Design Assist

Design assist services are meant for clients who have some unique requirements, but do not need a full custom design. These services are ideal for:

  • Experienced amateur builders who have a clear idea of what they need.
  • Professional shops that require advice on a few aspects of an otherwise in-house design.
  • Other engineers & designers who want to independently cross-check some assumptions, calculations or design ideas.

Examples might include creating a new interior for an older boat that is undergoing retrofits, or making modifications to a stock plan to suit a particular set of requirements. Systems design & specification, such as powertrain selection or DC electrical bus design for a builder whose expertise does not include those fields, is also fair game.

In cases such as these, there is no need to go through the full custom design process: the boat may already exist, or the design may be based on a stock plan for which most of the design work has already been done. This option is generally targeted at clients who already have a pretty clear idea of what they want, and just need a bit of help with drawings and calculations to make sure it'll work as expected.

There are a few things that I can't do under design assist contracts:

  • I won't "check over" or "review" an amateur-designed boat, or respond to questions like "I designed it myself, can you just do the stability and performance calculations?"  If you have the engineering knowledge to design a small boat (and I only deal with small boats), you either don't have much need for my help, or will have already done this work and just want it cross-checked. If you don't have the engineering knowledge, I essentially have to treat it as starting a custom design from scratch, as (1) there will be lots of scope creep as I find things that won't work and need to be changed, and (2) I can't take responsibility for work that isn't mine.
  • I won't make modifications to plans that are the intellectual property of another designer without his/her written permission to do so. All living boat designers provide some degree of support to clients who want to make modifications to their designs. If you already have plans, your starting point should always be the person who drew those plans.

Design assist services are unique to each individual case, and if you're interested in this option, please contact us for additional information. This kind of work is billed at our hourly rates, rather than the flat-fee schedule used for complete custom designs.