The science of safety and performance
It is impossible to overstate the importance of this discipline in yacht design. Naval architecture is the science behind a yacht’s safety and performance, and it informs all major design decisions. Everything from a yacht’s stability at sea, the position of her engines, her fuel capacity and the size of her rudders is part of an integrally connected system that owes its performance to the studio’s naval architects.
It goes without saying that they are a crucial component in the studio’s holistic approach, and an essential part of the team. At their disposal, besides their expertise, experience and the pooled knowledge of the entire team, is a vast library of over 7,000 Vripack projects containing every relevant piece of data on every single one of the studio’s yachts. Vripack’s naval architects, in common with the specialists from every other discipline under the studio’s roof, are involved in the design process from the initial briefing right up until the completion of the final sea trial, and are responsible for the internal control and monitoring of the yacht’s performance, as well as regulatory compliance and shipyard requirements.
One of the very first drawings made in the life of each of Vripack’s yachts is by its naval architects. Even at this early stage, however, they will already have spent several hundred hours running multiple iterations of highly complex calculations with the aid of state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics software in order to optimize every inch of the yacht’s hull for underwater flow. It is the information from these calculations that form the basis of the lines plans, as the drawings are known. The degree of precision they seek in these lines is comparable to that demanded of surgeons, for these are the lines that ultimately determine the yacht’s performance.
This level of precision allows the architects to determine the exact weight distribution necessary for the yacht to rock from port to starboard with the regularity of a pendulum, thus ensuring the owner and crew experience not the faintest hint of seasickness. They apply the same exactitude when lofting the hull, which allows them to keep the fore-and-aft curvature just sharp enough to ensure a slow pitch as the yacht parts the waves.