Naval Architect


Naval architects design and oversee the construction, survey and repair of marine craft and floating structures, including naval craft, passenger and cargo ships, submarines, high-speed ferries and catamarans, tugs, boats, yachts and oil rigs.

Duties & Tasks

Naval architects may perform the following tasks:

  • prepare preliminary designs by consulting with clients such as ship owners, ship builders, shipping organisations and maritime research institutes
  • estimate the initial vessel construction costs and lifetime running costs of a vessel
  • determine the most suitable type and size for a vessel and ensure proposed designs meet performance and cost requirements
  • determine the proportions and shape of the hull (body) of the vessel
  • design accommodation and cargo areas
  • make calculations relating to the structural and mechanical aspects of design, construction and repair
  • make calculations relating to the stability of the vessel and prepare the stability book to go on board the vessel to be used by the master and officers
  • supervise other people who prepare detailed designs, specifications and building contracts
  • coordinate the work of other engineers
  • obtain plan approval and supervise construction work
  • plan, supervise and evaluate dockside and sea trials of the vessel
  • survey vessels
  • organise repairs and modifications to vessels
  • research efficient ways for vessels to move through water
  • provide risk assessment and claims management for insurance.

Working Conditions

They work in a variety of settings from drawing offices to shipyards and on board for sea trials.

Personal Requirements

  • enjoy technical and engineering activities
  • aptitude for mathematics and physics
  • good oral and written communication skills
  • aptitude for computing and technical design
  • practical and creative ability
  • able to work independently or as part of a team
  • able to accept responsibility
  • interested in the marine environment.

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