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Designers vs Achitects/Engineers

Discussion in 'Yacht Designers Discussion' started by mwagner1, Sep 18, 2012.

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  1. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    Okay...please forgive my confusion....maybe it is just semantics, but what truly separates a yacht designer and a yacht naval architect/engineer? After viewing almost all of the websites provided on YF for architects and designers, I see many sites touting beautiful examples of interior and exterior design and only a few mentioning actual engineering (ie, stability, load, seakeeping,etc) services....some make absolutely NO mention of anything remotely resembling engineering or architecture.....

    So, when one employs a "designer", do they get simply a plan and some 3D models and drawings of a yacht? Then the owner takes these plans/drawings to a naval architect/engineer for all of the technical aspects? Can a naval architect/engineer create a beautiful yacht like some of the well known designers like Oeino, Disdale, etc??

    Please understand that I am not trying to ignite any wars...I would just like to know if someone is just a designer who creates pretty examples of interiors and exteriors and a naval architect/engineer is the one who makes sure the yacht is safe, stable etc....or are some designers also engineers and some architects designers....i.e., people who can do both?

    Cheers,
  2. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    Hi there,

    Few stylists are naval architects, most are not. Few design houses have naval architects, most does not! When you see a design, it is merely the idea that will interest an owner to initiate a build process. Custom built yachts means that this owners choices will also effect how the naval architecture is to be done, that is why it is not done before, so the owners "to-be" pick a design, finish from all the style requests they have, then head in most cases with the project manager they assign to the naval department in the yard of choice, in some cases to a naval architecture house that is independent of the yard, then the technical and engineering work begins.

    An owner might choose a design and choose to modify it to be a long range explorer or high speed cruiser, which all will effect the decisions of how the stability, load distribution, sea-keeping properties will be. This is not the case for semi-custom or production boats where the yard decides how the end product will be. Being a custom yacht means the ability to modify EVERY bit which is why you only see yacht styles and interiors, because they are the grounds which a build idea is based on, the rest is all subject to owner desires and engineering solutions that will make them true or throw them back at the owner, maybe because those desires are not feasible, doable, safe, etc. That is why they are left for after choosing the boat style and defining its manner of operation and expected performance in every aspect.

    There would be no use of investing on planning naval architecture then have the prospect owner change the hull type requirement or desired operational speed and range or even going towards an ice class, which might or might not be simple modifications and in most cases will require redoing everything.

    Hope what I stated will start a healthy and informative conversation about the subject in details from those who were involved in custom builds based on stylists ideas.

    Cheers to all,

    Alfred
  3. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    Okay...this clarifies things....

    So if I, wanting to build a truly custom yacht, would employ famous yacht designer "A"....the designer would put on paper/on a thumb drive my dream yacht. I would then go with my project manager to my yard of choice and then the in house naval engineering department would then create, from the design, a complete build package ready to go.

    But....what about creating a build/bid package as to compare pricing at yard A, B, C, D and F?? Could the newly created build package be taken to other yards if the first yard is not acceptable for whatever reason?? I sure would love to see some folks who have pursued these routes to chime in...I still have much to learn..:eek:

    Cheers,
  4. AlfredZ

    AlfredZ Senior Member

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    Keep in mind that you BUY the design and HIRE the project manager, and until you agree with the yard, nothing is really bonding, and if you request architecture design from them you will sure have to buy it. This is where the project manager's work starts, understand what you want, based by experience estimate a cost range and decide which yards to approach, this is why I personally think that a project manager is the most critical in the build process and one which you should invest and capitalize on, going cheap will get you towards a cheap (costly) ending! For sure there are many factors, like if the yard chosen etc. But your consultant has to be capable of translating your thoughts as they are and guiding them in the right direction so you get the "WOW Factor" once you are standing inline to go aboard your new boat!

    This is a nice subject to those with experience, what is the major things to consider in a project manager? How to truly evaluate their experience? What to really expect from a good project manager? and finally, would he start as a "build consultant" before becoming a "build manager" when the idea and wish becomes crystal clear?

    Thanks,

    Alfred
  5. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    mwagner1, just to confuse the situation, some Nav Archs like to run under the title of Yacht Designer, I believe Dubois is one. As I stated in Marmot's thread as well, if you can get a respectable "Yacht Designer", go for it! A lot of Nav Archs I find bring over "styling" from there commerical routes :rolleyes:. I also find a some owners like to go to the yard and skip the whole "stylist" approach to getting a yacht done.

    But think of it this way, when your boat is stern in to the dock and you have respectful customers (in the future)/owners/general public looking at your boat, they won't marvel at how the boats electrical/engineering/prismatic coefficient of the boat looks/works. More likely comments on the boats sheer/flare/windows/spa/lounge areas - because it's a pleasure.

    A lot of designers are linked to particular yards, Dubois is a good example, a lot of his boats were built by Alloy Yachts. But if one wanted to take a design to a different yard I can't see why not.

    I think the project manager is important role, but I would say the Nav Arch/Designer and Yard would have to be on top of the list. Cheers

    Far
  6. skiffboy

    skiffboy New Member

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    It’s a difficult topic to address without generalising and so inevitably being wrong about specific cases. However it is impossible to address without generalising, so perhaps take this with the grain of salt in which it is intended.

    There are three different processes necessary to deliver a Yacht, those being the Design, Engineering and Build. It’s difficult and, possibly even foolhardy, to pigeon-hole a person, much less a company, into any one role. I personally tend to define them by their objectives rather than the traditional titles as there is often a large amount of cross-over in these roles. Although it is rarely wise to let designers and engineers near tools…

    The Build is easy to define – their role is to create the physical object which is the Yacht. The Design, well in essence I see their role as creating the experience for the end user.

    The Engineering is the process by which the idea, or concept of the Design is translated into something the Builder can use. So this includes the naval architectural aspects of designing a hull, structural details to make sure things stay where they are supposed to, mechanical systems, equipment specifications and so-on.

    So, when you think of it from this perspective, it makes sense that there are people or groups who are quite capable of doing more than just one aspect and even all of them sometimes! Now, take that thought a little further and you may start to appreciate why the job titles are a little misleading because in fact, one MUST have an appreciation of the other aspects to do a decent job of their own. A designer with no regard for the engineering or build process is likely to arrive at an idea which, although beautiful, is prohibitively expensive or downright unsafe. In the same way, an engineer with no respect for the design will leave you, the owner, with a boat having all the personality of a boiled potato.

    A successful project must have all three – if it’s missing one, then it will be a disappointing result. Experience will give you more confidence in the abilities of the three parties but a good technical superintendent/owners representative/ project manager will spot any gaps early and make sure they are suitably plugged.

    Now this is a very long-winded way of answering your questions but in the end, you must get whatever you need to be comfortable making the investment in the build. The design, by my definition, is completely subjective – there is no restriction on who can prepare the design, so long as it makes the owner happy. You sound, to me, to be the type of person who also needs to have some technical reassurance. What I would suggest is that you approach a designer whose style appeals to you, if they cannot convince you of their technical capabilities – either by demonstrating existing vessels, or by engineering due-diligence, class review, etc. – and you do not want to be tied into one builder, then approach an independent naval architect to do it for you.

    After all, this must be an enjoyable process for you, otherwise there is no point.
  7. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    Thanks for the rather existential, yet interesting reply...I already know that there are indeed multiple steps in getting ready for a build. Yes, I know that a person who offers no more than pretty drawings could have said pretty drawings declared by a NA or shipyard to be either impractical or down right dangerous. And, I have found a few competent appearing firms on the YF list who offer all three options: design, architecture and engineering with substantial assembled teams covering numerous disciplines..enough to take a complete package to a yard. Yes, being comfortable with anyone/everyone during this complex process, whether or not a yard, yacht designer, engineer, architect, interior designer, the head of a crew agency, etc etc etc is important to the entire process

    And a final yes, I imagine that anyone planning on spending hundred of millions of (insert favorite currency here) wants said expenditure to be enjoyable...I doubt that any of the owners of past monster launches (Octopus, "A", Eclipse,Topaz, Serene, etc) were in towering rages while signing the monster checks to the yard (well, in a metaphorical way, of course) :D

    Cheers,
  8. Marmot

    Marmot Senior Member

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    I thought it was a well thought out and to the point answer. If you already know then why did you ask?
  9. mwagner1

    mwagner1 Senior Member

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    Ah sarcasm!!!!....With all due respect, Marmot, I did enjoy his reply BUT I already learned quite a bit from the previous posts (as well as via PM's) from others before him as well as conversations with a few other knowledgeable folks outside of YF since my initial post...10 days ago....happy??;)

    Cheers,
  10. skiffboy

    skiffboy New Member

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    My mistake. Best of luck to you.
  11. 84far

    84far Senior Member

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    I enjoyed the reply from Skiffboy as well, and in particular the part in regards to each position has to have respect for the other aspects of a design. There are plenty of Designers out there that can whip a mouse around the computer screen (as Marmot says), but the actual design (boat) would be useless in say practicality, hydrodynamics etc.

    Skiffboy, your from brisbane, cheers ;)

    Far