Consulting takes many forms, it may involve getting my opinion on a particular boat or it may include planning or concept sketches and design drawings of a required modification. Most of work falls into these areas:
- Stability Studies,
- Rig and Spar Design,
- Structural Modification,
- Feasibility Study,
- Market Research,
- Interior Design.
2015/09/04: Upcoming Article on Stability for Western Mariner Magazine: I have an upcoming article on stability in Western Mariner magazine.
An owner or a builder is looking for a particular type of vessel for a particular use. I’ll do market research to find available vessels that I believe might meet the criteria, and I’ll suggest changes to make these boats a better fit. I might also suggest new or revision of existing designs that fit the requirements. After studying the yacht and commercial boat market for 40+ years I have a large store of information and experience with hundreds of boats.
Research and Advice to an Individual Looking for a Particular Boat
Market Research can take several forms; one is research and advice to an individual looking for a particular boat. Another form of research is to a builder or brokerage planning on introducing a new product.
I am often contacted by prospective buyers seeking a designer’s opinion on a particular boat that is listed for sale. Usually this results in my locating a collection of similar vessels, and our discussing good and bad points of each. The value most see in this is that my opinion is not based on a monetary gain, but on the suitability of the vessel to the buyer’s needs.
Because I had posted (on a forum) a picture of a William Garden design that I thought was a good example of a trawler type, I was contacted by a prospective buyer about the availability of similar vessels. I located one for sale locally, Tiger Bay, and visited her for a quick overview for the buyer who was half a continent away. I took 85 photographs which were emailed to the buyer with my comments. I then wrote a list of immediate requirements (repairs, maintenance, and upgrades) with ballpark costs. The buyer decided to pass on that boat and then focused on an East Coast prospect built by Herd & Mackenzie in Scotland. I was able to recommend Steve Zimmerman to go and have a look at that vessel. Ultimately the buyer came around to thinking a new build would make more sense and I did a series of preliminary sketches incorporating features from the existing designs he had been looking at.
Research for a Builder or Brokerage Planning on Introducing a New Product
Working with a builder or broker is very different as we are targeting a group of prospective buyers. This always starts with an assessment of what is currently available in this market segment. Usually we then establish what our new product’s leading features will be. Most recently I was involved with the True Build project aimed at creating a fast coastal cruiser working very closely with an owner group. The project was challenging due to my having to combine sometimes very specific requirements from 20+ people into one vessel. In my opinion I successfully did this, though the project broke down when faced with real life pricing.
As part of a market research study that involved looking at several vessels, I recently did a feasibility study for the refit of the William Garden designed trawler, Tiger Bay.
The True Build project aimed at creating a fast, low-cost coastal cruiser working very closely with an owner group of 20+ people.