Increasingly the dominance of engineering process in yacht design development imposes limitations on the possibilities and scope for creative design. Designers are also limited to some extent by tradition - following what has gone before - as well as being hampered by class and rating rules. This paper explores an alternative methodological framework for yacht design that has innovation as its central concern. This method has been trialled and developed in the design of the Shaw sport boats and performance keel yachts. It gives due weight to the iterative process, utilising an action research model which affords access to the heuristics of iteration.

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