Want to Work in Yacht Design?

Want to work in Yacht Design or some field very useful to design work? We regularly get work applications and requests for internships. Many applications don’t give us a clear picture of who is behind the application and what the applicant might be capable of achieving.

In the following guide we present the skills we employ in designing our boats, and what you should present us with if you are interested in working with us.

Present Yourself

Tell us who you are, not just your studies, your qualifications and job history. Tell us what you believe, what ideas you want to bring to the world, what your’e passionate about. Stamp collecting, acrobatics, the physics of dark matter, it’s all good stuff. 


A CV is fine. A profile of yourself that includes your CV, or some of it, is much better. A CV tells us where you’ve been. A profile gives us an idea of what you might be capable of doing in the future.

Keep it concise and interesting, not a history lesson about your life but something that would make us think "yeah this person might be great to work with".


Formal qualifications are a good starting point but they’re meaningless if you don’t have a passion for what you do and are constantly asking questions, researching, and striving for fresh ideas.


I lot of what is taught in formal institutions is about what has come before. Some of that is useful, important even, but a lot of what we do is ahead of the curve and that requires a combination of creative thinking, a proactive mind set, and a healthy respect for the fundamentals of design and engineering.


Don’t be daunted if you don’t have certificates or degrees from a university or learning institution. I’m totally self taught in everything I do. However you do need to be able to demonstrate that you can inspire with your work and work to professional standards in your chosen field.

The Stuff We Do

It's creative and it can be a lot of fun. When something pretty cool pops out the factory door you can be pretty sure there's a lot of damn hard work behind it. Here is a roundup of most of the skills involved.


Design is about finding solutions to problems. It’s about creating something new, something original, something that makes a meaningful contribution to the way we experience life in work or play. 

The work of design embraces a wide range of skills, but primarily thinking skills. How do we make this thing more useful; stronger, lighter, easier to operate, more aerodynamic, better looking, cheaper to build? And then how do we seamlessly integrate this thing into all the other things that have gone through the same process?


Design includes the language used to transmit the concept to sketches, models (digital or real world). The ability to communicate the idea is as important as the idea itself. This means quick sketches, formal drawings, diagrams and charts models and videos.


It also involves processes like design thinking that create a formal structure which helps to bring ideas to reality.

Concept to creation. Foiling Moth by David Valham from the Yanko Design web site.

Modelling and Drafting

Most drafting software now has good 3D modelling ability, and you can get a reasonable 2D drawing out of most good 3D modelling packages. But as both fields, draughting and modelling become more and more specialised, more sophisticated, and more complex it is increasingly unrealistic to expect either type of package to excel equally in modelling and 2D drafting.

This will be even more the case as virtual reality and direct manufacture from the model become the norm.


Some design engineers will tell you that 2D drafting is obsolete - that all of the information required by the various parties working on the project can be taken from the model. 


I have yet to see this work successfully in practice. The sailmaker, the rigging company, the customer looking at deck layouts; at this point in time they just want the 2D drawing. Yes the drawing can be made from the completed model, but I find it most useful to be working concurrently in 2D and 3D with the model being the primary point of reference.


The point of this; it is possible for one design engineer to be building the model and another to create the drafting from the model, but in the interest of productivity we prefer to work with design engineers who are proficient in both 3D modelling and 2D drafting.



Structural Engineering in Composites

Most of our engineering work is outsourced to companies that specialise in composites engineering and sailing yacht structures in particular. This will continue to be the case in the foreseeable future. 

But if you’re an engineer with a passion for sailing boats and have design skills that include modelling and drafting there may be a space for you to make a contribution in our workflow.

Line drawing white on black ground Mauritius 20 cruising trimaran
Mauritius 20 Cruising Trimaran

Web Site, Media, Graphic Design.

Includes writing, proof reading, preparing brochures and articles, social media, press releases, updating technical information and drawings on the web site, marketing, managing photo storage and providing customer support. Skills in Photoshop and Illustrator are also useful tools in this field.


Interested and want more information? Contact Tony Grainger