Ship design process

Ship design process

Deltamarin’s services cover all phases and disciplines of the ship design process. Each project is planned according to our client’s needs and preferences.

Our research and development function has carried out almost 700 application studies exploring various markets, project feasibility, product applicability, machineries and systems. These also serve as an excellent basis for developing state-of-the-art vessel concepts.

DeltaWay – a quick way to develop first ship concepts

Deltamarin has developed a new unique process called DeltaWay to enable execution of very accurate vessel concepts in a very short timeframe. The DeltaWay process provides the client with a large amount of information about the properties of the vessel concept and with a comprehensive ship technical and ship economy data package as early as in the first phase. In addition, this fully digital ship concept including the latest CFD-based optimisation features and virtual reality experience allows the client for the first time to participate closely in the development process and provides a perfect foundation for further development and variations.

A DeltaWay project starts with the client-delivered basic design criteria of the vessel, such as requirements for cargo and passenger capacities, operation profile, the main dimension restraints, loading arrangements and other relevant information available. Based on this information and on Deltamarin’s extensive references, statistics and databases as well as earlier development work, we will then develop the first round of DeltaWay concept design. During the process and based on the results of the first round, the client can evaluate the results and decide on the need for variations. Since the concept is done fully digitally in 3D from the very beginning, the client can utilise our advanced virtual reality technology when reviewing the results and ensuring that the ultimate outcome fulfils its specific requirements.

DeltaWay concept developmentFor the time being, DeltaWay can only be applied to ro-pax vessel design, but other vessel types will be added gradually.

Outline level

The outline phase of the project means further development of the DeltaWay concept to a level where the inquiry material can be sent to shipyards. The focus of this phase is to add more details and specifications to the concept describing the design to a sufficiently detailed level for the shipyard’s pricing purposes.

With a prototype vessel, it is essential that the project be well defined before approaching yards. All yards can then start from the same basis; the owner receives proposals that it can compare and gets the desired design at an affordable price. Not all yards have the capacity or the experience to produce the necessary design and estimates by themselves.

At this stage, the preliminarily selected classification society, which also works as a representative of the national authority, is often called in. This is especially the case when there are new rules to be applied. Major suppliers will be approached to receive both commercial and technical proposals.

Contract project

The purpose of the contract project phase is to provide technical assistance and consultation during the evaluation of different yard proposals and to develop the specifications and other design material further. We may also participate in technical and commercial contract negotiations and other consultation on ship specific topics as seen necessary. The main aim of this phase is to achieve a confirmed extensive technical specification and create supporting documents that will lead to a ship contract.

The outline concept is further developed using our advanced CFD simulation tools for hull form development, possible model tests, FEM simulations for optimising the structures and our other specific simulation tools such as assuring maximum energy efficiency of the vessel. At this stage, virtual reality tools can provide real value by ensuring the quality and experience of interior compartments. All this development assists the client in detailed discussions with the yards.

The contract project starts with a review of the proposals received from the bidding yards. Deviations from the outline specification in each received proposal will be listed and their impacts assessed, and a summary will be prepared. After this, a short listing of the most interesting proposals is carried out and feedback given to the shortlisted yards. Technical clarification meetings will be arranged where the client, yard and Deltamarin discuss all different aspects of the yard proposal and especially the items deviating from the outline specification.

After the Owner has made its preliminary selection of the building yard, discussions with this yard will continue. Deltamarin can assist the owner by updating and fine-tuning the final contractual material. Once the technical details are agreed, we will prepare the final contractual documentation to be confirmed and signed. This then works as the final technical specification and supporting documentation for the shipbuilding contract. In China, for instance, an owner’s contract project is practically always required to ensure that all necessary features are included on the vessel.

Basic design

The purpose of the basic design is to develop the project in order to achieve approvals from the classification society, national authority and other related authorities as well as to define the project to meet the owner’s requirements. This means that an efficient basic design class and flag should be decided upon. At the same time, the project will be technically defined to allow the procurement of the main equipment. The basic design process cannot proceed without the selection of manufacturers for the main systems, as makers’ data is required for the design to proceed.

Basic design is typically ordered/carried out by the yard, but can be carried out on behalf of the owner as well, even before signing the shipbuilding contract. This, however, means that the owner may have to make the classification agreement as well as select the main makers, subject to the shipbuilding contract.

Basic and detail design schedules often overlap. The basic design is finished once all approvals have been received.

At Deltamarin, we typically carry out 4-6 basic design projects a year, including technical procurement handling.

Hull form development

Deltamarin’s strong team of hydrodynamic experts are highly experienced in optimising hull forms for the actual operating conditions of ships. By careful optimisation with state-of-the-art tools, we can reduce needed propulsion power while maintaining good manoeuvring and seakeeping characteristics. With hundreds of model-tested vessels as a reference and the cutting-edge RANS CFD solver STAR-CCM+ as a tool, we optimise vessels to the highest efficiency level.

In addition to CFD simulations, we carry out 10-15 model test series a year at different European model basins. Successful execution requires experience and knowledge of developing the hull form, and the model tests need to be carried out to verify that the optimisation targets have been achieved. We have very good experience in managing this process to a successful end result.

Detail design

To ensure a uniform basis for detail engineering and interface agreement between the yard, owner, different suppliers and Deltamarin as designer, precoordination design is carried out. This coordination phase is important as the last check concerning system redundancy and availability. This phase may also be called integration design.

Space reservations will be checked and necessary definitions for the location of various main items will be accomplished. The ship-wide routing of piping, ducting and cabling will be made to prevent any discontinuity in design at areas of interface.

The basic design diagrams for piping, the main cable trays and ventilation ducts will be brought on top of the space arrangements and layouts, taking into consideration the structural arrangement as well.

Detail design and engineering are carried out in accordance with the selected building method. Normally hull, machinery and piping are taken care of by the yard, and the rest by the area and system suppliers. However, this depends on the selected shipyard. Detail/production design is typically carried out by the yard alone and/or together with the designers. In China, the practice is different as, in detail design, only the final vendor data is implemented and the production design is carried out by the yards with their own 3D programmes.

Basic and detail design schedules often overlap. The detail design ends in production start-up.

Construction and commissioning

During the construction, we at Deltamarin can supervise the project as well as work in close cooperation with the yard to ensure successful project execution.

Newbuilding supervision is typically subdivided into three phases:

  • Yard and supplier meetings
  • Document control/approval/special studies
  • Supervision

Depending on the owner’s involvement, we are in a position to take responsibility of all three phases if needed.

Document approval is handled mainly through our main office, where we have required specialists available concerning, for example, safety, noise and vibration, structural finite element method (FEM) analysis, naval architectural calculations, weight, etc. Yard meetings are handled by the supervisors and/or by required specialists. Supervisors are mainly our own experienced people. Local capacity can be used when necessary. We have partners in different countries and locations, which enables us to respond locally, sometimes very quickly.

Training should be started as early as the model testing phase concerning, for example, manoeuvrability, crabbing and harbour approach, and continued with system simulations, etc. while the basic design proceeds.

System redundancy and availability should be simulated during the design phase and not be left for the commissioning phase only.

Ship in operation

For sailing vessels Deltamarin offers a wide range of services to maintain your fleet in excellent condition, or even to upgrade it to the next level. For conversions, we offer design services for the complete project from feasibility studies to full EPCM packages. All this based on our long track record and knowledge of latest technologies.

Our products and services during operation include the following:

  • One-stop shop for conversions: studies, design, management and execution
  • Energy efficiency audits and improvement studies, read more here
  • Energy efficiency training, read more here
  • Updating of stability documentation
  • Updating of technical documentation
  • Technical documentation lifetime management and storage services
  • Safety audits and studies
  • Dynamic Positioning (DP) class upgrades
  • Environmental studies

For more information, please contact

Kristian Knaapi
Head of Sales & Marketing
Tel. +358 2 4336 453
Mobile +358 40 7006 905
kristian.knaapi@deltamarin.com