DLBA Naval Architects Selected to Support DARPA NOMARS

The DLBA Division of Gibbs & Cox is excited to announce that we will be supporting DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office (TTO) on their revolutionary No Manning Required, Ship (NOMARS) Program. The program will design, build, and field test an unmanned surface ship that can operate autonomously for long durations at sea with no human interventions or underway maintenance. Our team was selected by DARPA to explore the trade space for clean-sheet vessel designs developed without any provision for crew on board. The intent of this effort is to create a paradigm shift in the design of marine surface vehicles as we transition from manned to unmanned platforms, while leveraging newly established and developmental technologies to increase capability, increase reliability, and reduce total ownership cost.

NOMARS is a two-phased program, with this first phase centered on trade space exploration, development of a clean-sheet concept design, and maturation of concept into a preliminary design. We have assembled a team of subject matter experts and industry leaders to explore the many research areas of this program, some of which are: hull, mechanical and electrical systems; self-adaptive health monitoring and predictive analytics; power generation, distribution, and energy storage; as well as advanced depot based maintenance concepts. We will assess the interdependencies of the technical domains and evaluate each domain against overarching variables of cost, endurance, reliability, and manufacturability to ensure that our vessel design is optimized in all aspects of performance, production, and maintainability.

The views, opinions, and/or findings expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.

An Outboard Powered Recreational Yacht

Striking, bold, and thoroughly modern, the 70 Island concept by DLBA offers a completely new experience in an outboard powered recreational yacht. Providing an evolutionary step in the development of outboard powered vessels, this is a true yacht, with high-end furnishings and luxury accommodation, which showcases the latest capability and benefits of outboard propulsion

Combining a laid back island experience with the excitement of high performance well in excess of 40 knots, the 70 Island offers expansive exterior spaces with an inviting layout of combined indoor and outdoor living. Outboard propulsion creates widely-customizable powering and performance options while allowing for more interior space for passengers taking a break from the sun.

The dual transformer aft beach deck system provides easy access for two tenders along with plenty of room for additional toy storage. The large beach deck with integrated fold-down bulwarks creates a vast recreational space when the tenders deploy via an automated system with the push of a button. The beach deck is easily configurable for water ingress or relaxation with direct access to the glassed-in lower solarium. A dinette on the upper deck easily converts into a pleasant sunbathing spot under the fully retractable

sunroof.  All glass tint is LCD adjustable and controlled through mobile devices. Comfortable areas aft, near the helm, and forward also allow for people to spread out while kicking back.

This yacht reimagines the idea of outboard propulsion while providing the best of both worlds; the fit and finish of a yacht with the simplicity and flexibility of outboard motors.

Fast, 53’ Sport Fisher Takes Shape

After 17 months the finish line is in sight for the latest collaboration between Jim Smith Tournament Boats and DLBA Naval Architects. The two companies have been working on a 53’ Walkaround since March of 2019, and as of July 2020, she is in her final stages of completion and has begun initial sea trials. The team has been exceedingly pleased with the results of this sport fishing boat, designed around a pair of CAT C18 ACERT engines rated at 1,150 hp (858 kw) each. With the design placing the propellers in high-performance tunnels, designed to reduce operational draft without compromising on performance, her final top speed will meet or exceed the predicted speed of 44 knots.

The 53’ Walkaround’s owner requested features unique to this design, including an extra-long cockpit which, combined with her walk-a-round deck, provides more space and results in a superior fishing platform. DLBA Naval Architects and Jim Smith Tournament Boats have incorporated rocker in the hull bottom to dial-in the running trim angle, providing a smooth ride and great fuel economy.

With final touches to come, including the completion of her tower and the installation of her hardtop, the DLBA team is looking forward to feedback from her owner after they spend some time together on the water.


53’ Sport Fisher

The Gentleman’s Sportfishing Yacht

A new design is floating on the drawing boards at DLBA Naval Architects!  A combination of classic lines and modern style, the 64 Gentleman’s Sportfishing Yacht (GSY) screams classic cruiser while also providing a serious fishing platform.  This is a custom design and build specifically intended to provide a new take on the traditional sportfish layouts.

Propulsion options range from standard inclined shafts to pods and can even can include waterjets – all driven by the latest diesel technology from all major engine suppliers.  Operational draft is always a consideration and can be minimized using waterjets, although the inclined shaft version is offered with propeller tunnels to support running in skinny water.

The GSY provides top speeds approaching 50 knots and promises a soft dry ride with nimble and predictable handling.  DLBA’s long history of world class sportfishing hull designs shines through striking that balance of a performance fishing machine with soft edges in just the right places.  Whether you’re talking flat out speed when it’s slick calm, or superior ride quality when it’s snotty, this platform provides both in a smart, efficient package.

Flexibility with interior layout allows for owner customization to his or her tastes.  Exterior spaces include an open helm feel while providing cover from the elements, an expansive mezzanine area, and a large cockpit allowing for serious angling or not so serious sun worshipping.

Systems will include the latest technology including gyro stabilization, top line electronics and navigation, and the coolest A/V and media setups – all to meet the owner’s specific requirements.  Multiple stateroom and head arrangements are available.

The design is an extension of the current trend of mid-size express walkarounds for both sportfish and cruising yachts.  Meant to provide style and performance, the Gentleman’s Sportfish hits the mark.

Thoroughbred Boat Co. Building an Instant Classic

An exciting project which DLBA worked on for the Thoroughbred Boat Co. is nearing completion. The DLBA team created the vessel’s structural design and supported the development of the hull form for this updated take on the classic gentleman’s runabout.

DLBA worked with the Thoroughbred Team to refine the running surfaces, propulsion system, weight and balance to  optimize dynamic trim angle at speed, as well as support the development of the  overall craft structure.

The deck and hull molds as well as underwater running gear of the Thoroughbred Boat Co.’s project U-23 have all been completed, while Thoroughbred is now entering the process of fine-tuning the interior styling of this modern classic.

Designed with the recreational boating enthusiast in mind, the U-23 has the elegant lines of vintage powerboats and lake boat enthusiasts will recognize the iconic rumble of a powerful inboard engine.

Upcoming variants of the model will have a V-drive with a different arrangement, deck and helm configuration, with Thoroughbred estimating the first hull will go into build in late June/early July as virus restrictions lift.

Thoroughbred Boat Co.’s project U-23

Continuing to collaborate

Adapting to new challenges in order to overcome obstacles is familiar territory for our team – something which has proved fortuitous in the past months. Like many of you, our working environment has changed, and working remotely full-time for the safety of our staff and community is now the new normal for our DLBA team, as COVID-19 has spread. 

For the time being we’ve moved from hovering around drawing boards and computer screens, to video chats and screen sharing. Although we no longer have the creative and collaborative environment of our office we have quickly adapted to working from home, and we continue to serve our customers.

We’ve introduced new skills, tools, and procedures to maintain our level of creativity and efficiency, including online meeting tools and extensive communication plans. Obtaining additional licenses to allow all of our design leads and engineers to have instant communication via screen share and video conference was key to allowing us to maintain quick idea sharing.

Two daily 5-minute calls – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – provide frequent updates and engagement for our leaders to identify necessary collaboration. We have also restricted our weekly meetings so leadership is no longer presenting, but rather, listening. It is always important leaders listen to their troops, and this has been proven by the amount we’ve learned and shared during this time!