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Thread: Quality of home building plans

  1. #1
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    Default Quality of home building plans

    When you are a home builder the quality of the plans and the back up supplied by the designer is just as important (maybe more so) than the design itself.

    For if you cannot build it you'll never find out how good it really is!

    So I had thought to add a few of my plan sheets here, so people could see the sort of details building plans can/should contain (I have no idea if my plans are comprehensive or are lacking in detail compared to others).

    However I find I cannot upload such a large zip file to this forum. So I am afraid you will have to go to my Home page and download them yourself using the link at the bottom right

    Maybe others could also upload sample plan sheets so that potential builders can see what to expect from their chosen designer

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    I like your "step 1, then step 2, then move to step 3" approach. It would be very nice to build a first boat and have someone tell you exactly what to do, and how to do it. Interpreting plans, for a novice, can be difficult.

    My plans do not include such instructions, but do have wonderful full size templates for the hull/deck and bulkheads and what seem to be normal type plans for the rest. (what's normal?) Fortunately, the furniture is not structural on my boat, so I can do whatever I want with the interior, but the plans are there if I want to follow them.

    I also have very good support from Kurt Hughes, when I telephone, he's very attentive and if he doesn't have time for me, he calls me back (On his dime!). It should be noted that Kurt has not charged me for any of his help in answering questions, and has been very patient with me. He does charge me when I ask him to change structural items, but who wouldn't?

    He's been good at accepting me personalizing his design, and has adapted parts of his other designs to my boat to make this happen.

    We stretched the hulls 4 feet, by adding distance between stations; and we shortened the front fairing (bridgedeck) by four feet, by using one from another of his designs. He's given me a new sailplan with nearly 20% more sail area, and probably talked me out of installing a stern platform/net for the dink to sit in while offshore (too much weight in the stern). I also have stern hung rudders, which are not from the original plans, nor are they Kurt's favourite rudder setup, but it's what we wanted.

    I'd certainly recommend his services.

    I won't include any photos of plans without Kurt's permission.

    Cheers.
    Paul.
    Last edited by svquintana; 2nd March 2013 at 02:25 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    My plans were detailed enough so I could build the boat without any problems. A lot of the internal fitout was left to me, which was how I wanted it. Sometimes some of the info took some finding, but it was all there. IIRC there were about 150+ pages of A3.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    I have quite limited experience with the homebuilding plans.
    I've purchased one set of plans plus couple more sample plans from one designer and 3 more samples from 3 other designers. For reasons that everybody would understand (wife, work, 2 young kids... ) I decided to postpone the building and try myself with some fixing/repairing first.
    I do not want to offend anybody, and I understand that my expectations and approach (off course, my abilities too) are very different from other people.
    However, when or if I decide to build, I will look for plans that where made using modern computers.
    Just by scanning some big sheets of paper and offering them (regardless of the price) as a ZIP file does not make then digital and brings a whole new set of problems. (like, if you can not read something, is it because you did not print it properly or the designer did mot write it better?).

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Most of the worlds greatest yacht designers did not use computers and those that do are mostly restricted to what standard 'templates' are in the computer program. Its the same for buildings--which is one reason why we have so many 'cookie citter' boring buildings. SO your idea of great boat design is restricted to the method of drawing it....................

  6. #6

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    By saying "did not use" you are restricting the designs by the year. Probably, 1993, 1998.
    I do not know how good are programs for designing and how limiting are they for the creativity.
    Regardless of that, nothing beats computers in producing well readable copies. And for that you do not need the designer. Even my limited knowledge in IT would allow me to convert black and white drawing into the digital file, the one that prints the line as a line in any zoom option. And the instruction text should be just that, text. Not a picture of a handwriting of the "world's greatest designers", since I want to read it, not to sell it on auction.
    I just do not want to restrict the building plan by my ability to decipher the scribbled notes.
    More to the point, the lines are probably just fine made any way.
    Text, numbers, (like sizes etc.) are unacceptable for me handwritten, unless it is very unusual work by some long forgotten pioneer of the Multi-sailing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    I was reading and interpreting plans on a daily basis for 50 years as a Construction Engineer. The last 20 years were mostly computer made. You sir do not know what you are talking about. "handwritten notes'?? Of course any plans with such are bullshit plans and anyone selling such cant have a decent boaty.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Yep,
    I do not know what I am talking about. Honestly.
    7 years ago I got myself an old cheap boat for almost no money, spend the year fixing it and learned some sailing.
    When I got bored with 22.6 early 70-th. finkeeler, I started looking around and reading about boats. For the last 2 summers I have been crewing on J/105 in some local races.
    Then last Christmas I build a 7 ft foam/glass dingy in my garage as an training exercise. Plus, I know which way to use a table saw and a makita drill, but still, I doubt I will ever make any $$ working with my hands.
    I was quite happy working on my little boat. I still dream about building a fast catamaran. I even believe I am capable to do it. But it will take me so much time, I do not know I can afford it (as my wife said, if I can afford not to work, I'd rather be sailing). Now I think, I am better off fixing an old Seawind 24 and sailing it as much as I can. Realistically, if (or when) I will outgrow the Seawind, I will either buy a new boat (do not now what) or order it to be build.
    But on the topic.
    For somebody like me, with not engineering background, limited boatbuilding skills (I believe, I am like an average guy, dreaming about a fast catamaran)
    - Easy communication with the designer is very important.
    - detailed plans, that are even more important
    - understandable even to non-engineers plans are a MUST.
    I know I will make some mistakes in the building process. I know it will take me at least twice as much time as to some more handy guys.
    I can not tolerate having issues with the plans.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    I kinda feel like the topic is shifting.
    Probably, mr. Woods wanted to see some presentations from different designers, not a complains from a dreaming but incompetent boatbuilders.
    In my defense, for quite some time I was looking for a way to evaluate the boats and designers from the point of view of a homebuilder.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Fifty years in construction, Ships, Boats, Trains, Mining, Engineering, Housing
    Domestic and Industrial,

    All working drawings are basically the same, It comes down to the parts of the Job,
    The more detailed, the more you will pay for them,

    You have a master plan,
    then that is divided up into as many small drawings as it takes to include the whole Job, As small parts,

    A small part drawing can be a 20 ton Beam with end plates, With all holes and cleats ETC, included on that page,

    Or a six metre in Diameter, Propellor, It will come on one sheet of paper, and hundreds of smaller ones to give all the dimensions on the various parts of the Propellor,

    All these buildings are built by Cad computer systems, What they can do with these Cad computer Drawings is mind boggling,

    Watching a 20 story building doing cartwheels, end over end, and then pulling it apart the 9 floor to look at a Beam connection in the middle of the building,
    No Problems, Can I have a print off that, click, click, click, The printers running, There's my new drawing of the part I wanted in a minute or two, With all required details of the part on the drawing,

    Drawings with scribble and side notes are not a real copy of the original,

    They are not a copy of any thing that has been approved for inclusion in a building of any thing.

    Original drawings from file or what ever, DO NOT have any scribbles or side notes on them,

    If your paying for drawings, You get the Original or Copys of the Originals,

    Under normal circumstances, All building plans are normally excellent to work with and from,
    Clear and easy to read and exceptionally explicit in its content.
    You may need a dictionary of terms and abreviations, But You do have Google as your friend, So looking up the meanings is easy as well,

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Speaking of Plans. I'm not sure how a couple of photos will help anyone, a close study of a website, or ordering study plans is the best way to evaluate plans and the designer's mindset.

    In any case, Kurt's allowed me to post photos.

    Here are a couple of photos.

    1. Sail Plan.



    2. Interior layout.



    3. Dimensions,and full size templates, for mast hardware, if you want to build your own.



    4. Engine bed plans.



    I don't know if you can zoom into these photos, if not, they may not be very helpful.

    The sheets measure just over 2 feet x 3 feet.

    Of course there are also about 50 sheets of full size templates included in the plans.

    There is also a weight/moments sheet showing how each item affects the boat's balance, several articles showing how to cut costs, and a detailed rigging sheet showing a list of hardware and part numbers.

    There's more, but you should really talk to Kurt.

    One of my complaints would be that his website does not make it easy to see all his designs, as there are far too many groupings of designs that don't really flow well. Perhaps his webdesigner's ideas simply don't jive with mine.

    I'd rather see three or four simple groupings of boats, perhaps grouped as such:

    1. charter
    2. pleasure
    3. racing
    4. Miscellaneous or whatnot.

    I'd love to see one of his new trailerable trimarans built, it looks like a fun boat.

    He's got quite a selection.

    Cheers.
    Paul.
    Last edited by svquintana; 17th March 2013 at 01:10 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Quote Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
    Most of the worlds greatest yacht designers did not use computers and those that do are mostly restricted to what standard 'templates' are in the computer program. Its the same for buildings--which is one reason why we have so many 'cookie citter' boring buildings. SO your idea of great boat design is restricted to the method of drawing it....................
    As an architect, the longest-standing AutoCAD user in the world, and BIM software director for a good-sized A/E firm, I can assure you that the software used is not why we in the USA have so many "cookie cutter boring" buildings. The exact same software is used in other countries, particularly SE Asia, to create innovative and creative buildings. What restricts design in the USA is conservative risk-averse clients and contractors.

    One creative user of Revit, the leading building design BIM software, has, to prove this point, used it to draw 3D models of a cow, an elephant and a 747. Far more important than the tool used, is how you use the tool.

    - Rusty

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    As a Construction Project Manager I have been forced to correct and have the Architect correct, couple thousand design errors. All of which cost the owner and inevitably the contractor,,,,,zillions of dollars and years of costly time...............

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Quote Originally Posted by georgetheleo View Post
    As a Construction Project Manager I have been forced to correct and have the Architect correct, couple thousand design errors. All of which cost the owner and inevitably the contractor,,,,,zillions of dollars and years of costly time...............
    George, please stop attacking everything. It is boring when it is not irritating.

    Your experience is from THEN. This is NOW.

    You, like myself and I'm sure some others, are out of date and well past it, even if we don't feel it. It is a courtesy to the current generation that we should shut up.

    Mike
    Nothing works on an old boat, except the skipper.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Well Richard, the idea of this thread was a good one. Unfortunately, as often happens, and why I don't usually like to contribute, this thread doesn't look like it's going to help anyone choose a designer.

    A shame this happens so often. Folks lose track of the original idea and go off to argue about other stuff.

    Nice try dmmbruce, but it's unlikely to have any effect.

    Cheers.
    Paul.
    Last edited by svquintana; 18th March 2013 at 01:01 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Dear Young Grumpy(everyone else can not read as Im that terrible Georgetheleo) Unless you are a excellent carpenter and fairly skilled in rigging,electrical,plumbing and painting you should buy a boat. Otherwise you probably will end up with a costly mess on your hands .

  17. #17

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Well, that's the conclusion I've reached myself more or less.
    I am not sure what is the purpose of your statement (this is not a thread "how to build a boat" nor did I ask for an advise in carpentry, el. work or rigging. However, I have to say, I am trying to recognize my limitations, and lack of skills or knowledge is not exactly one of them.
    Still, there are designers working with pros only, there are some working for homebuilders. Some are better suitable for a certain type of a builder. I think the community should help newbies at least by voicing an opinion.
    The matter is not that simple, obviously.
    So I will risk whatever reputation I could have and voice my opinion.
    1. Ray Kendrick's sample plans where surprisingly pleasant to work with. I have no idea how the building process would work out, and there are very few other build so far that I could learn from, especially in USA.
    2. Richard Woods obviously is an authority in this field, but his design would not be my first choice all things equal.
    And, everybody would see that Kurt Hughes could benefit from a better systematization of his work, both in the design portfolio book and the website

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Dear Grumpy, You might PM boatguy30 who is building one of R Woods 30+ft designs.He Is a expert carpenter-and pick his brains. Never heard of the Kendricks guy. Now Kurt Hughes is at the very top of Catamaran designers and has been for some time. His plans look great to me! As for myself, Im not a boatbuilder but a boat repair-er of significant accomplishment and financial success. I know Im not a good carpenter so when good boat carpentry is required,i hire this out. Rough structural woodwork I do myself as long as its out of "view". I do all the other work including the management which by the way is about half the work needed on any boat project and where many go awry and over-budget.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    I know of boatguy30. As I said somewhere, I've spend some time reading boatbuilding forums. And regardless of what advice I could get now, I am not building, just fixing a boat.
    I do hope it is clear that I am not talking about the designs of Hughes, (I looked trough the website and got his design portfolio book, nothing else) just the fact that it is not that easy to find what are you might looking for.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Quality of home building plans

    Hey Mr grumpy--you mentioned a Seawind 24-- just so happens that one just came up for sale on Tampa FL Craigslist-looks most excellant!

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