naval architects & professional conduct

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by watchkeeper, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    I would be interested to get the views of NA and designers on the issue

    Our yard recently signed to build a 6 $figure commercial vessel for a commercial marine operator.
    The marine operator had commissioned by contract a NA for the design of the craft to their specific requirements with the understanding they (owners) would shortlist yards by due diligence then select the builder based on dd plus quote.
    So far all good, but once the yard was selected the NA who up to that point had supplied only hard copies of complete design and Tech/specs including uncomplete revisions for quotes has since refused to provide any software CAD dwgs what so ever. The only dwg the NA agreed to send was cutting files and those with nested items lacking title or description.

    From our point of view we assume we can price a project based on having access to all the information, check the dimensions and produce production dwgs in layers to include every item within a specific time frame, after all thats what modern digital technology is for.

    We've since learnt the NA has a long history of the same with yards on previous projects.

    In my 40yrs in the industry this is a first for me.
  2. micspoko
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    micspoko Senior Member

    I think you should get from NA all 2d cad drawing for verifying documentation and cutting files. Because you are responsible before client to correct build a vessel
  3. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Depends on the contract that the NA signed with the principal. Totaly seperate from your bid and contract. FWIW, I've seen a title block cut off one of my my drawings and another pasted on, so <<shrug>>.
  4. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Yup...I've had that too :mad::(

    Best ask the NA why s/he wont supply CAD dgws...and did your contract with the marine operator state "full access" of data from the NA, as part of your scope?
  5. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    The difference between a business relationship (where money is the object) and a trust relationship (where building a boat is the object).

    My view is that the designer, builder, and owner are partners in building the boat. I will do whatever I can to make that happen, even if it costs me money. Concerns about proprietary information are sticky, if you only have one idea to sell (or just a bunch of drafting) I feel sorry for you. As John and Ad mention above, if someone wants to steal work they will, poor sods.
  6. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I think this has been nailed on the head by Tad and John and John. First re-read the contract. Second call the NA and find out what's up. If he's like I was, when recently had something stolen, he's a bit gun shy and supplying cut files only. When you log onto a site and see your files, with a cut and paste over your logo and title box, you get a little "tight" in regard to who gets what. Call the guy and have a frank conversation, better if you can make an in person meeting and talk about it over a beer.
  7. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    What I am learning from this conversation is that all the world is one big village. Same stuff (JM, AH's and PAR's mishaps) happening all around the globe - east, west and the center (Italy) too. :p :rolleyes:
  8. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have not only had my engineering work copied in the same way, I have had drawings and specification I knew nothing about submitted with my name and signature on them! Imagine that, all of the liability for NO compensation.

    It all comes down to trust, the NA may not feel it is necessary to supply his full data set for you to accurately bid the job. So if this is a project you think your yard can reasonably win, than you have two options; communicate with both the NA and the customer that you need access to the digital data to accurately bid the job, AND you are willing to sign a non-disclosure/non-plagiarizing agreement (with significant monetary penalties if you do), or you submit a conditional contract, with your best guess at delivery costs, but contingent on verify actually costs after you receive the full digital data package. Of course the customer may see this as a way of allow you to raise the price after the contract was awarded to you.

    Both approaches does not guarantee the NA's work will not be stolen, but that could happen even if you do win the contract. It might convince them you are sincerely trustworthy and have a legitimate need for access to the full data set.

    consider if you were in the NA position, it would not take much to have all your work spread all over the internet if he shot gun's out the plans in digital form to who everyone who asks to place a bid. You must give him assurance that your motives are to serve the customer better, and produce a more accurate and competitive bid.

    Unfortunately there is no good way of proving your motives and trustworthiness. IF they do not trust you now, they will not be good customers later. So it is up to you to prove you are trustworthy before they do any business with you.
  9. MikeJohns
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    MikeJohns Senior Member

    ..... I have had the opposite, one of my title blocks on a drawing I'd never seen !
    I'm used to having my details substituted by someone else's when they engaged me, that's quite common.
  10. watchkeeper

    watchkeeper Previous Member

    When I first raised the issue of access to ACAD dwgs with the NA he claimed he was reluctant to fwd copies because our yard is in China and he had previously experienced a problem.
    I assured him we respect IP and sent him a list of the NA's I work with many I've know for years plus an offer to sign a ND.

    Later he agreed to the ND agreement, we all signed but he has since refused to comply even at his client's (owners) request/demand. But the reality is the issue is not about our yard in China, because the NA has a history of the same attitude with yards in his own and other countries.
  11. WestVanHan
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    WestVanHan Not a Senior Member

    I used be in the import business,and on the online trade portals one day I found a picture of a boat that- with my virtual photographic memory- I knew I had seen.
    The actual picture,not just the boat.

    It took me a day to remember the boat,and I emailed the designer,sent him the link of his boat being offered in China and he replied back with much gratitude.

    A day later his picture was off the company's website.

    I'd suggest you designers use google image search and if anything of yours shows on the camera,and upload from your computer.
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There certainly isn't a cornered market of questionable business practices in China. Though there surely is a reputation and preconceived notion that in some places around the world, where you are much more likely to get work stolen or cheated. In first world countries, we have an expectation of accountability and "checks and balances" in regard to recourse, but this isn't the case in other parts of the world, which is my point. India is quickly catching up in this game, using all of the same tactics, so watch you stuff.
  13. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Yep, industrial theft/espionage is not limited to one time, person, company, government, or country. Making glass was once a state secret in Greece, the English kidnapped Flemish weavers in the middle ages, alchemists spied on each other, in the US we remember that the whole idea of a Patent was a major division in the formation of the Government, and into the modern age there is RCA vs Marconi, Soviet spies, chinese knockoffs, Apple and Microsoft code thefts...

    So auctor cavendum
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  14. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Especially interesting about Markoni... He used the invention of Russian Popov that was published, and patented it.

  15. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Many folks will tell you his wireless work has come after Tesla's... For sure Marconi was a good and pragmatic businessman while Tesla was a pure genius with no sense for business. Too bad for Tesla, because money ultimately always wins in this sort of disputes.
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