Naval architecture

With our extensive experience in the field of naval architecture Lateral® is a leader in the field. A portfolio of in-service designs covering all hull form types, speed regimes, propulsion systems and construction materials demonstrates our expertise.
The scope of our naval architecture services include:

  • Concept Design Development
  • Specification Writing
  • Hull-form Design and Development 
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics 
  • Performance Predictions 
  • Propulsion System Design
  • Sea-keeping Analysis 
  • Hydrodynamic Model Testing 
  • Manoeuvring Simulations 
  • Weight Engineering
  • Stability Analysis
  • Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel Testing
  • Loadline and Other Statutory Calculations

The breadth and scope of our naval architecture enables us to deliver insightful naval architecture/ engineering at any and all stages of a project: from early concept and feasibility studies, contract and Class level design to detailed production engineering, commissioning and refit. Working across all stages of design, production, commissioning and refit, we can advise the correct level of scope and project structure to deliver maximum added value, minimise technical risk and engineering cost.
We have an established reputation as a leader in the field of hull form development and we marry our breadth of experience in the private yacht, commercial and naval markets to deliver designs tailored for good sea-keeping ability, low resistance, high propulsive efficiency and exceptional range. 
Our team’s portfolio extends far beyond conventional monohulls and covers the development of specialist hull forms such as catamarans, SWATHs, hydrofoils and air cushioned vessels. 
Additionally, with our background in configuring conventional, unusual and high-tech propulsion systems with the integration of stabilisation and dynamic positioning systems, we can provide high level capability for even the most demanding yacht owners.
We thrive on challenges brought to us by the industry’s leading designers, stylists and shipyards. Our goal is to help deliver their visionary design intent through application of our insight, knowledge and expertise combined with a collaborative and flexible approach.

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Structural engineering

Lateral® specialises in the design of structures in steel, aluminium and composite. Through our teams 60 years’ experience in developing structural designs for yachts and specialised vessels we utilise an extensive knowledge base to deliver practical and pragmatic designs that are fit for purpose, efficient to build and with excellent attention to detail. 
Lateral® structural design services include:

  • Concept and feasibility studies
  • Advice on material specifications
  • Design to Class and management of Class approval 
  • First principles calculations 
  • Load prediction 
  • Finite Element Analysis 
  • Local and global structural optimisation
  • 3D solid and surface modelling 
  • Mould and plant design 
  • Laminate schedules 
  • Production design drawings
  • Weight engineering and control 
  • Engineering audits, consultancy and troubleshooting 
  • Design to small craft codes 
  • Refit and repair 
  • On-site build and engineering support

Our structural design experience ranges from small composite production designs to large steel and aluminium sail and motor yachts that are dominated by complex global loads. Married with our heritage in the design of high-speed commercial and naval craft we are leaders in the field of lightweight and robust aluminium structures.
Having worked with all the major Classification societies, Lateral® brings significant depth of knowledge and ability to gain full Class approvals in the most efficient and effective manner. With each Class society having its own nuances Lateral® has the insight required to engage Class in educated debate at the appropriate junctions to ensure design is not encumbered with redundant, heavy and expensive features.
With many naval architecture offices and smaller shipyards choosing to subcontract structural design services, we often find ourselves providing specialist structural engineering to a wide ranging client base, often including our competitors in other disciplines. For larger shipyards we can offer a pool of flexible resource available to work in-yard, as demand requires.
Whether engaged as a single source structural designer or acting to reinforce a client’s existing team Lateral® provides a skilled, flexible and scalable service enabling our clients to confidently bid, execute and deliver the most challenging and complex projects.

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Mechanical engineering

Lateral delivers comprehensive breadth and depth of capability in the field of mechanical and systems engineering. We undertake whole vessel engineering from concept to detailed production design: 
Simplicity - We believe that complex technology need not be arranged in a complex manner and we strive for simplicity of design where possible.
Integration - We integrate engineering across all disciplines assuring the most efficient use of space. We develop systems holistically to ensure spatial and energy efficiency.
Installation – We bring our extensive experience in production engineering to bear from inception, ensuring our designs are developed with a focus on efficient production and installation.
Operation - We bring practical knowledge of in-service operation to ensure that our designs are easy to operate and service throughout their life.
Lateral has particular expertise in the design of propulsion systems, where we keep apace with the rapidly expanding spectrum of new technologies and range of possible alternatives. Our portfolio includes;

  • Conventional Diesel Mechanical
  • Diesel Electric
  • Hybrid - Combined Diesel and/or Electric (CODAE/CODOE)
  • Combined Gas and/or Diesel (COGAD/COGOD) 
  • Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) 
  • Combined Gas and Gas (COGAG) 
  • Water jet and Prop/Jet Hybrid 
  • FPP and CPP Systems 
  • Podded Drive Systems 
  • Proprietary Novel Drive Systems

We can guide the selection and configuration of the optimum propulsion system to achieve any range of required system performance criteria, be it efficiency, flexibility, noise and vibration or any combination of parameters. Having worked with the industry’s leading and most innovative suppliers we develop our designs with input from multiple stakeholders to deliver the most effective, best value and lowest risk design possible.
In addition to the development of main propulsion systems and associated machinery space arrangements, we plan and layout all auxiliary machinery spaces: from providing support and guidance to designers and stylists in early stage space planning to preparation of final spatial arrangements for production. 
Lateral's capability covers development of the full suite of auxiliary system schematics utilising either accepted standard system arrangement philosophy, or challenging the status quo through novel arrangements tailored for energy conservation, zero discharge, integration of new technology or to increase operational effectiveness, ease of maintenance and redundancy.
The breadth and depth of experience within our team extends beyond desk- based design and engineering to providing build support during installation, commissioning assistance and in service consultancy.

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Outfit engineering

The exterior outfit engineering of a modern yacht is a specialist domain demanding a high degree of multi-discipline experience, understanding of the yacht’s overall aesthetic and style, as well as unfaltering attention to detail. 
The overall design vision created by the designer/stylist will incorporate a multitude of fine details, many of which must be embodied within the visual appearance and integration of the exterior outfit necessary for the safe and practical operation of the yacht. To achieve this, items of equipment must either be hidden, customised / restyled, or be of a completely bespoke design.
At Lateral we work closely with the designer to understand the overall visual design intent and interface with the shipyard’s nominated and preferred suppliers to assure integration with other disciplines, develop customised or bespoke equipment and ultimately achieve the aesthetic goals. This is done whilst ensuring practicality is maintained for production, operation and maintenance.
The scope of our work in this field is diverse and typically ranges from feasibility studies for novel and complex features, detailed development of anchoring and mooring systems, concealment systems for lifeboats, life rafts, deck cranes and other ancillary equipment through to the fine production detailing for hand rails, window bonding systems and machinery ventilation louvers.
All such features can involve the co-ordination of information from multiple subcontractors, influence other engineering facets as well as have regulatory consequences. Our multi-disciplinary team brings its breadth of knowledge, communication and design management skills together to ensure that a practical and integrated design is delivered. 

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Concept design

Concept Design —the embryonic stages of a yacht project — is that crucial phase when designers, naval architects, builders, and engineers come together to lay the foundation for the owner’s vision. 
Lateral's contribution during this phase is to close the gap between what is conceivable and what is achievable, to provide innovative, yet practical and feasible engineering solutions without compromising concept intent.
We ask new questions, not only because we are inquisitive, but also because we realise that it’s often the question that drives the answer.
By asking new questions and by investigating all angles, Lateral® gets to the core of daring design. Embracing challenges from designers, we apply insight and knowledge to turn a concept into a reality.
Lateral undertakes complete vessel engineering from the early concept phase through to detailed production design. With our keen understanding of spatial, layout and arrangement requirements of all technical spaces, we direct our insight of the functional to the stylistic elements intended by the designer.
With our expertise of modern regulatory frameworks we afford the designer minimum design restraint while maintaining compliancy.
Lateral® fosters innovation. When concept designs are based on new or novel technology, engineering and naval architecture, we bring our extensive experience from other marine markets to bear, allowing us to cross-fertilise ideas and technology. 

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Class level design

Having worked with all the major classification societies, Lateral® brings significant depth of knowledge in achieving full class approvals in the most efficient and effective manner.
With each society having its own particular nuances, we have the insight required to engage class in educated debate at the appropriate junctions to ensure that designs are not encumbered with redundant, heavy and expensive features. 
When designs do not align within an existing regulatory framework, we ask new questions and derive new answers to achieve compliance based on equivalent levels of safety.
When appropriate, we integrate a high level of production-ready detailing into our class level designs, enabling rapid progression into production engineering and ultimately saving the shipyard and client valuable time and cost.
Our team devotes substantial resources to monitoring and proactively involving ourselves in the on-going development of the regulatory codes and conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL, POLAR, REG LYC and more. Each has implications for design and build, each is complex, and in some instances regulations are in conflict with others when new regulation is brought into force.
As part of our monitoring process, we maintain close links with the major Flag Authorities and classification societies and participate in numerous industry working groups to help shape, and stay ahead of anticipated future regulation.  We undertake carefully planned research into the impact of new regulations, which enables us to have an intimate understanding ahead of actual implementation. Lateral® makes this knowledge base available to its clients. Additionally, we openly share the results of our research with the wider industry.
The result of this focus is that Lateral has exceptional depth of expertise in meeting the demands and requirements imposed by the wide spectrum of continually evolving and often confusing regulation. When coupled with our production-focused engineering, our continually updated body of knowledge enables us to offer single-source engineering for the development of innovative naval architecture, structural, mechanical and outfit design to meet the most exacting regulatory standards.

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Detail design

Lateral offers a comprehensive suite of production engineering services. We believe in developing intelligent production designs that are practical and production friendly. We incorporate a high degree of detail, ensuring greater efficiency through the full integration of engineering.
Large yachts are complex vessels with highly integrated systems. To achieve our aims we use a structured yet flexible approach that is tailored to the specific needs of each project, shipyard and anticipated build schedule. We believe that preparation is the key to success, whether detailing a design from our own office or one from a third party.  The result is a series of key phases that underpin the detail design process:
Technical Review – Having an intimate understanding of the technical status of all aspects of a design before commencing production engineering is vital. When detailing third party designs, we undertake a full technical review of the plans provided; identifying areas of potential risk, design performance, non-compliance, best practice and clarity. Working with the project team and the shipyard we focus on achieving a solid underpinning on which to begin the actual production work.
Build Strategy and Standards – Lateral® works closely with each shipyard to develop a clear understanding of their production facilities, standards, processes and philosophies, thereby ensuring that details employed in the design are appropriately aligned. Where a unitised construction process is to be used we plan in detail with the shipyard appropriate unit breaks and construction sequencing that are optimised both for the yard’s facilities and the yacht’s arrangement.
Design Evolution – Turning a Class level design into one suitable to start production engineering can involve significant levels of expertise. At Lateral we add significant value in this area by integrating the build strategy and standards, together with practical and construction- friendly details, within the design. This work is at the core of our expertise and lays the foundations for executing the production engineering.
Planning – All of our preparation and the resulting engineering is encapsulated within a single cohesive plan, carefully managed in conjunction with the shipyard’s master-build schedule, key milestones and resource constraints.
Concurrent to this preparation the process of executing the engineering is initiated and coordinated within a three dimensional environment via industry leading software applications. With these tools we produce the final production deliverables, followed up by comprehensive on-site technical support to the shipyard.
Our production engineering capability linked with our experience in pre-contract design, class level design and technical build support enables us to offer single-source engineering responsibility for all naval architecture, structural, mechanical and outfit aspects of design, from concept to execution.

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Consultancy services

In addition to new build design and engineering Lateral® provides a wide range of consultancy services. 
Owner’s Representative
Utilising our multi-disciplined experience we represent the client at every stage of a project helping to protect the interests of the owner.
Plan Approval
With experience of all major classification societies and flag authorities, we offer a complete plan approval service ensuring that projects are effectively managed through the classification process and every engineering detail is appropriately scrutinised.
Structural Analysis and Audits
Our extensive skill in the design of marine structures enables us to offer a complete structural analysis, design and auditing service. From load prediction and structural analysis to fatigue assessments; we work in steel, aluminium and advanced composites.

Motion Predictions and Stabilisation Studies
With a strong background in the design of hull forms that offer good seakeeping ability, we have the tools and knowledge to make accurate motion predictions and assess the impact of proposed motion control systems from roll fins to stabilisation tanks and T-Foils.

Machinery Retrofit Feasibility Studies
Lateral can act on behalf of our clients who wish to extend the capability of their existing vessel. Whether improving motions through the retro fitting of fin stabilisers or improving manoeuvrability through fitting additional thrusters, we have the practical experience to ensure the correct machinery is selected and installed appropriately.
Weight Verification Studies and Monitoring 
Members of our team have extensive background and experience in the design of lightweight high speed craft enabling us to lead in the design of lightweight vessels, which coupled with our comprehensive database of as-built weights, gives us the capability to engineer and verify minimum weight solutions.
Performance Predictions and Model Testing
Utilising our comprehensive model test database we are able to conduct performance predictions utilising proven data. Results can be further verified by algorithms developed in house whilst Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis is available for optimisation studies. Additionally, we offer a full range of model test support services covering resistance and propulsion, wake surveys, seakeeping and manoeuvring tests.
Proof of Concept Studies
Working from initial concept sketches, we have the ability to provide solid engineering foundations to any designer’s concepts, allowing more accurate shipyard quotations and workable solutions from the early concept stage. 
Energy Efficiency Studies
With volatile bunker prices, environmental legislation and social pressure, there is an increasing need to save energy and strive for efficiency. Employing skills from all engineering disciplines Lateral® can evaluate every aspect of a yachts design and operation to identify energy use and set strategies for improvement.
Factory Acceptance Trials
Accepting ownership of complex items of equipment can be a daunting task. Lateral® can act on behalf of the yard, owners or suppliers to ensure that equipment meets its specification before leaving the factory.
Inclining Experiments and Stability Books
Lateral provides a comprehensive stability analysis service, from preliminary intact/damaged analysis and optimisation of compartmentation, to the undertaking of inclining experiments and preparation of final onboard stability information.
Manoeuvring Simulations and Onboard Simulator
Lateral has been involved in developing the world’s leading state of the art PC based ship manoeuvring simulator ‘BMT PC Rembrandt’ which is utilised to assess and optimise the manoeuvring and DP characteristics of new and existing designs. Additionally, the tool is installed on board for real time manoeuvring simulation training by the yacht’s crew.
Wind Tunnel Testing
Lateral has direct access to three large wind tunnels undertaking a broad spectrum of aerodynamic studies. 
Sea Trials
Conducting sea trials is a critical part of any project and Lateral® can ensure these are conducted under the right conditions representing the interests of the yard, owner or machinery suppliers.

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