Design For Series Production
By approaching the problem from scratch, new
facilities specifically designed for high-volume
boat production emerged revolutionizing the
boatbuilding industry. There followed high
rates of daily production, output unheard of
before. Today, there are many outstanding ex-
amples of plant layout for series production.
Although each plant differs from the other in
specific detail, they show generally a common
flow pattern. This is illustrated in Figure 6.
The main stem of this system is the assembly
line. After the hull and deck component are
molded, they proceed through a series of work-
stations starting with, for example, the bare
hull received from the mold room and finishing
up with the completed product. The actual
number of stations will vary from a few, 6 to 8
for smaller boats, to about 20 plus for larger
more complex boats.
Material from the warehouse and sub shops is
issued to the proper station in the proper build-
It becomes readily apparent that the success
or failure of this approach to boatbuilding is
highly dependent upon several key factors.
a. Material is on hand
b. Trained people available
c. Sub shops complete their work on time
d. Work flow is uninterrupted
The designers and engineers can affect all of
these areas thru their selection of materials,
equipment, and the approach taken to compo-
nent design. In effect, they do influence by
their judgments the profitability of the com-
pany. It is, therefore, important when consider-
ing the selection of designer/engineers either
as consultants or as in house staff to look be-
yond the pretty pictures. How capable are they in practical matters of construction, and how dedicated are they to the
preservation of profits, yours?
As technology advances, so must the state of the boatbuilding art. This means that all aspects of production boatbuilding
must respond to the new systems, methods and materials, and evaluate them in light of economic feasibility, availability,
and quality. The builder who hangs on to the old outdated method may find himself hanging on.
In summary, the successful modern boat manufacturing organization employs disciplines found in many other sound busi-
ness ventures. What they intend to build is the output of a market study as opposed to satisfying the whims of a select
The design is developed with production orientation foremost in mind. They purposely avoid configurations and details that
would prove costly and troublesome at high rates of production. They employ production techniques developed to mini-
mize labor and material costs and manufacture their products in efficient facilities specifically designed to build boats.
Boatbuilding at these levels has moved into the serious business category, and therefore, offers many opportunities to the
qualified person seeking a career in this industry.
Dec. 2014 Page 11