Practically every design I’ve done over the years is in my stock plans catalog, described in the BOOKS & CATALOGS menu bar. Eventually I WILL get them posted on this site too. It’s happening slowly…… Most of them originally were custom designs for somebody, but some of them are simply my own idea, the result of whatever fantasy I was living in at the time. The older ones are hand-drawn, the middle aged ones have computer generated hull lines and offsets but hand-drawn building plans, and the ones from 1992 or so are totally computer generated, with the plans drafted using AutoCad.
Many of my stock plans have been modified over the years. For instance, somebody will like one, but want a different rig, bow, construction material, or what not. When you buy the plans for one of the designs that has been modified, you get all the versions. For example, the 50′ OTTER plan includes wood and steel versions, as well as the stripped down ORPHEUS version. Or the 43′ ARCHIMEDES includes three different rigs, 2 bows, and wood and steel versions.
If you see one of my stock plans that you’d like if only a few changes’ were made, I’ll likely work with you, or at least tell you how you can make the changes. I’m afraid I do not hand draw at all any more, so I won’t do any serious changing on the older designs. But that doesn’t mean you can’t, and you can call me anytime for advice!
What’s In A Set Of Plans?
What’s considered a “CompleteSet Of Plans” seems to depend on the designer. Obviously, a basic set of plans needs to contain enough info to build the boat! Now, the degree of detail might depend somewhat on whether or not the building is to be done by a amateur or a seasoned pro or for a production run in a factory. I’ve found most professional yards just build it how they please, while a home builder will require very complete construction drawings but will have an easier time installing specific parts like cleats cockpit lockers, vents, and systems like showers, lighting, galley arrangement and soon, in the manner that seems practical to him. You see the exact place something goes where rarely makes any difference. Specifying out and laying out everything can jack the plans price up, and if it’s done correctly, which means the designer using 3-D views to be sure things work out, the plans cost will go through the roof. In real life, exactly where each wire and thru-hull and pipe goes doesn’t matter. An amateur can figure it out and a pro will do it as he always has. And frankly, if the designer doesn’t have a solid construction background you, the builder, will be better off figuring out where to put these sorts of things, based on what’s sensible!
Some designers advertise ‘full size patterns’ as though this is something special. It isn’t. The only full size patterns I’ve seen that would really make a difference are when a hull construction plan is figured out for CAM (Computer AidedManufacturing). In this case, every piece of the boat is drawn on screen by some poor CAD operator. This can cost up to around $10,000 to have done for a mid 40’s foot boat. Then, you need to pay somebody with an NC machine to cut out the plate. And then ship the parts to the building site. According to an experienced professional builder I know, it isn’t anywhere near cost effective to have this done unless you’re doing a production run of three or more boats.
When you see ‘full sized patterns’ advertised generally what the guy means is he has the frame patterns. So what? There’s a lot more to the boat that requires patterns, or at least being ‘laid out.’ You need the stem profile, the keel, the transom. You’ll need the house sides and the rudder. And with a metal hull you’ll want the plate patterns. I doubt very much the people advertising the ‘full sized patterns’ are giving you all this stuff, and if they aren’t, then you’re going to have to loft the boat anyway. Lofting is about the easiest part of the entire building process but for some reason scares a lot of folks. There’s nothing to it! All the dimensions are given to you. All you need to do it is measure the distances, make a mark, then connect all the marks with a line. One of the most in depth descriptions of how to loft is in Howard Chapelle’s great book, the ‘bible” of wooden boat building, called ‘BOATBUILDING, ‘published by NORTON. Probably the easiest to follow description of how to loft is in, if you’ll forgive me, BUEHLER’S BACKYARD BOATBUILDING, published by International Marine.
However, if you want full sized patterns I can make them, but I’ll charge considerably extra because somebody will need to stand in front of the plotting machine all day. They’ll be printed on vellum, since unlike paper, it stays stable regardless of humidity.
My plans don’t normally spec out the wiring or piping or brands of pumps or light fixtures because exactly what you use and where you put it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s ‘adequate.’ Generally I don’t care what brand of what you put where. Others use words like ‘appropriate’ or; ‘to be done to standards as laid out by the ABYC (American Bureau of Yachting).’A good one I saw recently was; ‘to be built, installed, and rated to suit the purpose intended.’ And as I’ve said, some spec out everything. In general, the more stuff speced out the more the design will cost. Frequently you’ll see things speced out that aren’t right and experienced builders will change them. I’ve seen entire construction plans changed by professional builders. As one told the boat owner, his yard had been in business several generations now and he really suggested the specs be changed just a bit here and there….
While you surely realize I’m not impartial, I do believe my plans are well detailed and very complete. Here’s what our Complete Set Of Plans consists of. Some are more and some are less! If you don’t have DSL the download time is a little slow because they are pretty detailed, sorry!