Lament after buying study plan

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Wellydeckhand, May 20, 2006.

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  1. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    How can an N.A. like Bruce Roberts tell their client to get lost when I need the advise that he had promised if I buy his study plan would be given gadly. I bought it and we communicated until he accused me of buying a pirated version. I cantt seem to understand why he sell the plan and call himself pirated version, is this a joke? He then accused me of lying........ of what?

    I know I have received of the send material with a piece of note with his signature.purchase no.5595 The payment is by credit card and it didnt bounce. I have all book authorized bought, have choosen his boat out of many designer and work hard to make it my dream.

    SO WHAT DID I MAKE HIM SO BITTER WITH ME, I told him we have cultural difference and language barieer but he just wont reply. I have a study plan without a full plan.

    The only other choice I have is the rival website with Bruce Roberts label, they have the same plans.......... should i buy from them?

    Please comment....... This is an difficult situation.

    Do you believe I am a cruel person? I think it is a misunderstanding and he too ashame in a way but why must the interest of the client be protected?

    How can he sell some plan with other people also claiming it......... the customer become a victim of old hatred and fued, I just think he is old and paranoid.........:(

    Attached Files:

  2. Robert Gainer
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: New York

    Robert Gainer Designer/Builder

    First start out by understanding that I am not a fan of his. I think, and this is just my opinion and not any more then that, his plans lack the detail that you get with some other designers. In the plans that I have seen you need to go into an accompanying book and select the detail that corresponds to your boat instead of having the correct detail on the plan itself. In some cases this is confusing to the first time builder and that is how I came to see his plans in the first place. I was asked to look at some of his plans and the boat to determine what was going on. There is also some question about the strength of the rudder and skeg on some of his designs. Again I did not follow all of this but I understand there was structural failure on some of his boats. I have heard it said that his position was that the design was such that the rudder and skeg was intended to break away if struck instead of damaging the hull. If that is in fact his position then losing the skeg and sinking the boat does not sound like a good design to me. But again this is just my opinion and take it for what it’s worth.

    But that aside, he has had an argument with some other sites selling his plans. It was never clear to me what the situation was because they had the plans and somehow they must have originated from him in the beginning. Did you buy everything from him and not some from him and some from his “agents”? More then that it looks like you bought study plans and not building plans. If you bought everything from him and want to build the boat you need to buy the plans and I would expect that you have asked about changes in excess of what is considered normal for stock plans.

    What did you ask him and what did you buy?
    Good luck and all the best,
    Robert Gainer
  3. marshmat
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Location: Ontario

    marshmat Senior Member

    There's a longstanding quiet war between Roberts and some other folks who have been selling plans attributed to him. I don't know many details.
    If a company seems uninterested in dealing with you, go elsewhere. If you get the impression they don't want your business, it's their loss. There's plenty of other places you can go that are much nicer to deal with if you don't like the one you're working with now.
  4. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Surely, when someone says they will consult with you on a $50-$100 purchase they're assuming that everyone understands this means what is "customary and ordinary" -- the full purchase doesn't cover an hour of most professionals time, so you can figure from there ... and the books, etc. obviously don't come with any implied consultation.

    That said -- accusing you of owning pirated plans is almost unforgivable. Apparently your questions were specific enough that he came to the conclusion that you had the plans in front of you and were using him as a free consultant. It obviously shouldn't have played out that way.

    I find it helpful to tell professionals I'm working with that I'm aware of the value of their time, and that I'm willing to pay for any time over what they consider normal to take the project up to the next commercial level. Ask him about his hourly rate, set up an account, leave a retainer, and access his services the same way you would any professional. IMHO.

    Good luck.
  5. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    If the guy wont play, go away,

    and deal with those who will! After all if he sez he will he should (unless of course you did 'pirate' his plans), if he still don't tell everybody - your doing it! It ain't worth the hassle or loosing the money through the courts to get justice done (maybe that's what he wants), but bad press will ultimately kill his business!

    Remember the old klingon saying "revenge is a dish best eaten cold" your time will come Welly!
  6. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Ive always heard "Revenge is a dish best served cold."
    It's a dish best not eaten at all.

    But I'm not really up on my Klingon.
  7. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    Bruce Roberts Yacht Design
    Offices: USA - The Netherlands - Ireland - Australia - UK


    Thank you for your order which will be shipped soon as possible.

    Please quote your order number with any communication.

    Good boatbuilding,

    Regards, BRUCE
    R Bruce Roberts-Goodson Chief Designer & CEO
    Bruce Roberts International Yacht Design

    Order Number:5595
    Placed : 05/05/2006 03:41:12

    Code Name Quantity
    Price/Ea. Total
    2BK NEW 3rd Edition METAL BOATS by Bruce Roberts $39.95
    Euros 34.00 �23.50 1 $39.95 $39.95
    8BK Boatbuilding with Aluminum US $39.95 - � 30.75 - �23
    -A$52 1 $39.95 $39.95
    BK17 Boatbuilding Manual - 4th Edition US $39.95 - � 30.75
    - �23 -A$52 1 $39.95 $39.95
    $39.95 $39.95
    4BK SPRAY The Ultimate Cruising Boat US$49.95 - � 38.95 -
    �27.95 - A$64.95 1 $49.95 $49.95
    BK16 Boat Joinery & Cabinetmaking Simplified US $35 - � 27
    - �19 -A$46 1 $35.00 $35.00
    BK18 Boatowner's Mech. & Elect. Manual $49.95/ �49.95 / �35
    / A$79.95 1 $49.95 $49.95
    / ₤89 1 $125.00 $125.00
    �125 / ₤89 1 $125.00 $125.00
    FREECAT FREE CATALOG ON CD - YOU pay postage $10, �7, �5, A$13
    1 $10.00 $10.00
    Shipping: Shipping Charges Added
    Later: $0.00

    Sales Tax: $0.00

    Total: $554.70

    I have been in this forum for months , understanding and appriciating the genius and artist at work is an honor to my limited capability. It take me great efford to understand the professional languages use here, but I understand this: The original plan is not that expensive in term of building the boat, the money is the hard earn bread and butter for the designer to survive the winter........ I duely understand and have taken that into my mind.

    I bought book and cataloges because I think I like the popularity of Bruce Roberts. To compare which plan is better, I bought 2 plans, one on Trader65 and another Trimaran65. He scantly explained to me but say is I buy the plan he would show me the junk rig version on the vessel which they forgot and told me to buy the full plan of the ship.

    I of course can efford it because it is max US$ 700 for full plan, the Trader 65 is a very old design anyway. I was sad , if for the stock plan I get no answer....... what make me sure that I'll get answered if the I bought the full plan? Internet deal is very ghost area to me................ they dont feel that kinda professional to me. There are always new pig to slaughter.......... chinese saying.

    Bruce Roberts....... give the designer a bad name.......... They think nothing can effect them.......... as their design is very popular and testimony of many people have help them, what about their failure kept in the dark?

    If anybody feeled have fail with Bruce Robert Design please do post for everybody to knows..................

  8. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 279
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    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Welly -

    You seem like a reasonable man -- and It does sound like you're getting an "upsell". You can return any Internet purchase and get a full credit if it's not as promised -- in most cases you have more rights on an Internet purchase than you do in normal retail. I've heard stories that Roberts is hard to work with -- but the stories I've heard were all related to his personality, not his professionalism. If he isn't a stand up guy, I'd like to know as well. I sent him a copy of this thread when you started it -- I'm surprised someone over there hasn't posted a public response for you yet.
  9. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    I still have a credit of US$39 with them for not able to send a promised book of boatbuilding 4th edition, reason is the book no more in stock and will not be avaliable to me because they have discontinue the edition.......... why charge me a book they dont have or produce?

    I will also like the Bruce Robert guys to post to this thread. I have send email to no avail for question on the possiblility of the drawing for building. They have however apologised for the book and would put the the credit in any account I wish.............

    I have no hatred, I just think if I can pay for the things he sell and service he promised then at least I am entitle to a bit of civilised service as a customer? I dont know how the other customer were treated. I dont want to refer my status from a developing country....... but maybe an order from Asia would be difference from an order in America? Maybe they think the Indonesian cant sue or bother them for such a small amount of money?

    The issue is I have committed myself to his design and started material gathering for the vessel, alot of the forum people would think I am just husseling if I dont at least get some info from Bruce and the gang.

    Put yourselve in my shoe, think of a dream project discontinue because of a designer whim and bitter act against the customer by not supplying info on the boat, would you feel any better? would you feel an urge to build his boat? It is said a design drawing is a part of the designers' soul........ which part? the bitter, angry but silent type?


    Bruce have my address, he can sue me if he feel like it. I will be waiting with my lawyer.:( It is not the amount of money i have lost...... not too much, but the act and professionalism that I received that make me think twice about designer.............
  10. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    I will prove I did not till the present date bought anything from Bruce Robert International...... twin rival of Bruce Robert Holland which I bought stuff from....

    I have sent the Australian office an email asking for their involvement in posting some answer so the cloud of unsurity could be subside and my story be justification.


    I found this history page about Bruce Roberts' dispute

    I would like people to see this before they buy stuff of Bruce Roberts...... when I bought it, I did not realised what deal I was getting involved with........:(

    The Bruce Roberts boat plans we sell, are not pirated or unsafe and to call them so is misleading and irresponsible

    Answers to allegations from competitors website

    Although we find this distasteful we now find ourselves, after six years of silence, in a position where we have to defend ourselves from the fictitious, scurrilous and malicious remarks made on our competitors boatbuilding website.

    The original Bruce Roberts company was founded in 1968 by Bruce Roberts-Goodson and Andy Slorach in Australia. In 1972 Bruce left Australia and concentrated on the US market. In 1994 Andy Slorach retired, selling Bruce Roberts International to naval architect Bill Ingram. In 1998 Phil Hogg and Liz Thompson acquired the business. In 2000, after a number of disputes, Bruce Roberts and Bruce Roberts International parted company. In 2003, Paul Taylor, an accomplished steel boat builder, who had just finished three Roberts Waverunners the previous year, joined the company.

    Bruce Roberts International has been in Australia for 38 years. We have never claimed to have personally been associated with the company for all this time although our names are on plan records, as purchases and builders, from the mid seventies.

    Our plan portfolio was purchases legitimately, through legal channels. Every plan sold by this office since 1971 has a sail number (sailboats) or hull number (power boats). These numbers for the various designs have run unbroken since then. We hold these records still.

    There is nothing wrong with the plans we sell, they are not 'pirated' or 'unsafe' and to call them so is misleading and irresponsible. Vessels built from these plans have proven themselves in seas and oceans all over the world. Many of the designs we sell originated in the seventies and eighties. These have withstood the test of time. The Longboat 21, designed by Barry Long; the R341, designed by Graham Shannon; the WR 40/42 designed by George Love are timeless examples of excellent hull designs that have withstood the test of time. The list of plans described as 'out of date' and 'no longer supported by designer' is a list mainly created because Bruce Roberts-Goodson does not have these plans. We hold all the original plans, back to 1968, along with all updates, in our offices in Australia. If someone has bought a second hand vessel with the Roberts name then we will still have the plans for it and offer support if need be.

    We have never lost our credit card merchant account. We have an impeccable record. For a time we did not accept credit cards on our secure email form due to our web-server changing there policy and no longer supporting credit card acceptance. We are at present in construction of a shopping cart which will enable us to accept major credit cards using PayPal.

    There are a number of plans designed in the late eighties/early nineties where we do not have the computer files. As we bring these up to date they will be converted to this format.

    It would appear that after six years Bruce Roberts-Goodson has received three emails concerning us.

    (1) In regard to Baral Terra Yachts in Turkey Our complete email correspondence with the purchaser of these plans is here. It is sometimes difficult, with language differences, to explain various points in a plan however as the emails do show, the questions asked have been answered. It was understood that the owner wanted the vessel to be built using the strip plank method of construction.

    (2) In regard to the accusations of impropriety and fraud in regard to a deal between a Mr. and Mrs. Hughes of the UK and Hans Alma in Holland we do not understand what this has to do with us. We have never heard of Dr Davis or Mr. and Mrs. Hughes. As Bruce Roberts-Goodson had an agent in Holland during this period and had had dealing with Hans Alma we can only think that Dr Davis was enquiring of him answers to whatever had gone wrong. In 2005 we did ship a number of pre-cut steel kits from Dutch steel works through Mr. Alma although Notwithstanding the problems of the Hughes's our business dealings with Mr. Alma are currently under strong review.

    (3) In regard to the email from New Zealand we did sell a set of R532 plans to Aaron Edwards in July 2004. We consider the R532 steel plans to be competently drawn with detail for amateur construction and would have been happy to discuss any grievances with him. Unfortunately Mr. Edwards did not bring his misgivings to us.

    You, the buyer has the choice. You can buy from either of us if the boat of your dreams is on both sites. There may be slight variances but basically both sets of plans will be nearly identical. We believe we offer excellent service and you are better buying the plans from us but the decision is entirely yours.
  11. safewalrus
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Cornwall, England

    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    For what it's worth my last boat was a steel Roberts Spray, nice boat but ...... I didn't ask for any help, wonder what the reaction would have been if I had? did contemplate a Centinial Spray as the next one (they didn't at the time have one with a schooner rig), didn't pursue it! Wonder what the reaction would have been had I? Probably won't now, there are other Designers out there, some better some worse but most a lot politer - look at the designers that get on this forum - we may not agree at times but they will discuss (and 'cuss') the problems both from their side and mine. Oh well communication is a good thing (for most)

    Mike (the Walrus):rolleyes: :D
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: Conn in summers , Ortona FL in winter , with big d

    FAST FRED Senior Member

    My problem wit Bruce Roberts is I have never seen even one boat that looked "pretty".

    Most are not up to my requirement that your spirits should soar upon just seeing the boat.

    Bill Garden does boats (as do hundreds of other designers) that are nice from every angle.
    I would rather cruise in a sealand box than an ugly boat.

    Why Bother? Life and money are too short to "go ugly early".

  13. Wellydeckhand

    Wellydeckhand Previous Member

    Quite true, it is not flashy but cheap to start, if cheap mean let you do on your own then it would be dangerous and fatal............

    The designer should have a kind heart and open mind,.......... That's why I love this forum............. they actually educate me to be a responsible person.......... with the plan and the building of it, dragging my *** from the sea if anything fail is not a good proposition.:)

    Err................ some of the guys in Indonesia say Bruce didnt design the Spray, it is already there before he was born! And the book Spray confrimed the fact. Its just another way to borrow design and make it legal.

  14. Robert Gainer
    Joined: Jul 2004
    Posts: 142
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    Location: New York

    Robert Gainer Designer/Builder

    He filled a market niche. He got a lot of people started who would never have started without his marketing. But I agree, I don’t like his boats or the level of detail in the plans.

    I also think that he started a lot of people down the primrose path who became disillusioned and quit after spending a lot of time and money. He started more people down that path because he started more people building boats. Most home built boats don’t reach completion irregardless of who the designer is. He just sold more plans so he has more customers, both happy and unhappy.
    Robert Gainer

  15. SheetWise
    Joined: Jul 2004
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    Location: Phoenix

    SheetWise All Beach -- No Water.

    Welly --

    "For a time we did not accept credit cards on our secure email form due to our web-server changing there policy and no longer supporting credit card acceptance. We are at present in construction of a shopping cart which will enable us to accept major credit cards using PayPal."

    This is a HUGE warning -- caveat -- omen -- red flag. Not accepting credit cards, and switching to PayPal is a sign that you either can't get a merchant account or you do so little business that you don't need one. Web-servers do not have policies on credit cards -- banks do have policies on merchant accounts -- and clients often have credit issues. For them, there's PayPal.
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