Selling Self Build Plans Online – A Viable Business?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Mark O Hara, May 27, 2020.

  1. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines

    Mark O Hara Junior Member

    Yes you're right and I know many, most are outdated, but some designers offer one basic design as a lead in product hoping you'll have a positive experience and come back later to build one of their larger boats.
    The free plans or builds based on them is something I never get involved with, if someone is looking to get plans for free you can be sure they have no budget to begin with.
     
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Yes, now it turns out that building boats is child's play.
     
  3. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    It sounds strange, because you come to professional forum, and tell us you are Lloyds qualified surveyor. You can tell this to customer who is not familiar with the industry, but for professional community, this 'Loyds' value is nothing because we know this is just online survey course from another de-facto diploma mill. (I did some online courses my self and level of tuition there, and level of textbooks suck).

    There is RINA and RINa. Those are sometimes confuses, but both are respected.

    So you want to design yourself, not sell designs done by others?

    Don't waste time, not worth - these designs have to be very cheap. We sell some stock designs, but we have times more 'design on order' work.
    And remember that those cheap design buyers (who are home builders) will make you crazy - they will call in the evening asking how to mix epoxy, ask drawings for blocks and cleats, etc. Not worth. Then then some idiot will try to sue you because you sold them design which is not certified for his country (this happened to me with my free design!).

    If You are in survey work, keep doing it.
     
  4. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Mark O Hara Junior Member

    Yes I am a Lloyd’s Qualified Surveyor I had to submit my ME qualifications and work history to do the course, I had to return an assignment every month, attend seminars, an exam in London, and pay a lot of money to do so. RINA recognizes it and as you said yourself they are respected, but if you want to piss all over it, that’s your prerogative.

    I weighed up the prospectus between that and IIMS and the Lloyd’s course had more to it.

    Regardless of what problem you have with it the it still has Lloyd’s written on my qualification with my name beside it same as your “whatever” NA qualification will have yours. Pray tell, is it an institution with a name that we’ll all recognize to merit such arrogance?
     
  5. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Listen, we all know this is just online course. I did many similar online courses where I sent assignments every month, etc. My staff did online course in this LMA. But claims about 'Lloyd's Qualified surveyor' is just misleading. You don't need to fool anyone here with your 'Lloyd's' qualification. This qualification has no relation to Lloyd as we know it respected part of marine industry for many decades. LMA is new registered 'diploma mill', maybe good for some niche, but don't misuse the names.

    This is how your qualification looks, not 'Lloyds', but Lloyds Maritime Academy, if you want to use it Lloyd's Maritime Academy - Digital Badge https://www.lloydsmaritimeacademy.com/page/Digital-Badge

    Yes, RINA does recognize LMA as one of possible courses for continuing professional development (I am RINA Fellow).
     
  6. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines

    Mark O Hara Junior Member


    Really Alik? If Lloyd’s Maritime Academy and similar online courses are so piss poor in your opinion, why did you and your staff partake in them? Why waste you and your companies time and money doing something you don’t believe in?

    In fact, after the recent Covid-19 outbreak I’d say distance learning is the way to go! My children’s school has been cancelled for the rest of the year, so it’s all distance learning now for them! During this lock-down I got offered a distance learning course in Aeronautical Engineering! I didn’t sign up for it but I’m amazed it’s out there, I’m into aviation in my spare time so maybe later.

    I know of one NA that got his trade via distance learning and I have all the respect in the world for him, his designs are bloody good and he gets tons of work by reputation alone!

    I know of another Boat Designer who’s not an NA at all yet his designs hit the glossy mags and the trendy sites. He just gets office jockey NA’s to crunch the numbers for him and make his concepts a reality.

    I have absolutely no problem putting Lloyd's Maritime Academy Qualified Small Craft Surveyor on any title but it’s a bit long winded and hard to fit on a business card don’t you think?

    An education is not a mark of intelligence, as much as a Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Small Craft Surveyor’s Certificate does not represent the amount of experience I accumulated going into the course.

    I don’t know what qualifications you have, and I don’t really care, but they must be awesome so you can afford to look down your nose at everyone else.

    One thing I love about Boat Design is boats, that’s the reason why I joined this forum, one thing I hate, is all the egos that come with it, and yours casts a big shadow.

    P.S. Thanks for the badge!
     
  7. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I don't want to get into the discussion but I would like to comment on one thing. Online courses have proliferated in recent years, and now accelerated by confinement due to Covid-19. There is a lot of money circulating around the online courses. It is a flourishing business. Everyone wants to do an online course and everyone gives online courses, whatever the subject may be. I myself teach several online courses. I can say that many, many of them (of which I know, of course), are not worth it and that, while they can complete some aspects of a certain specialty, none of them can give a professional title or make a professional a person who is not. I only express my opinion.
     
  8. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Mark O Hara Junior Member

    I concur, nothing beats practice, but it's better than nothing and a lot of the ME's that came out of their engine rooms and the NA's that came out of their offices and went into the surveying industry, went in with exactly with that, nothing.
    I learnt nothing new about boats with Lloyd's Maritime Academy but I did learn the legal side, the insurance business, calculating constructive total loss and all the bureaucracy that goes with it.
    They are trying to put some sort of formal structure to the industry and the report writing, and putting a stop to people getting into areas of the industry they're not qualified to be in, e.g. an ME that is a qualified mechanic undertaking an osmosis survey.
    I once had a State registered NA sign off on a hull only to find on post inspection he had missed out on one entire laminating set, bloody expensive mistake!
    That's why the legal side, the insurance business, calculating constructive total loss and all the bureaucracy is important and you don't need to sit in a classroom to do it.
    It was great, I could do my boat work during the day and my studies at night, I wouldn't have any hesitation on doing any of the bolt on or specialist courses with them in the future should I see the need.
     
  9. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Mark, I did one of my studies (PhD) in real Maritime Academy (yes, with thousands of cadets, and flag ceremony every morning!), no in virtual one like LMA (2-3 rooms in office building?) ;) Distance learning will never be even close to real level.

    How You can train a NA online, without access to towing tank, welding lab, material testing lab, etc.? Sounds like a joke. I think everyone needs to distinguish real training/degrees from virtual degrees.
    If You are marine professional, it is important to make correct statements and avoid misleading claims from beginning of career.
     
  10. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Aside from anything else, the plans you sell, will need to be your own, or the lawyers could be in touch. Frankly, unless your own designs have a significant, and positive point of difference to the cheap plans already available, it seems an unlikely proposition to be starting from scratch with.
     
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  11. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines

    Mark O Hara Junior Member

    Sounds archaic, was it a military school? Just because you have a PhD does not mean they’ll be naming any streets or museums after you, for that you’ll have to break the mold and not just learn how to conform.

    We had access to all that too at the college I attended, but the test tank was defunct, it was far easier and cheaper to use computer modelling for testing. The test tank is now a part of the local Maritime Museum. We did a Thermal Joining Skills course too, in a welding workshop and had to get the welding instructor out of retirement to do so. But within years of me doing all my practical skills at college, they faded out all the workshops out due to running costs and replaced them with class rooms and computer engineers.


    Who’s trying to mislead anyone? I’ve had a long and successful career as a boat builder, boat building instructor and a Lloyd’s (Maritime Academy) Qualified Small Craft Surveyor and I have no idea why on earth you are so offended by that.

    Pretty please, with sugar on top, stop hi-jacking my thread to beat your chest with your “qualifications” and piss on everybody else. Go ***** about all that someplace else! Hell go start your own thread about it!
     
  12. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines

    Mark O Hara Junior Member

    Efficient as always, thanks for getting the thread back on track. Yes I have read all the other threads about splashing, copyright infringement and intellectual property protection. It seems to be a daily battle for some. And you're right, anyone getting into the business would have to have a USP, there is too much of the same out there on the market now .
     
  13. Alik
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    Alik Senior Member

    Mark, you appeared on this forum and in first phrase you said that you are Lloyds Qualified surveyor. This is not me, this is you started from the qualifications!

    Making online course at LMA does not make anyone Lloyds surveyor. The way they teach at LMA is textbook only, there is absolutely no access to labs or towing tank. I know it because my staff did NA certificate there, as secondary qualification.

    Refarding my qyalifications, I dont like to emphasize those but once you ask I can reply. Actually, anyone can find where I studied. Yes the Maritime Academy migh look atchaic to you, but this is real one, with proper buildings, staff, training equipment, labs, training vessels, etc. Not the online one like LMA created to issue papers with sound name for low cost.
     
  14. Mark O Hara
    Joined: May 2020
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    Location: Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines

    Mark O Hara Junior Member

    When I said I studied boat building in college I was not referring to Lloyd's Maritime Academy, I was referring to the James Watt College I attended in Inverclyde, the heart of Scottish Ship Building, that was years before I pursued a qualification in surveying, and that was hands on, attend every day, in the workshop and classrooms (no flag raising ceremonies though).
    All in all I served two three year apprenticeships (6 years in total) prior to that, a 1 year college course in carpentry another 2 year college course in boat building and composites (3 years in total) and years later a university course in teaching and finally a 1 year course with Lloyd's Maritime Academy.
    No, doing a course with Lloyd's Maritime Academy does not make you a surveyor and I never implied that, it just gives you a recognized qualification in surveying, the experience that makes me or anybody else a surveyor is all that came before it!
    READ the posts before you put forward an argument and stop wasting my time!
     

  15. Alik
    Joined: Jul 2003
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    Alik Senior Member

    Thanks Mark, this is quite clear and impressive....
     
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