Comments sought on study plans

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by ancient kayaker, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
    Posts: 3,497
    Likes: 147, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2291
    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    I bought a study plan (Haven 12-1/2) from the Wooden Boat Magazine store and found it excellent, but another buyer who bought a different design (Wm Garden 27'9" cutter Cap'n Blackburn) was disappointed.

    Does anyone else have experience of the quality of these plans, which are digital downloaded pdf files sold for only $0.99.
  2. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
    Posts: 10,401
    Likes: 1,029, Points: 113, Legacy Rep: 702
    Location: Australia

    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Well, all I can say is to be disappointed with something that cost $0.99 means his expectations of what that sum buys these days may have to be adjusted !
  3. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    cant even buy a icecream for that !! what did he exspect !!

    maybe they thought they could scale them up and make a boats !!! its been tried before more than once i reckon !!:eek:
  4. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 489, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Each designer will have a "package" of what they consider a study plan. Mine are probably different then everyone else too, though I charge a lot more. Mine include a rough BOM, design overview and several drawings to give the purchaser a good look at how it's built and it's layout.

    The Cap'n Blackburn design has been around for many, many years and has long paid for itself, so the $.99 download can be justified. I often see this with these quite dated designs, from the likes of Atkins, etc. The originals were hand drawn for professional builders, so you get 4 or 5 sheets, some offsets and scantlings, but that's about it for a full plan set. It's assumed you have building experience and are familiar with techniques, etc. I have the original building plans for my 37' Atkins, which totals six pages. The plans were prepared for a yard he was very comfortable with, so details went likely with a phone call. Don't get me wrong, I could build a boat from them, but it wouldn't be my first picnic either, though a novice would be pissed by their lack of details and explanations.
  5. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
    Posts: 3,497
    Likes: 147, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2291
    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    Mr. E: I kinda agree with you about unreasonable expectations for $0.99 worth, but I think the guy was more concerned by the poor quality of the reproduction than the actual contents, and it sounds like he didn't get enough for an adequate study. Perhaps they should improve the package and up the price to $1.00 . . . :)

    Tunnels: he's not planning a build. I download study planks for all sorts of reasons, curiousity, inspiration, historical interest. People who attempt a build based on a study plan deserve what they get, but it should be enough to evaluate the construction methods, materials, level of effort, and the characteristics that may be expected from the boat once built.

    PAR: thanks for your designer's perspective. Apart from the BOM - which I really thing should be included - the package I got was reasonably complete. I'll pass on your comments about older generation designer practice to the "other guy" but as I noted for Mr. E the poor quality of the reproduction seemed his biggest beef . . .

    I'm going to download a few more plans for evaluation; cost is no object . . . :cool:
  6. Red Dwarf
    Joined: Jun 2012
    Posts: 234
    Likes: 6, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 61
    Location: USA California

    Red Dwarf Senior Member

    I have purchased many study plans and they usually run between $30 - $50. I find them very useful for studying lines, GA, systems etc.

    If you want the best bang for the buck, Schionning offers his for free.

  7. ancient kayaker
    Joined: Aug 2006
    Posts: 3,497
    Likes: 147, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 2291
    Location: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    - and so I did! FYI the Wooden Boat Magazine site for downloading study plans is at

    I downloaded Bill Gardner’s Cap’n Blackburn, an Alden, the Melonseed 13', the Wee Rob canoe, and the Catspaw. These plans are only 2 pages each, merely fair quality at best, and do not compare with the plan for Joel White’s Haven which had 6 pages of text, pictures and readable (with a magnifying glass) plans. It seems I got lucky with the Haven. However, for the price, I cannot complain.

    - as always, your inputs and interest are appreciated!
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.