What does a Naval Architect do?

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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 25 November 2019
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A naval architect is a person who works on ships throughout the various stages of design and construction, as well as following up after the task has been completed. They have to work closely with the engineer to make sure that everything is as it should be. There are numerous steps involved in building a ship, especially in vessels as large as the Navy requires. Five basic tasks are required from the architect, but they can be placed into three different categories. Designing, construction, and following up are the three main job requirements when being a naval architect.

The first job requirement that a naval architect has is designing and planning each specific ship that needs to be built. The planning stage begins by discussing the exact requirements needed, how many people the ship will carry, how much weight it will hold, and how fast and maneuverable it needs to be. Once the idea of what needs to be built is clear, then the architect will sit down and design the new ship, following the requirements that were discussed. Most of the time this is done with various computer programs, but it can also be a task completed with hand drawings and blueprints.


The construction phase of the building process is when the naval architect is required to work closely with the engineer to ensure that the blueprints are followed exactly. While building the different areas of the ship, the architect will check the constructed pieces against the plans that they have drawn up. Each and every section of the ship will be reviewed in this way, starting with the foundation and ending with the engine, as well as any accessories that are to be included. Even though the engineer is in charge of the construction phase, the architect is responsible to make sure that the blueprints are followed.

The final aspect of the job is to follow up after the ship has been constructed and is ready for use. The naval architect will evaluate the performance of the ship and follow up with any changes that may need to be made in order to improve the ship. They are required to document every specific aspect of the first few voyages, such as top speed, weight, maneuverability, and any other requirements that had been set forth during the initial discussion. The documentation will then be submitted for review in order to evaluate the need for any improvements, or to simply allow the ship to remain as it is.


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