Metal Works

Van Gorkom Yacht Design has been designing metal marine structures for over twenty years. Our extensive mechanical and structural engineering portfolio includes everything from detailed super yacht construction, to an aluminum run-a-boat modeled in 3D, to highly loaded chainplate systems. Please contact us for an elegant yet simple approach to all your engineering needs.

Fish Eagle

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When the Coast Guard revised the average passenger weight criteria, owners of small passenger-carrying vessels operating under the Code of Federal Regulations Sub-Chapter T requirements where faced with a third less paying passengers. The owner of Fisheagle Wild Life Tours in South Carolina contacted Van Gorkom Yacht Design to inquire if it was possible to modify his pontoon boat so as to recoup his passenger count. VGYD performed a study and determined that it was possible by adding an extra set of pontoons and thus increasing the stability of the vessel. VGYD engineered the new structure and ran a complete stability analysis (see Performance Analysis), both of which were approved by the US Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Center.

Molokai Straits 65, 75 & 79


These trawler styled motor yachts have been designed for blue-water voyaging by Sponberg Yacht Design. VGYD was hired to assist in the engineering and detailing of the steel hulls and aluminum super structures. The structures were designed for ABS approval. The MS 65 was built by Custom Steel Boats of North Carolina, and the MS75 was built by St. Augustine Marine in Florida (click here for more information). VGYD have recently completed the structures for the MS 79 with construction due to begin some time in 2008.



Designed by Lebowitz & Pritchard and Pedrick Yacht Design, this 156ft aluminum motor sailer is one of the most technologically advanced super yachts afloat today. VGYD was contracted by the Pedrick office to help in the engineering of the complicated and highly loaded structure of this yacht. The scantlings were engineered to ABS and MCA standards and confirmed with a detailed finite element analysis. MITseaAH was built at the Pendennis Shipyard in England. (click here for more information)

Ladd 125


In order to engineer the strongest and lightest yacht possible for blue-water cruising, Rob Ladd Yacht Design looked to Van Gorkom Yacht Design for their expertise in engineering innovative structural systems in aluminum that could complement and enhance the clean, sleek lines of the Ladd 125. The entire scantling system for this yacht was designed for ABS approval.



Pedrick Yacht Design, under the direction of Newport’s Museum of Yachting, were commissioned to help restore Courageous back to her original glory. In turn, PYD called on VGYD to assist in the structural engineering and design of such areas as the high-strength stainless steel chainplate fittings and the aluminum deck structures that supports them. The chainplates were fabricated by CAM Machine Corp.



Built in 1937, this classic wooden 12 meter is one of the jewels of the Newport yachting scene. When the boat started to exhibit some sagging problems, Perrotti Performance Design was engaged to find a solution. PPD turned VGYD to assist in the engineering and design of a new bronze maststep support grid system to help stiffen the existing wooden structure. The fabrication was done by CAM Machine Corp. and installation by Newport Yacht Joinery.

Deerfoot 62


Unable to find any off-the-shelf components for his auto-pilot, the owner of this Deerfoot 62 had VGYD design and engineer a new tiller arm. A thorough analysis of the loads was conducted and a 3D model was created, which was used to mill the part from a solid aluminum billet. This has been a long term project for this owner who acquired a fiberglass hull several years ago and has been building and outfitting the boat as a world class cruising yacht. Van Gorkom Yacht Design was also contracted to design the keel and rudder for the boat.

Tanton 29' Runabout

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Yves Tanton sought out the engineering services of VGYD for the complete structural design & 3D modeling of his 29 foot aluminum runabout. All the metal work was modeled as developable surfaces for easy plate cutting making the construction process economical and relatively quick to build.

McCurdy & Rhodes 46


This beautiful 1976 aluminum racing sloop is receiving a new lease on life with a total refit of the boat. VGYD was commissioned to redesign and engineer the rig, rudder, a new deck hardware arrangement, and a completely new cabin house & cockpit geometries. The new aluminum structure was modeled entirely in 3D allowing most of the individual plates to be pre-cut before construction. The refit is being done by Island Boatworks in Louisiana.

Jutson Mount Gay 30


In preparing his boat for the Bermuda 1-2, the owner of this Scott Jutson designed boat contacted VGYD to help him optimize the sailing configuration for the best rating possible. Part of that optimization was the design and implementation of a fixed aluminum prod, which greatly simplified the process of setting a kite as well being rating friendly.

Victory '83, 12 meter

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Van Gorkom Yacht Design was retained by Jim Gretzky of Sail Spars Design Inc. to assist in what was an extensive refit of the aluminum 12 meter Victory ’83 (K22). VGYD wias involved in the engineering of several critically loaded structural components such as the chainplates, mast ram foundation and the primary deck and cockpit structure, as well as on-site project management. Update: Her first race since the completion of the refit and Victory ’83 places second in the “Modern” division of the 2008 12m Nationals.

Mama Kitty, 42ft Sportsfish


When this group of anglers purchased a sportsfish with the idea of taking it to Africa to go deep sea fishing, they contacted VGYD to engineer a shipping cradle that could be mounted on a container pallet on the deck of a cargo ship. Once in South Africa, the cradle then had to be disassembled and transport by road to Tanzania where the boat was to be based. The entire structure, except for the hull pads, was fabricated in steel.

Blue Marlin, 12 meter

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This beautiful classic yacht was built for Sopwith by Camper and Nicholson in 1937. For the passed five years the boat has been undergoing a complete refurbishment in Finland under the watchful eye of Pedrick Yacht Designs. VGYD played a significant role in the engineering of many aspects of the refit including the design of most of the mast and boom fittings which were fabricated in bronze. The boat was re-launched this year (2014) in the Baltic.

KZ3, 12 meter

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After almost 30 years of hard use the pin holes in the aluminum chainplate foundations in KZ3, a Granf Prix 12 meter, were found to be showing signs of fatigue. Contracting through Pedrick Yacht Designs, VGYD helped engineer a solution by designing a replacement section for the foundation plate.



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When the after keel bolts and the keel grid support system of this cruiser/racer were found to be structurally unstable, McMichaels Boat Yard in Mamroneck NY contacted VGYD to analysis the problem and come up with an appropriate solution. A stainless steel box was devised which was potted and bolted into the keel grid, effectively locking in the keel bolts and the hull structure.