Lament after buying study plan

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    He's been selling plans for a long long time. Ken Hankinson, Glen-L, and Bruce Roberts were the first big plans catalogs I saw. Advertised big. Glad to see the successful customers. Some good websites in there. Not surprised there are people who don't like them too, nothing new. Easier to like people who are really humble not selling anything than a man earning a living by selling hard.

    What made Lister so sour?
     
  2. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

  3. Manie B
    Joined: Sep 2006
    Posts: 2,041
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 1818
    Location: Cape Town South Africa

    Manie B Senior Member

  4. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
    Posts: 2,338
    Likes: 113, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 871
    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    Hi Tomas, there's some history of dispute over designs, here's some links, the participants chronicle the issue as such......... been going on for way too long.....
    http://www.bruceroberts.com/public/HTML/PIRATED-PLANS.htm
    http://www.bruceroberts.com.au/allegations.htm
    Seemed to first blow up over kits & cutting files & an arrangement with aalmarine. I was working on an at the Almarine cut Bermuda/Voyager485 at the time.
    http://www.bruceroberts.com.au/kits/
    The boats are ok
    Jeff
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Bruce has no one to blame for this except himself. He had a business that was doing well and he decided to "come to America" to make his fortune, because as we all know, this is the place that you can do that, just like me and all of you, right. He sold the rights to his own work and set off to to be something else. His business practices and general lack of business sense, has been the biggest issue with this debate, but simply put, he's now (and has been for a while) trying to recoup what he sold a couple of decades ago. Now, the new mantra is "updated plans" for all of the designs he has no legal rights to. Yeah, good luck with that Bruce. As for the designs, it depends on who actually "penned" them. Some aren't bad, others frankly pigs, all pretty dated at this point, in spite of the new advertising hype of being "updated".
     
  6. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    The sale must have had some big loophole or ambiguity or one of the sides would have gotten resolution years ago.
    What makes them dated?
    New rules and regs?
    People getting bigger? :eek:
    Are cruising boats really better now than 30 years ago?
    Sometimes I think it's all hype to keep everyone buying new stuff when old stuff was simpler and every bit as fun.
     
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    No big loophole, just sour grapes on Bruce Roberts-Goodson part, in regard to the business they sold to Bill Ingram two decades ago. Bruce Roberts International was the company started in the late 1960's that Bruce sold. This company has been sold at least once more since Bruce let it go. At that time, he lost all rights to the designs his office penned up. The current holder of these rights have maintained the BRI business, all records and client data, still issuing sail and yacht numbers for the designs of the 60's, 70's 80's and 90's, who's plans are purchased, which is a telling point about who owns what.

    Some of the early designs have more than just dated styling clues. Some are CCA relics and early IOR conformists, which after the '79 Fastnet, should be carefully considered. Yes, many are strictly cruising and certainly viable as such, though against a modern cruiser, they should take a day or two extra, to make the same passage, which to many cruisers isn't such a big deal. All this said, again it depends on who actually did the design, as Bruce had some clever and interesting folks working for him, over the quarter of a century he did own BRI. Bruce is credited with these designs, though most of his best known, are actually someone elses work.

    In a nut shell, Bruce made a play for getting home built and kit boats constructed in the USA, setting up coop's and builder's help groups, plus other stuff. Noble enough and a good idea, had it been a decade earlier (when he started the process). As a result, by the time he had his "ducks" lined up, the boom was long past and he took a bath. Financial considerations forced decisions, I'm sure he couldn't have envisioned previously and he lost nearly everything. With questionable tactics, lawyers and sneaky dealings, he's attempted to weasel back some of his sold rights, but he's lost at every legal turn.

    All this is fairly well documented if you avoid cloudiness of the BRI or BRG sites. BRI has "standing", but BRG is still testing the waters, between court appearances.
     
  8. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    It must have been a poor contract for dispute to still be going for 20 years.

    If you bought a plans catalog house, wouldn't you want a long non-compete clause?

    Must have been details poorly done in that contract.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A "long none compete" clause wouldn't be possible, though a reasonable one would be and I suspect there was one, likely a bout 5 years, which would be typical in this sort of thing.

    I don't think it was a poor contract as much as BRG wishing they hadn't made the deal in hindsight. I can see both sides of the story, with BRI defending it's acquisition and BRG attempting inroads toward winning some of their patronage back. BRG's tactics have been called to question, with desist orders being levied. Fancy circumventing and end runs have soured any possible cooperative efforts, so the battle goes on. Simply put, I don't think the true Bruce Roberts designs are anything spectacular, but Shannon and others employed by the original BRI office, did produce some nice work.

    Having broken a franchise contact many years ago myself - one that was supposed to be unbreakable, I can assure you, they all can be breached and decompiled, but the real question is why not move on, develop more designs and let your loses lay where you sold them. Now BRG has developed more designs, few actually done by Bruce, but they tend to be re-visits of the old stuff, rather then new, innovative and exciting approaches. Instead they're using the lack of regulation and policing on internet content, to try to suggest they've been in continual business as BRI, now BRG ever since the late 60's, which is about as unscrupulous as things can get. Court records are publicly available and it's blatantly clear, who owns all the rights to all pre 1994 BRI designs (it's not Bruce).
     
  10. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    Is the BRG BRI case transcript online? I've been trying to find the case using Google and Bing but haven't found the transcripts yet.
     
  11. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
    Posts: 19,133
    Likes: 476, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 3967
    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I doubt the transcripts have been published on line.
     
  12. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    How can these case records be looked up then?
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. tomas
    Joined: Nov 2012
    Posts: 281
    Likes: 16, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 147
    Location: California

    tomas Senior Member

    Thanks, I appreciate your effort.

    I suppose that the Australian-based business is doing okay.

    Oooohhh, not good.

    This would be a deal-breaker for me as a potential customer, and the owners of the legally/legitimately sold business have to keep spending money on lawyers, and travel expenses in another country. $$$

    That is simply not ethical.

    Hmmm, revisiting/resurrecting older designs that now belong to someone else is suspect at best and implies to me that he has nothing new to offer. It suggests a lack of talent and creativity thus the apparent smoke and mirrors.

    It also explains the dated looking website.
    Only dated products are being offered.

    His response of only posting glowing reviews isn't helping.

    Out of fairness I would read a response from him with an open mind though this painted picture isn't a pretty one.


    Well, interesting and informative.
    Thanks PAR.
     
  14. tomas
    Joined: Nov 2012
    Posts: 281
    Likes: 16, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 147
    Location: California

    tomas Senior Member

    This reminds of a similar story that I know about first hand:

    A former girlfriend of mine wrote her first successful theater play many years ago with a so-called partner whom she trusted at the time. All the dialog was hers and she did the bulk of the actual work. Once it became a hit, he sued for 50% credit/ownership and won. Years later he managed to broker a deal in which the play was adapted into a mainstream film with well-known actors. The producer was completely sympathetic to my girlfriend's version of the play's origins but legally had to deal with her former partner in order to get it made.

    The movie did well as a small film and the play continues to be performed in many parts of the country. She has also written many TV scripts, a novel and continues to be a well established and successful playwright.

    How many plays and scripts has her former "partner" written in all of this time?
    ZERO.
     

  15. BPL
    Joined: Dec 2011
    Posts: 217
    Likes: 15, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 209
    Location: Home base USA

    BPL Senior Member

    Can you post the court case that decided these? How do you read the transcript?

    Or what were the words in the contract that described the sale of the plans or business name? Was there anything in the contract covering exclusivity, market area/country, or timeframe or derivative works?

    Would you say "revisiting/resurrecting older designs"... "shows a lack of talent and creativity" if anyone sells plans that are older than, 10, 20 years?
     
Loading...
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.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.