The Design Process
The following is a summary of how to imagine, outline and draw in a new custom yacht design. While seemingly complex, the design process is a series of progressive steps much like the building process itself. If the design turns out to be what it should be, each of the steps listed below must be thoroughly addressed.
Taking on the design of any new yacht is our goal, taking a unique set of owner's requirements and bringing them to the best solution for those requests.
The first step is to have the idea and then present a functioning idea into reality. In order to get the relevant information on the table, two main components are necessary.
I. Owner's specifications: The first "design task" is actually decided by the prospective owner. It starts with the imaginary goals and then creates an 'owner's specification' or 'mission' for the proposed vessel.
A detailed description of the design process, for example, serves as a general guide to the design intent and is closest to the owner's specifications.
For this reason, it is preferable that the owner's 'mission statement' be kept fairly simple, as the details of the design will be the result of the design process itself.
The basic information required is the anticipated boat size, layout, structural materials, proposed use, scope, speed, rigging, and general aesthetic outline.
II. Design Proposal: My first job is to understand the preliminary owner's specifications and then provide the prospective client with a detailed outline to be used in creating the new design. It was our standard to write a 'design proposal' which included the following forms.
A written copy of the contouring process itself.
A list of delivery drawings and documentation.
An estimate of the design work to create the design and details of the container plan described in.
The following paragraphs describe our design process and the delivery drawings and documentation.
Phase I - Preliminary Design Study
After our design proposal has been reviewed, if our future owner decides to have actual work done on the vessel he can begin creating a new yacht design. There will be a series of information exchanges that may include newspaper clippings from the client of similar boats or outline layouts.
The employer's initial specification need not be elaborate - in fact, it is best if the basics are maintained so that there is some "creative freedom" in the initial stages of developing the design. The basic information is the primary size, material construction, general aesthetic goals of any interior or rig preferences, and expected timeline of the project. Beyond that, we will develop the rest of the details in the design process itself.
After the owner's requirements have been clarified and once they have been thoroughly understood, I will prepare preliminary design sketches", suggesting plans and file layouts, exterior styling, and dimensions for the vessel approximately.
These "napkin" hand-drawn sheets, recording the design intent, may be simple, but more typically, they will take the form of several CAD-generated possibilities. If desired, this can be a good presentation of preliminary study drawings. This is the beginning of what I refer to as 'Phase I' or preliminary design studies.
At the outset, this allows us to identify a preliminary computer-generated 3D model of the vessel that will be created.
Overall size and shape of the ship
Preliminary internal structure (bulkheads and soles)
The rig (e.g. sailing vessel or motor sailor)
Shaping and characterization of the upper cover
Preliminary 3D models are usually quickly built to fit one or more of our existing design prototypes for new purposes. These can be sampled through the links accessible on our Prototypes page. Two prototypes are designed
Phase 1: Basically a "discovery" process, in which we mutually discover the best solution for your requirements. In pursuit of that "discovery" process, we propose the concept, as well as the solution, and then evaluate our proposed solution against the original concept... Or possibly modifying the original specifications of what we have found. This process is very flexible and adaptable. In general, t he first stage of the goal is to establish the accommodation, shape, size, and dimensions in order to provide a "proof of concept" for the displacement of the design goals.
When these preliminary sketches have been approved by the owner, the second phase can begin.
Phase 2 - Estimated Plan
From the ' I ' phase of the preliminary design study with feedback from the owner, we can begin the ' Phase II '. The goal of Phase II is to produce the first full-size building plans and produce some important documents.
The first part of Phase II consists of completing the Phase I study drawings and producing the first estimated plan drawings, including several.
Proposed Saio plan or exterior profile drawing
Proposed interior profile and layout drawings
Once these drawings have been approved, we can proceed knowing that further changes will be minimized. When complete, the estimated plan package will include
Saio plan/outboard briefing
Interior information and arrangement
Structural Profile and Arrangement
Preliminary weight study
Preliminary power and range analysis
Preliminary hydrostatic analysis
List of yacht builders suitable for the project
Designer's cover letter builder
Sample owner's offer "letter builder" application
For smaller vessels at this point there will be three drawings. For larger vessels, there may be two or more sheets in each category.
Phase 2 The goal is to present enough information in the estimated plans to package a corporate offer available from the prospective builder to build the vessel.
If you would like an example of our design review work up to this point, our plan listings page lists the designs available for query packages or estimate plans.
Phase 3 - Architectural Plans
In " Phase 3", the rest of the design work is completed. Additional feedback from the owner and builder allows for further decisions regarding equipment and finish to fit the overall budget of the project.
Drawings and ship specifications are refined to include any requested changes, then the remaining drawings are completed to create a final architectural drawing package. These multiple drawings will ultimately address the interior and exterior details, mechanicals, deck plans, their dimensions, construction sections, and all final dimensions of the ship.
Displacements, ranges, performance predictions, hydrostatics, and stability can be determined from the final hull shape design. Building plans will include.
Outboard Briefing: Saio plan or other details of the ship's exterior
Interior profile and arrangement: accommodation of the ship
Cutaway view: structure and interior joinery section
Interior profile: structure and main equipment
Deck plan: Cabins, hatch covers, pipe joints, moorings and anchorages
Crystals and rigging plans as needed
Various structural details as required
List of structural dimensions
Hull fitting details
Hatch covers, deck fittings details
Escalator, door and portlight details
Interior joinery details
Mechanical/mechanical needs details
For larger vessels, each of the above drawing categories may include several tables.
In the third phase the weight budget is finalized, the stability and performance analysis of the final design is completed, and the vessel specifications are finalized so that the intent, layout, dimensions, construction, systems and vessels are accurately described.
In addition to the drawings, the following documents will be available in the construction plan.
Offset sheet (unless the vessel will be CNC cut).
Equipment List: A complete list of equipment items.
Vessel specifications: detailed intent, concept and construction.
Welding specifications for metal structures
Wooden structure fastening schedule
Fastening schedule GRP structure
Hydrostatics and Financial Stability Report
Power and Range Analysis
Having said that the third phase, the design phase of the new yacht will be complete. The drawings and documentation will contain enough information to allow any professional or amateur builder to build the vessel.
Then the construction of the first phase of the project may begin.
Throughout the design process, we had the following objectives.
Suit the owner's requirements and scheduled services.
Interior and deck layout as requested by the owner.
Aesthetics that are pleasing to the eye.
A thorough specification to ensure longevity and ease of maintenance.
A sensual structure that is designed for ease of construction.
Functional and convenient layout of machinery and equipment.
Distribution weights to provide correct trimming and adequate stability.
Performance that suits the expectations of the ship type.
Per classification society structural bar rules.
Stability in accordance with international standards.
Seakindliness, strength and durability are considered essential attributes for each of our design requirements for seaworthiness. Interestingly, in the US for private yachts, there are no stability or structural requirements. However, we feel that it is essential that the yacht will meet the following criteria as a minimum...
Structure: When creating a new design, the rules of the classification society are our guide to the structure. We confirm that compliance with the rules is appropriate for the type of vessel, size, material or construction site, as follows.
Motor Yachts (yachts from 79' to 200' bar length - originally applied to all yachts up to 200' - all materials)
Ocean racing yachts (sailing yachts from 100' rod length - all materials)
Reinforced plastic vessels (fiberglass boats 200' rod length)
Aluminum Vessels (alloy boats 100' 500' rod length)
EU standard (yachts with 78' measured length - all material boats)
(plank frame wooden yachts 98' rod length - suitable for approval on larger yachts)
(plank frame wooden boat stick length 115' - suitable for larger yachts on approval)
Stability: In order to assess stability, we use various criteria, depending on the size of the vessel, its use and location, as follows.
For yachts measuring 24 meters (78 feet) in length, stability will be calculated according to the EU RCD standard for the appropriate vessel type and use (ISO-12217).
For yachts 24 meters and longer measured length, stability will be calculated according to IMO or other appropriate standards for vessel type, size and use.
For charter yachts in the US, safety and stability are evaluated according to the US Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
When the vessel is shipped for construction and use within the EU, we can prepare documentation to make the process of obtaining the CE mark for the builder a relatively easy one.
Engineering Support Services
We typically recommend that plans be submitted to a few yards for their construction estimate. We have been working with a variety of builders in locations around the world. We will attempt to match a project with an appropriate builder, even though it may be outside of the United States.
During the course of the construction phase, there may be various requests for additional services in support of the construction. Although we do not enter into project management per se, we are still available to act as the owner's representative during construction whenever we are asked to do so. In other words, while we do not get involved with the management staff, scheduling or purchasing after when we are asked to do so, we are happy to continue to be involved in managing the flow of information and specifications for the builder.
Additional drawings, documentation, schematics...
Often, systems are developed in-house by schematic generators (e.g. plumbing) or system suppliers (e.g. electrical). Sometimes an employer or manufacturer may request that we provide basic schematics or additional drawings to illustrate specialized features or other details that support the construction, say in order to convey the owner's request to the builder.
Passenger-carrying vessels or other commercial craft may be required to provide additional drawings and reports for documentation and compliance with relevant standards.
When a vessel is shipped for use within the EU, we can prepare documentation relatively easily for the builder to obtain the CE mark.
CNC cutting documentation
One of the most valuable engineering support services we offer for metal ships is the development of CNC cutting documentation to automate parts of the ship construction.
What is NC? It just means CNC ...
From there, a digitally driven plasma or water jet cutter can be used to create frames and plates for metal vessels. You can also use an NC-driven router to cut molded frames for solid wood or composite superstructures.
It is even possible to divide entire male plugs or female molds out of foam for use in building composite superstructures, created directly from computer-generated surface models during the design of the boat.
This takes full advantage of the work already done to create the design and can provide significant labor savings in the yard. It also greatly improves construction accuracy. With CNC cutting, labor will typically pay for the cost of developing the CNC cutting file, plus some preservation of the metal hull during the manufacturing process.
In other words CNC cutting is an opportunity to not only impact a real cost savings and reduce overall build time, but also improve quality results.
The role of computers
Designing Boats: We use the software product, MAXSURF Suite for hull modeling, analysis, and forming design systems to develop a range of programs for construction in Australia.
With MAXSURF, preliminary hull models are quickly generated and hydrostatic, stability and performance looking designs can be improved by calculating the first round.
The computer-generated model allows the design to be quickly improved before it has become fixed or even modified in the early stages of the design, without too much reckoning in the subsequent process. In fact, without such an easy-to-use computer modeling tool (manual drafting) those subtle improvements would rarely be made, even if given a sizable budget.
Several other benefits are also apparent. For example, with a computer-generated model, it is easy to ensure that surfaces are developed and therefore build simple metal or plywood hulls.
Building ships: The main benefit of generating a model of a ship's hull on a computer is that the ship's structure can be both computer-generated and actually cut off by computer-guided laser or plasma cutting - or in the case of fiberglass vessels, molded in using a computer-guided router.
By this method, the hull and structure are nested in detail, with the available plate dimensions on the part. The completed plate nesting is then sent to the metal cutting machine - usually via email. .
This is very convenient, because the cutter can immediately receive the information before starting work. When finished, the cutter has a "ship kit" and can be shipped anywhere it is needed.
Savings: When building a metal boat in a production environment, assuming a one-time build, industry feedback generally suggests that a CNC cutting professional builder will save about 35% of the hull fabrication labor.
The percentage savings for an amateur owner-builder fabrication labor is significantly greater. For example, it is believed that the release pattern is eliminated, as are the template framing and plate patterns. For an amateur builder, this also eliminates most of the "what to do and how to do it and why" kind of concerns...
Other advantages: Extremely accurate fitting results through CNC cutting. For metal hulls, this means there will be much less distortion during the welding process.
For construction of other materials, such as fiberglass, CNC cutting virtually eliminates the labor required to release the mold for construction. The entire hull and superstructure molds can be carved directly from the computer-generated model with a five-axis CNC router, avoiding almost all of the mold labor.
A builder can also pre-cut fiberglass or carbon fiber cloth, and prepreg cloth (cloth pre-impregnated with resin after curing by UV or heat) is especially useful. The high cost of materials and the increased efficiency developed by computer modeling of the structure quickly offset the cost.
Yet another prototype using this technique. With computer-generated models already being created for the hull and superstructure, it is a simple matter to do a scaled-down model of the towing pool to test or verify the styling of the yacht in three ways.
For a more detailed strategy on our design and build please see our CAD Design Flow article.
Design Flow Overview
To show our design process - more or less take a consistent "design spiral" and stretch it into a linear diagram created in the flow chart below. I have used two different ways to represent the workflow.
Software Used - This is a simple flowchart of the software we use and how some of the basic software groups are interconnected in the process of creating a new yacht design.
Process & Delivery - This is a workflow diagram arranged in "operational order" that we follow to create each new yacht design showing the aspects of our design process. The process begins with our interaction with the client, then moves into the various stages of the design process, and culminates in the generation of drawings and documentation that we deliver to the client, generator, and metal cutter.
Cool 3D Models
Below are two examples of how we make good use of the 3D CAD workflow in order to create a design, its structure, and then use the 3D PDF files to communicate the results using the client and builder.
3D Line Drawing - This is a 3D perspective file that shows one of the lines of our design. All of our designs are built in MAXSURF and then imported into Microstation so it can be "drawn" to a 3D PDF for client review. In the PDF, you can grab the 3D model, rotate, zoom, pan, walk through, and you can change the perspective. If you open the PDF menu, you can also put any of them in the management of the original CAD drawing or close it to simplify the view. This is an excellent tool to spatially visualize and see the shape of the ship from any angle.
3D Structure Drawing - This is a 3D perspective structure of a metal yacht design file. MAXSURF designs the structure of the ship, then builds it in the workshop After the structure is basically brought into Microstation for editing and detailing, it is then "drawn" to the building site as a guide for use in the assembly process in 3D PDF. Adobe Reader software structure. This allows the builder and his crew to see exactly how the structure is interconnected.
Why develop a new design?
As you may have surmised from above, there's a fair amount of work involved in designing a boat well bit, even if it's a simple one!
Given the number of designs already in existence, it may seem a bit wild to commission a new yacht design. On the other hand, it is an undeniable joy to watch one's ideas turn into one's own private yacht.
You'd be surprised to find that the cost of developing a new and unique yacht design is usually less than the typical fee of buying an existing yacht yacht agency...!
I will repeat, in case you missed it... Although there is a considerable amount of work involved in creating a boat design, the cost to create a new custom yacht design is usually less than the simple act of contracting a yacht agent to purchase the file!
As a percentage of the cost of the yacht spent on the design volume is really not very much like that. If you also think that a custom design will be based on your specific requirements and not as an "off-the-shelf, off-the-shelf" solution, the difference in satisfaction will be well worth the effort.
This is especially true if a custom designed yacht will serve its intended purpose better and do so for a longer period of time than a stock designed and built vessel. In other words, the cost of not having to replace a custom yacht design job so soon will easily pay for itself, many times over in all likelihood.
Proof of what
The question inevitably arises: "Is this a proven design?"
Does the answer qualify " Yes! " ;
The basic principles of boat design, though seemingly complex, are of long standing. If faithfully attended, the success of a new boat is guaranteed, and the result will almost always be an improvement on what was done on the existing design before.
Unusual features or requirements of the hull type, it is prudent to involve tank testing, which can provide valuable insight into the behavior of the vessel; performance stability, wave resistance, etc.;
Ultimately what makes a boat is whether the boat is successful in terms of safety, seaworthiness, mercy, beauty and, most importantly, whether the boat meets the wishes of the owner as originally listed.
Yacht Design Methodology
We create marine energy yachts in steel, aluminum, wood and composite power and sail designs. My goal is to produce superior aesthetics, together with boating safety and comfort. At the core of my boat design approach is the desire to create Ocean Energy nomadic boats. By this, I mean true ocean-going blue water boats for family cruising and world voyaging.
Custom design begins with listening to my clients' requirements. Our goal? To create the best design solution in terms of vessel type, layout, size and style. My goal was to propose an appropriate form and function to fit the intended purpose of the vessel and to follow a thorough analysis of structure, stability and performance.
Most importantly, I was striving for long-term ownership of the satisfaction generated by the container. I used the most advanced and up-to-date methods and design tools, including hull modeling, stability and performance analysis optimization software. Through this approach, I am able to use the work done to create designs to subsequent vessel structural details to provide an automated CNC cut file package for partial vessel construction.
My goal was to provide a complete 'design service' point of imagination for the vessel, creating the ideal solution to these conjurings, in other words, taking the concept all the way from the 'sanitary napkin sketch' to the construction plan, and thereafter providing the various 'engineering support services' mentioned above ".
Where to start
To begin the design process is to first create an owner's specification, or "mission statement". This can be as simple as a paragraph describing the expected container, or perhaps a simple list of desired features such as rig, electrical, equipment, materials, construction, overall size, accommodations, budget, project schedule, and so forth preferences.
The employer's "mission statement" needs to be less elaborate than the design process itself will produce since the details... While sketches or design examples are not necessary, they certainly can be if sketches or examples are available.
We refer to the owner's mission statement as the "owner's specification. " Once I understand its requirements, I will provide the "design proposal" that we usually prepare - usually by replying to an email or if necessary by letter or fax. Our design proposals are provided free of charge and imply any obligation. This is simply good information for your planning purposes...
To pursue a more detailed design inquiry, please feel free to contact me for more information or to request a design proposal.
Creating a new yacht design is by far the most rewarding path to long-term boat ownership, and the process itself can be a fair amount of fun!