Sustainable superyacht degree offered by Solent University

the hull of a blue superyacht

​Solent University, Southampton has unveiled a brand-new MSc for the 2024/25 academic year: Sustainable Marine Craft and Superyacht Design. It’s the first degree of its kind in the UK.

Accepting applications now, for a September 2024 start, this new course – taught by leading experts in the world of superyacht design – incorporates environmental approaches and tackling lower-carbon solutions head-on.

The course will blend engineering science, naval architecture and project management, with an emphasis on practical, real-world learning.

Students will also benefit from access to Solent’s Centre for Marine Sustainability.

“Sustainability is transitioning from a mere trend or passion to becoming an integral part of business operations,” says Yann Dabbadie, Southern Wind Shipyard technical manager. “As builders of sailing yachts designed for long-range performance cruising with a high level of autonomy, it has been imperative for us to enhance our environmental responsibility in the way we design, build, and operate our yachts. This new business approach requires a wealth of knowledge and skills across various fields, skills that are not readily available within the yachting industry and must be sourced from other sectors.

“It’s encouraging to learn that Solent University is leveraging its international reputation and expertise to contribute to a more sustainable yachting industry, ensuring that essential skills are accessible for companies aiming to innovate in a greener direction.”

Sven Saborowski, a graduate of this course’s predecessor Superyacht Design, is now a project design engineer at Meyer Werft in Germany, says: “The industry moves fast, and what you learn here will keep you ahead of the game. Now, working on yacht and cruise ship designs, I use what I learned every day, applying those specialised skills and knowledge that I developed during my time at Solent.

“During my time in the UK, it felt like Solent was the only place I could get such an insider look at the superyacht industry. . . . my lecturers openness to innovation was a uniquely rewarding educational journey for me.”

2024 marks 55 years of yacht and powercraft design and production at Solent University.

Sustainable Marine Craft and Superyacht Design overview

The MSc Sustainable Marine Craft and Superyacht Design course focuses on equipping students with the engineering knowledge and the analytical and practical technical design skills a future marine craft designer is expected to have on entering the leisure or commercial craft design and production industry, to design marine craft typically between 24 metres and 120 metres in length.

Alongside practical design projects, students will study naval architecture, structural design and system design. For all modules, student design must comply with relevant maritime statutory regulations and must have current sustainability and lifecycle requirements embedded within.

Students will learn to use many commercially available drafting, modelling, and analytical software programs widely used across the marine design industry and industry-standard hull lines fairing software to develop the hull, and CAD packages to develop 2D CAD drawings and 3D computer generated models of their designs.

Students will also have access to Solent University’s 60 metres long tow tank, where they will be able to test and analyse the performance of a sailing or motor vessel and then develop the sail or wing plan for a wind assisted vessel, or the powertrain for a powered vessel.

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