Design Process

Brilliant Boats offers a complete design service.  Many Clients have us design their vessels from the bottom up, or the inside out, if you prefer. There are clear advantages to having all aspects of the vessel being designed in parallel, under one roof. We approach a new project from many directions at once.  We surround it and attack in alternating waves of interior, mechanical, styling, performance, structure, systems, and budget criteria.  We continue until we have a concept that stands firm against everything on the wish list in the Client's brief.

Having said all that, we rarely end up doing everything ourselves.  We usually work in close cooperation with the Builder and suppliers of significant sub-assemblies. They are often the best placed to efficiently deal with the details of the systems within their scope of supply. Often a Client will have a favorite interior designer, or a relationship with other professionals that contribute to the project. In this case we supply only what's missing and ensure that  the individual pieces integrate seamlessly on site. Because our client base includes not just Owners of vessels, but other industry and industrial professionals, we are often called upon as an external resource to tackle individual design and/or engineering projects.


Every Brilliant Boats hull is designed specifically for each vessel. The design of a “sweet” hull requires the combination of an artist’s eye, a hydrodynamicist’s brain, and an engineer’s hands. The artist’s eye to make it “look” right, the brain to make it “sit” right, and the caculations to make sure it “goes” right.

Hull shapes are developed from the outset in 3D, and evolve with the vessel. The virtual hull is evaluated in a variety of conditions in the computers and optimized for its target weight and speed. With the vessel’s design finalized, a scale model of the hull is produced and tested in a towing tank at a variety of speeds, displacements and sea states. Any final tweaks to further optimize can be made to the virtual hull model before a final hull design is issued for construction.

Resistance and propulsion data compiled from towing tank results allow precise tuning of the mechanical package to ensure the very best performance and range.

We also design custom hydrodynamic devices such as bespoke stabilizer systems, trim tabs, and lifting foils for industrial and private customers.


Brilliant Boats chief stylist is almost always the client.

Each one knows exactly what he wants; our job is to just show it to him.

We believe that a bespoke vessel should reflect a Client’s individual requirements, ideas, and personal style. The man who’s personal car is a Bentley will be after a very different product that the driver of a McLaren. Both can be argued to be the best of their breed, but beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder as very few would buy both.

Our job as designers and stylists is to produce the best looking boat in the world, for each and every one of our clients. As beauty is subjective, so is style. We go to great lengths to find out what each client’s idea of perfect styling is, often by trial and error, until we arrive at a styling language that is clearly appreciated by the Boss, but also consistent with the job the vessel has to perform.

Each vessel is painted from a different palette. Same painter, same old brushes, but each is an original.

If you don’t find a common styling language in our work, be impressed – they are all perfect for someone.

The Design Process

At Brilliant Boats, we approach each project in five distinct phases. Ideally, each phase should be completed before moving on to the next. The most efficient construction results are produced when all build partners follow a clear, common path towards completion.

Phase One: The Preliminary Study

This is the gestation period of the vessel. We work closely together with the Client, and add muscle and skin to the bare bones of requirements – accommodation, general dimensions, performance, range, and the look and feel of the boat are all developed. Typical output includes 2D Profile and Arrangement drawings, and a basic vessel specification document.

Phase Two: The Bid Package

Here, the 2D proposal is developed into a 3D computer model. Preliminary structural, resistance and propulsion, weight and trim calculations are performed, as well as 3D interior and exterior modeling. Builders are approached, and offers for various phases of the construction secured. A realistic budget for the build can now be confirmed and build partners chosen.

Phase Three: Detailed Design and Engineering

Every aspect of the vessel is studied in depth. Resistance and propulsion requirements and seakeeping are confirmed through tank testing. The structure is refined and developed in FEA, interior design, machinery installation, and systems integration are finalized. All required construction data are shipped to the relevant contractors and Class. In short, every detail that is required to build the vessel from start to finish is produced for, or in partnership with the build partners.

Phase Four: Construction

With the vessel in construction, an ongoing cycle of inspection, approval and horse-trading goes on with the Builder, Class, and MCA. We continue to provide supplementary drawings, details, and technical support throughout the build. In addition, most projects require a monthly meeting on site to discuss progress, brainstorm problems and make decisions in preparation for the next month’s production.

Phase Five: Delivery

The completed vessel is dock-tested to verify that all systems are operational and to specification. When all systems are signed off, sea trials will be performed to verify speed and seakeeping characteristics and the vessel’s handling envelope. Formal acceptance of the vessel usually requires certification of the vessel by Flag, Class and MCA, as well as acceptance of the vessel by us as Naval Architects, the Project Manager and of course, the Owner.