Yacht Design


It may seem counterintuitive, but design constraints usually help drive creativity. In this course students will look at one of the most constrained areas of design: the layout and construction of a yacht.

Yacht Design for Middle and High Schoolers

This course is led by a seasoned designer who has spent many years designing and overseeing the construction of luxury yachts. Along the way we will learn how practical requirements—like staying afloat!—drive the design process of boats. We’ll interrogate that process itself and learn how yacht design has evolved in recent years driven my new materials and new lifestyles. We’ll learn how to sketch out our ideas—by hand and on computer—and test them against real-world constraints.

This course is designed for students in middle school or high school who have a strong interest in design, live on boats, or are simply intrigued by boat design. Since it is led one-to-one, it is open to any student, and will be adjusted according to your background in design.

Yacht Design Course

Yacht design is a niche, with only a handful of well-known names producing some spectacular designs. The interiors, exteriors, and all systems in a boat are designed to be practical, forced by constraints like lack of space, the marine environment, and the need to incorporate aspects of a vehicle (engine, etc.), a resort (dinghies and other smaller vessels) and house into a single, unified unit. Whether it is a working vessel, luxury yacht, or a family’s floating home, design at sea has to tightly fitted and ergonomic. Boat builders and yacht designers strive to fit many things into very small spaces, which calls for good problem-solving skills and excellent lateral thinking. Yet, there is a fine balance between the two needed to still make it look good.

There has been a large movement to a nomadic lifestyle, especially living on board a yacht as your primary home, so understanding the thought processes and design decisions that go into the build is very important.

During this course we will learn about the different styles and types of boats, the build and design process from start to finish, and understand the basics for what needs to be onboard a boat in order to make it livable and safe. We will look at the basics of design and the principals that can be applied when designing interiors of yachts and how yacht design has progressed over the years.

Core Concepts in our Yacht Design Course

During our time together you can expect to cover the following topics and skills:

  • Design Thinking – we’ll begin with some lessons on design thinking and problem solving in design.
  • Yacht Design History – we’ll look at how yachts have evolved in recent years and some external forces influencing their design.
  • Hands-on Projects – we’ll dive into designing our own yacht, based on a set of needs and constraints
  • Sketching and CAD – we’ll practice both hand sketching and also basic computer-aided design (CAD).
  • Specification – we’ll cover how to spec out the materials for construction
  • Construction Process – we’ll finish up with lessons on how construction happens and basic project management skills.

Personalized Learning

At the end of this one-to-one, personalized course you will have a strong foundation for doing more advanced work in design, generally, such as our architecture course or animation course.

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