38-a-120921.html and look at the picture of the yacht's interior.
    There's not a lot of question that the vessel is pleasing to the eye, or for the most part anyway, but... As a sailor, you gotta' know that thing is a bruise & maim factory. With all of the sharp edges, corners, lack of handholds... That & one has to wonder about it's seaworthiness on top of that, handrails aside. As that's a LOT of glass where there should be hull. And likely a LOT of other things not readily visible in a similar vein.
    But... pretty sells (for a bloody lot of coin too).

    Makes you wonder what chic, condo interior decorator got carte blanche on her design.
     
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Styling courses are simply an individual's ability to study, look at history, perform research and have some natural creative talent, artistically. I've seen some very technically proficient designers, develop some well performing, yet butt ugly boats, but I've yet to see a talented, creative designer, pen up an aesthetically lacking design, though it may have room for increased performance potential.

    Simply put, the styling aspect of a design, as subjective as it can be, if preceded with some research, an appropriate approach to proportions and continuity, plus the usual and general guidelines to acceptable aesthetic, usually come out, at least looking pretty good. The real designer, uses tricks to lower the boxy looking cabin, maybe with a lot of roof crown, intentionally sacrifices some internal headroom so the cabin roof can slope down forward, places enough sweep in the sheer, to match the rest of the boat's styling, uses enough freeboard to get the volume they want, yet not look too high, etc., etc., etc.

    These are some of the things that a "versed" designer will do and classes aren't necessary, though certainly can speed up the learning process. Any "student of design" can perform enough research to gather up the typical shapes and aesthetic considerations necessary, be this to soften edges on the furniture corners inside the cabin, so a crew doesn't bash a knee when the boat lurches or pays honor to the raised panel look of the HMC (for example) of past, yet with foam core to take advantage of modern weight savings in material choices.

    Creativity can be learned, but mostly I've found, you either have it or have to hire someone to get it. This might seem arrogant, but think about it, how many "interior designers" also happen to be able to draw a self portrait, with a reasonable likeness? You'll find most can, though like everything else, some much better than others, most started life as budding artists, but weren't related to Picasso or Norman Rockwell, so they knew they'd starve and are looking for real work instead.

    As for the opposite side of this spectrum, the engineering aspect, well some brains can cope with this much easier than others. As a rule, the typical right hemisphere artist brain, has a difficult time with this, while the analytical left hemisphere brain folks usual have a much easier time. The two are often antithetical in nature, with very few able to do both. I'm lucky I can and it's certainly possible for folks to learn, but it's not a common set of traits.

    For the yacht design end of the tunnel, WestLawn would be a reasonable choice, as you'll get some of both, but the emphases is on the technical elements. I suggest the WestLawn "Yacht Design Lite" course for them, if not a more intense program. For the styling side, diligent artists, with a good work ethic (not a common trend among the artist types BTW) would make the best candidates for a specialized course, say the module 3 portion of the yacht design course at WestLawn, so they can get a handle on the production side of things, so they know what their work has to conform too, yet leaves the creativity thing up to them.
     
  7. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    PAR, that's right, but even a talent needs development and experience.

    As to Westlawn course, we got already for our interior designer.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Agreed Alik, and this is often hard to dissimulate during an interview or when evaluating an employee base. One of the best ways is to allow an experienced designer oversee their development in house. This isn't done much any more (apprenticeship), which is unfortunate, but it does get you an employee that will do things they way and with the style you desire, though takes a significant investment (time and money) with both the experienced employee and the apprentice. As to a fast track for this, well I'm at a lose, but the current methods of trying to find one on the open market, doesn't seem as effective in the long term, as the in house schooled prodigy.
     
  9. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    This is the way we usually do it. Unfortunately, yacht design is a small niche and it is just difficult to get staff to work in-house. People with skills prefer to go for higher paid areas, say naval architects for offshore engineering, and stylists into residential interiors and civil architecture. The challenge is really to find staff motivated to design small boats. One of such motivations could be the course, so if they see they can upgrade their skills but taking additional study paid by the company.
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yeah, I understand and try to nurture the few I do find that are actually interested, though admittedly, they are few and far between. I suspect this has always been the case, but with the communications explosion that has occurred in the last few decades, it's really easy to see other avenues of employment pursuit. One way I entice a prospect is, a short trip to a boat I've had my eyes on for a long time. It was one of the committee boats used, in the last of the J class cup races and a real beauty, now in need of some love. I take them aboard and ask if they can do this or that and they're amazed that "boats like this still exist". It's a great "hook".
     

  11. Qvox
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    Qvox Junior Member

    Are you implying that you feel the Westlawn course is only good for interior design?
     
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