James Day - technical consultant
I was introduced to sailing by mistake on the last day of the autumn term at school when I was 10. I spent the next 6 months teaching myself to sail a plastic single handed dinghy on a gravel pit, cracking the ice to launch through the winter. Since then I have had the opportunity to navigate, race and sail on my projects in generally better weather and more glamorous locations, but I still get the same buzz today from making anything that floats go a little bit faster.
I have been designing, engineering and project managing yacht projects since 2006.
I specialise in system and design integration – filling the gap between the traditional remit of designer and boat builder – and enjoy the challenges of coordinating a team of specialist engineers on complex projects. My career has allowed me to work with a number of specialist designers, engineers and equipment manufacturers and where possible I have tried to take the time to learn as much as possible about the rarefied environments that they inhabit, so I could figure out how to connect their focussed understanding to the next link in the chain.
I am currently a Design Manager at Ker Yacht Design, having previously worked for five years as a Project Manager and Engineer for world renowned composite yacht builder Green Marine. At Green Marine I worked on the development of the Volvo Ocean 65 OD concept as well as managing the build of the 78’ Nigel Irens performance catamaran Allegra (launched 2014) and an Olympic K4 (2016) among other high profile projects.
Prior to Green Marine, I developed the structural and performance concept for the X-Yachts’ Xp range (including Sailing World Yacht of the Year 2011– Xp 44), including the productionising of a carbon capped composite keel structure in lieu of their previously iconic steel one.
I had previously worked on the Rogers Yacht Design 82’ Aegir maxi (twice winner at the Rolex Maxi Worlds and the ISS Design of the Year 2011) among other IRC, Open 60, Class 40 and one-design projects for the Lymington based design house. It was at Rogers that I came to understand that projects could stand or fall on the integration of the various design elements – regardless of the pedigree of the individuals involved. I also learnt that a lot of good design work could be lost at the interface between designer and builder and that as projects became more complex and incorporated increasing amounts of technology and R&D that there was a potential void to be filled between the well-intentioned desk-bound designer and the time-pressed financially constrained builder. I have since gained the experience and technical expertise to be able to identify these gaps in a project and either step in to fill that void or allocate the right individual to hold the chain together.
In a previous life, I qualified as a barrister in the City, specialising in marine and commercial law, a skill that has served me well in construction contract and specification management. I hold first class degrees in Law from Oxford and Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from University College London.
I am a current member of the RORC IRC Technical Committee, and an active yacht-racer and mountain-biker, when not dinghy sailing with my wife and twins in Cowes, Isle of Wight.