Nearly 100 Years of

Providing Comprehensive Naval Design Services

Gibbs & Cox naval architects draw from nearly 100 years of industry experience and technical development to provide a comprehensive set of design services across a variety of platforms. Our naval architecture services span the entire ship’s lifetime, from early stage concept designs through detailed design, shipyard construction support, full lifecycle and sustainment support, ship alterations, service life extensions, and disposal.

Our Naval Architecture Design Process & Development Services

Our engineers combine the use of in-house proprietary naval architecture tools and state of the art software with an extensive technical library to provide accurate naval architecture assessments to our clients.

Key components and outputs of our design process include:

  • Overall ship sizing studies and feasibility assessments
  • System tradeoff studies
  • Preparation of contract guidance drawings and working drawings
  • Ship checks
  • ECP development
  • Preparation of procurement documents
  • Selected record plan preparation and updates
  • Technical manual preparation and revisions
  • Ship system analysis
  • Preparation of cost/time/schedule estimates

Additionally, we offer a variety of design and development services, including:

  • Research & development
  • Concept design services
  • Feasibility design services
  • Preliminary design services
  • Contract / final system design services
  • detailed design and Construction services
  • Production liaison services

Concept & Feasibility Design

The Gibbs & Cox concept design process involves the development of design alternatives based on client requirements.  Our team of naval architects and marine engineers adapts a set of top-level requirements into concept-level definitions to evaluate technical feasibility, cost and performance.

These efforts involve the complete early phase definition of the ship, including:

  • Principal characteristics
  • Hullform selection and sizing
  • General arrangements
  • Weight estimates
  • Speed, power and endurance calculations

The Gibbs & Cox feasibility design process is an expansion of the conceptual design phase and includes trade off evaluations, typically considering system/subsystem level development that are oriented towards platform-level optimization. Systems engineering requirements at the total ship level are also allocated to the system/subsystem level and to the component level.

Following a systems engineering approach, emphasis is placed on performance characteristics, including:

  • Combat system
  • Speed and endurance optimization
  • Seakeeping
  • Survivability
  • Noise and vibration reduction

Gibbs & Cox refines our approach to tailor our focus to suit a client’s key needs and ship requirements.

Typical products developed during the feasibility phase include the following:

  • General arrangements
  • Weights
  • Trim and stability
  • Longitudinal strength and midship section
  • Electric load analysis
  • Cooling and HVAC Analysis
  • Machinery arrangements
  • Auxiliary machinery arrangements

Gibbs & Cox uses the alternatives developed in trade-off studies to develop data-informed solutions for the design, resulting in a higher-fidelity product.

Preliminary Design

The Gibbs & Cox preliminary design service process includes support to both systems engineering and specific technical areas. The Preliminary Design phase builds on the major ship characteristic/system decisions made during Feasibility Design to achieve a converged baseline design with defined systems requirements.

Objectives of this phase include:

  • Refining operational requirements
  • Assessing ship performance within cost constraints
  • Identifying critical system interfaces
  • Establishing the functional baseline of the platform

Contract Design

The Gibbs & Cox contract design process evaluates the preliminary design further, resulting in a final system design that has sufficient detail and requirements development to begin the detailed design phase.

The products developed during the Contract Design phase are used by the shipbuilder to develop a cost estimate for bidding purposes.  The objectives of this phase are confirmation that the ship design meets the operational requirements and cost, documentation of criteria for acceptance of the ship and identification of technical and schedule risks.

Detailed Architectural Design and Construction

G&C’s Detail Design & Construction solutions are highly tailorable to the needs of the program, shipbuilder, and end-customer. Our efforts seek to maximize producibility and affordability while mitigating risk for procurement, planning, construction, test, delivery, and acceptance.

Generally, a Detail Design program comprises two key phases:

  • Functional Design
  • Production Design

We follow a proven and systematic approach to Functional Design that entails the maturation of the vessel design to a comprehensive and consistent set of design products ready for customer, class, and regulatory approval. Design decisions during Functional Design use an established tradeoff criteria aligned to the program’s objectives for performance, acquisition cost, and ownership cost. Our tools and processes yield functional design products that are readily verifiable for compliance with the specifications, class rules, regulatory standards, and other contractual requirements.

Production Design develops the 3D product model based on the functional drawings, vendor furnished information, customer furnished information, and build strategy into a configuration optimized for construction. As 3D modeling completes, production drawings and information are extracted and detailed to support complete construction of the vessel in a sequence and format best aligning with the build processes and work centers at shipyard.

For larger ships and more complex vessels, our 3D modeling is typically performed using a zonal approach that follows the module breaks, construction sequence, and other build strategy elements of the ship. As 3D modeling is completed for each design zone, drawings and information are extracted from the product model and issued to production group for planning, fabrication, assembly, and installation. We use the current generation of industry CAD/CAM software for developing and maintaining the 3D product model. Gibbs & Cox has decades of experience using a variety of 3D CAD ship design tools on a broad range of vessel types from simple barges up through complex naval combatants. We augment the capabilities of the 3D CAD/CAM software with other engineering/design tools and processes to deliver a completely integrated detail design.

During 3D modeling, our proprietary Design Control process drives a systematic effort to concurrently arrange structure, accesses, partitions, systems, and equipment within a defined area to produce an optimum arrangement. This includes eliminating physical interferences to reduce construction costs and rework and allows for a greater degree of pre-outfit. Design Control also manages clearances and anthropomorphic modeling to verify effective human-systems interfaces.

During construction, we provide a bespoke solution for the client based on their needs that may include onsite design liaison, manufacturability/producibility engineering, weight control and reporting, configuration management, and test/trials oversight.

Production Liaison (Shipyard) Support

During construction, we provide platform development with on-site and off-site support. Our support capabilities include:

  • Project management
  • Port engineering
  • Field engineering support
  • Weight control
  • Calculations for lifts & turns
  • Launching and docking
  • Stability test/experiments
  • Test & trials support

Interested in discussing our experience with naval architecture?

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“G&C continued to perform as a critical partner in correcting and updating the 3D model and functional engineering support.  On time, high quality products are a requirement from G&C so that our pre-production work package development and material procurement can occur as scheduled.  G&C has met this requirement even with our continued authorization of [new] work.”