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The Masthead

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-

ing sequence.

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 The builder who hangs on to the old outdated method may find himself hanging on.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.

Figure 6

Dec. 2014 Page 11