A Naval Architect designs ships, yatchs and boats of all sizes. It is a very complex job which combines technical, structural and safety aspects with creative design. Like building architects Naval Architects work on computers and must have a high level of understanding of materials and of structure and design. The difference is that most buildings on land are exposed to more predictable conditions whereas any ship or boat has to operate in various water conditions that affect its structure and puts stress on the materials used. A love of boats and sailing and personal experience of the sea would be a huge advantage to a naval architect who would then have a feel and understanding of this enviroment.
The Naval Architect needs to understand and work within the needs of the client and at the same time observe the strict safety standards. Currently there are no courses offered in South Africa but you can study by correspondence with colleges in the USA or train overseas at a university like Southampton in England