What We Do

Design: Vessels

Design: Vessels and conversions

Houlder designs vessels and conversions: Our teams combine creativity, pragmatism and discipline to deliver the full range of ship design, naval architectural analysis and engineering services to optimise client’s vessel performance. Houlder’s naval architects and engineers are well versed in the latest analysis tools and techniques to help our clients get the most from their floating assets. Our teams perform advanced analyses of complex marine systems including intact and damaged stability; motions and seakeeping; moorings and risers; resistance and propulsion; global structural FE analysis; fatigue, fracture and redundancy. Our analysis typically supports Classification approval submissions. Case studies


Houlder has a wealth of experience supporting ferry operators with new build designs, upgrades and conversions. New builds include vessels for the Gosport Ferry Company, Wightlink and CalMac Ferries. The company has also undertaken major conversion and upgrade works for Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, P&O Ferries and Condor Ferries.



Houlder’s marine design and consultancy business supports yacht owners, operators and designers with a range of naval architecture, marine engineering and project support services from pre-contract concept development, through shipyard procurement to refit and Newbuild supervision.

You can read more here.


Houlder’s Oil & Gas design track record includes offshore support vessels, cable laying ships, Floating Production Units (see below), dive support, drilling ships, crew accommodation and other specialist use assets including LNG bunkering vessels.



Houlder is designing installation jack ups and accommodation vessels for planned wind farm installation and operations across Europe.


As well as new builds, Houlder ship design teams have converted vessels to provide floating hotel accommodation. For example, it modified the P&O European Seaway cross channel ferry to house technicians working on the Lynn and Inner Dowsing Wind farm.


Our analysis has shaped a range of feasibility studies from new FLNG and FPSO concepts through port infrastructure to specialist use vessels and military equipment. Suitably qualified and experienced discipline engineers provide detailed and well thought though analysis at every project stage.



Houlder can provide hydrodynamic hull and system design including CFD development. Client projects benefit from powering, manoeuvring, stability, seakeeping and wash performance prediction and analysis. Mooring and dynamic positioning designs are also assessed by in-house hydrodynamic specialists.

Structural Design

Houlder’s structural designers work with clients covering first principles thought to FEA design and regulatory compliance. The output is typically 3D modelling leading to production drawings and construction documentation.