Anyone involved in the Yacht Industry? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Anyone involved in the Yacht Industry?

Do any of you Sailnet members out there currently work in the Yacht design or manufacturing industry. If so How did you get started? What do you do? Most importantly, do you LOVE your work? What degrees are sought after other than Naval Architecture?

I know its a pretty broad question but I am a Junior in Mechanical Engineering and I really want to design boats, ones that sail preforably, or boat subsystems and I'm jsut trying to figure out how to get into the game.

Any input would be greatly appreciated because I know there are so many qualified people on this forum.

Brian Sears
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-16-2007
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Brian,
I have been in some part of the marine industry for something like 45 years now. Itís a great business and unlike a lot of other businesses customers are there because they want to be and they set out to have a good time. Think about other businesses where the customer is calling because he has a problem such as lost data in a computer. How happy is that person going to be and when he gets the bill itís something he really doesnít want to pay. A boat yard on the other hand has customers that want the work done, enjoy planning the work, enjoy discussing the work and they arrive at the office with a smile and ask you to sail with them after the bill is paid.

A yacht designer has an even better job. He does something as close to creating life as anybody can. Bringing an idea from paper to a finished boat is an unforgettable experience. Right now I am the Program Director for The Hudson Fisheries Trust in Beacon New York. We are both a museum dealing with the history of maritime technology and a school of design and building. We deal mostly with traditional boats built using traditional methods. To get an idea of what we do stop by our website at www.fisheriestrust.org.

I have designed/built boat up to 39 feet and itís a real rush to see a boat you designed being launched and going on the trials to see how she sails. If this is what you want to do you will have a real problem separating yourself from all the others who also want to have a job like this. The more education you have the better off you are but having a talent for design and a sense of art is more important then anything else. Getting noticed is difficult but after a while you will get to know some of the people in the industry and if your work stands out you will get a job. In the meantime working as a draftsman is something thatís in demand and you can start with that.

How much formal education you need depends on what part of the industry you want to join and what state you will work in. If yachts are what you are interested in start by talking to Dave Gerr at Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology.
Good luck and all the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far.

I have heard of Perry many a time on this forum and am currently going through the google results on him.

Tartan,
Thats very true. Most people I have met thus far love their jobs and their customers.
I stumbled across your website and looked through it a few weeks back. It's great to see your keeping the art and procedure alive. I'll look up Mr. Gerr at Westlawn Institute of Marine Technology because Yachts are what I'd like to do. Honestly I'd even do fishing boats, haha. I am currently trying to get an internship with Hatteras. Wish me luck. I would just rather do sailboat because while motoryachts are impressive I can't help but think of those massive 12 cyclinder engines and the size of their exhaust and how detrimental it all is to our environment. I also thought about going into alternative engery research here at school.

Thanks again everyone

Brian Sears
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-16-2007
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Well, I don't work in the Industry, but spent my life on it....I mean, I sail almost every day.

I was wondering if I should post or not, unitl I saw Reobert's post.

I too participated in the design, drawing, project of my boat. I did not actually build it with my hands, and had it built by a trusteable known (here) yard, that only makes Custom boats.

She was made for me as I want and everything was decided by me from cratch. The best times I had in my life. In the end of a project like this, where you get 100% satisfaction, and when someone comes along and says, well the door is too tall, I can allways say, not to me...I made it that way...

So in the end I was a happy Customer and a happy "builder".

I envy you for being young and wanting to pursue this industry. Be wise, play your cards well, and you can succeed. All the best, and courage.

Look here:http://www.sailnet.com/forums/genera...tion+giulietta

G

Last edited by Giulietta; 01-17-2007 at 02:03 AM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-16-2007
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Robert, not to throw cold water on the subject but how many full-time yacht designers would you say are in the US, or the world, right now? I'd suspect this is something to be done out of love, not employment, for most folks. If there are a half-dozen people in the US literally employed as full time sailboat designers, making a real living at it for ten years, I'd be pleasantly surprised.

Or is it better than that?
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-16-2007
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Brian,

I misstated my case earlier:

www.perryboat.com

rhp@perryboat.com

Luck!

Last edited by jones2r; 01-16-2007 at 06:51 PM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
Robert, not to throw cold water on the subject but how many full-time yacht designers would you say are in the US, or the world, right now? I'd suspect this is something to be done out of love, not employment, for most folks. If there are a half-dozen people in the US literally employed as full time sailboat designers, making a real living at it for ten years, I'd be pleasantly surprised.

Or is it better than that?
Itís a tough business from that point of view. Only a handful becomes a famous name as a yacht designer. Most who studied the subject work in a support role but thatís a good job also. But someone does become the top dog and if you donít make a try for it you know it wonít be you.

Seriously, there are several thousand people employed in shipyards, design offices, boat manufactures, research intuitions etc who practice as designers. Not everyone will end up at S&S but if you can do the work you can make a good living at it. I only spend a small amount of my time at the drawing board but I make a good living and enjoy my work very much. Doing my job requires a background in design, construction and history of maritime technology but itís still an example of a job you can find in the real world.

Would I recommend it as a job for everyone who enjoys boating? No, of course not because it is a job that has more people who are looking then there are jobs and only the most talented will get the top spots. But if you enjoy yachts and engineering it is an option.
All the best,
Robert Gainer
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-16-2007 Thread Starter
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Gui - that is simple and absolutely beautiful. Thats definately someting to be proud of.

Robert - I think you bring up a good point. I really need to improve my knowledge of maritme history. As of right now I am still working on that degree and that of corse is currently my main focus. This forumn also provides knowledge in an untraditional way. However when you have posters who are as qualified as yourself as well as some others, the posts are worth reading.

Thanks again
Brian
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-17-2007
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K,

Go for it ! Worse thing that can happen is you fall flat on your face but at least you won't die wondering what if. I've always believed that's it's not winning that counts but giving it a go. That , and bucket loads of hard graft of course.

Andrew

Andrew B (MalŲ 39 Classic)

ďLife is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.Ē
― Terry Pratchett.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-17-2007
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Giulietta, did you do the hull, or just the interior/deck layout? It would seem that really good hull design is still the black art, or requiring some terribly exotic software to calculate all the interactions.
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