Yacht Design Process
Owner's Mission Statement: The design process actually begins when a prospective client defines the purpose of their intended vessel and makes an initial inquiry. A few paragraphs that describe the vessel type, the intended function, size, styling, performance, materials, finish, interior layout... that is ordinarily sufficient. Easily sent by email, this is what we call an owner's concept or 'mission statement.'
Kasten Marine's Design Proposal: Those concepts, along with any specific equipment or machinery requirements will be our guide in order to create a written 'Design Proposal' usually sent by return email.
If our Design Proposal is accepted, we can then begin to create the best design solution to suit the owner's mission statement requests, as follows...
I. Design Concept
Preliminary Design Study: During our initial 'sketch-mode' design stage, we will create a proposed styling and layout for client approval. With some discussion, the original mission statement will be augmented to become a true 'Owner's Specification.' Once approved by the client, these preliminary design study drawings, along with the owner's specification become the basis for further development of the design.
II. Design Development
Design Development: Having established the basis for the design, the general styling, the layout and overall proportions, our preliminary design study becomes formalized. Dimensioned CAD drawings are developed in order to show the layout and styling in greater detail. When the final layout is settled, and the structure calculations completed, we will develop preliminary drawings of the structure.
Having developed accurate drawings that provide the overall picture and that bring the original strategy into sharper focus, we can calculate the preliminary vessel weight. With that information, preliminary hydrostatics, performance and powering, can be determined. This, taken together allows a final hull shape to be determined, including the final displacement and sail area.
An Equipment List is developed and the Owner's Specification is augmented in order to become a detailed preliminary Vessel Specification. Taken together, we call this the Estimating Plans Set. These drawings and documents are sufficient to allow a yard to develop a firm quote, so the search can begin to find the right yard for construction of the yacht.
III. Analysis & Detailed Design
Detailed Design: During this stage, having settled on the overall picture, a number of additional detailed design drawings will be prepared. Joinery, hatches, doors, ports, detailed structure drawings, mechanical layout drawings, rigging... all will be designed to work in harmony with the overall intent of the vessel.
Detailed Analysis: Concurrently with the detailed design drawings being created, the various analyses of structure, weights, centers, hydrostatics, stability, performance, powering, rigging, etc. all can be finalized - and those results carried back into the design.
This is the very essential but largely invisible and 'non-glorious' part of the design process...! A considerable number of final calculations are done more or less behind the scenes in order to verify what has been designed, and in order to provide the level of detail that will be required to actually build the yacht.
Final Design Documents: When completed, the basic Building Plans will consist of perhaps two dozen detailed engineering drawings, plus the final Vessel Specification and Equipment List. A number of other reports will accompany this package in order to document the results of the various analyses that have been done. At this point there is sufficient information to actually build the yacht.
IV. Production & Quality Assurance
Production Related Services: Although all of the subsequent 'Production Related Services' are entirely optional, we will ideally be asked to participate to some extent during the building of the vessel as well as in the steps leading up to process. A few of the services we can offer are:
Review: We can help review yard quotes and yard capabilities, and possibly help with final yard selection.
Construction: We can even begin to actually build the vessel right here on the computer. In so doing, we are able to leverage the CAD design work that has already been done and use the CAD model directly to drive production. By this means, accuracy and faithfulness to the original design are assured.
For metal yachts, we develop NC pre-cut parts, nested and ready for plasma or water-jet cutting. For fiberglass yachts, by this point we will already have developed an accurate 3-D model from which a mould or plug can be carved by 5-axis router - both for the hull and for the superstructures.
Quality Assurance: As a matter of course we will then follow through during the parts cutting and / or mould making in order to assure that those are accurately interpreted and cut, and that the materials spec is correct.
Builder Support: On request, in support of the yard we can develop detailed system schematics and a variety of shop drawings. On request, we can follow those through with yard visits for inspections as well. In this role we act as consultant and owner's representative, on an as-needed basis.
Documentation: If the vessel will be Classed, i.e. with Lloyds Register or ABS or Germanischer Lloyds, we can readily provide additional documentation according to the classification society's requested format. If the vessel will require a CE Mark for construction or ownership within the EU, we can provide the documentation to facilitate that process.
Sea Trials: On request we can also participate in sea-trials on the completed yacht for verification of performance, trim and seakeeping.