- Steel and stainless steel
- Aluminium
- Titanium
- Composites
- Plastics

3D CAD Design

- 3D modelling
- Photo realistic rendering
- Joint design
- Design optimisation


- Hand analysis
- FE analysis
- Fatigue analysis

Systems Engineering

- Specifications
- Requirements
- Testing & verification
- Documentation

IP Protection

- Patent process
- Prior art
- Costs and benefits


Yacht Design

I worked on the following yacht projects while I was employed as a composite design engineer at Gurit in their Sydney office.

In my role I supported various projects from quoting to design and engineering as well as supporting technical enquiries from the builder. Most of the projects were highly international with the Naval Architect being in one continent, engineering being carried out in Australia and the builder might be on a different continent again. This work process is quite normal in the marine industry since it is only a relatively small industry.

During my time with Gurit I have worked with a lot of different yacht designers and builders. The list includes Reichel-Pugh (USA), German Frers (Argentinia and Italy), Dubois Naval Architecture (UK), Maxi Dolphin (Italy), McConaghy (Sydney and China), Westerly Marine (USA), Yachting Developments (New Zealand), Nautor (Finland) and Vitters Shipyard (Netherlands and Turkey). Additionally I have designed yachts to the ABS guide for Offshore Racing Yachts as well as German Lloyd and RINA rules and regulations.

Cyrus 34

The Cyrus 34 is a 34m long semi displacement semi custom motor yacht. The yacht is entirely made in composite sandwich construction using epoxy resin and glass and carbon reinforcement fibres. I was part of the engineering team specifying laminates for various components. The laminates were review by RINA before being released for construction.

Engineering a yacht of this size and type is quite different to a racing yacht. The weight is not that critical but there are a lot of components and details to engineer. This type of yacht is also more engineered around the interior whereas on a racing yacht the structural elements are placed first and the interior is designed around the remaining space.

Engineering the structure around the interior leads to a lot of complicated detail solutions. For example there is a heavy spa pool on the upper deck and the interior designer didn’t want a support pillar in the middle of the dining room table. The requirement for big open spaces with maximum ceiling heights leads to long, shallow ceiling beams which are structurally not very efficient. This is where detailed engineering is essential and the high strength and stiffness of carbon fibre makes such structures possible.

The sheer size of the yacht is also amazing. It has two main engines, two generators and room for 19000l of fuel, 5500l of fresh water, 1700l of grey water and 920l of lubrication oil! Accommodation is provided by an owner’s cabin, one VIP cabin and two guest cabins. Additionally there is a cabin for the captain plus three crew cabins.

Maxi Dolphin 51

The Maxi Dolphin 51 is a high performance retro style motor yacht. The boat is completely manufactured in carbon fibre with foam core. The designer and the builder had the concept for the boat. My task was to develop the whole structural and material concept of the motor yacht and to carry out the structural calculations.

The yacht was constructed using pre-preg SPRINT materials. The builder was not very familiar with these materials and therefore required some advice. This was a typical project where an experienced engineer had to work closely with the designer and builder in order to successfully deliver the project.

60ft cruising yacht “Pyewacket V” for Roy Disney

The boat was designed by Reichel Pugh for well known yachtsman Roy Disney and build by Westerly Marine in California. An interesting aspect of the boat was the lift keel to reduce the draft of 3.98m. The keel fin is guided by a carbon fibre trunk with was designed to transmit all grounding and lateral loads from the keel.

The boat also featured a hydraulically operated retractable carbon fibre anchor launcher. Small unusual components like this can take up a lot of engineering time because concepts have to be developed from scratch and the geometry is difficult to analyse.

The boat was constructed entirely from carbon fibre with foam and honeycomb cores. I carried out all engineering for the boat structure.

82 ft German Frers Yacht "Polytropon II"

This project was quite interesting since the superstructure has large window areas which were supported by a carbon fibre grid frame structure. I took over this project from a colleague and developed various design details.

The whole concept of the yacht is unique. It comes with a large tender which accommodates the crew, kitchen and laundry. The actual sailing yacht therefore is quite light weight because all this equipment is offloaded onto the tender. When cruising the crew and the tender motor ahead. Once at the destination the sailing yacht docks next to the tender to reunite with the crew and all the amenities. The boat was built by Nautor Swan in Finland and designed by Mani Frers.

100ft Racing Yacht "Alfa Romeo"

Similar to Wild Oats Alfa Romeo received a new bow sprit with two tack points. To fit into the new maxi yacht category the hull was also extended from 98ft to 100ft by extending the transom. I also carried out an investigation to see if the keel cant angle could be increased to increase the righting moment. Unfortunately I had to tell the owner that this would involve extensive modifications to the internal stiffening structure and therefore this idea was abandoned.


120ft Dubois Cruising Yacht “Bliss”

I carried out the structural engineering of the hull and stiffening structure for this project. The boat was built by Yachting Developments in New Zealand and designed by Dubois. To successfully deliver a project of this scale close collaboration with the builder, naval architect, rig designer and interior designer is required. During the design phase the boat was modified to increase stowage area and to provide enough room for a tender in the transom garage. To simplify construction and to maximise interior space no longitudinal stiffener were installed above floor level. To provide adequate stiffness for the hull panels the core thickness had to be large which required two layers of core. The design was certified by GL. The boat was launched in 2010.


100ft Racing Yacht "Wild Oats XI"

During a refit 5 times Sydney-Hobart line honors winner Wild Oats XI received a new bow sprit. The new bowsprit was longer and had a second tack point to be able to hoist different size code zero and asymmetrical spinnakers. This was the first carbon bowsprit with these features. I developed the structural concept and engineered the bow sprit and it’s attachment to the boat. The refit was carried out in Europe. Due to the high loads and innovative design close collaboration with North Sails, Reichel-Pugh and the builder was required to ensure the project was successfully delivered in the required time frame.