This wonderful postcard painting is by a French artist who's name I simply can't remember.

Custom Design

If you like my approach to yacht design but don't see any of my stock plans that fit your needs, I'll be very happy to work with you to create a custom design.

While of course this is more expensive than buying a stock plan, it is the only way to get exactly what you want. Building a larger boat represents a fair amount of money, energy, and time, and it makes sense to invest in a design that is exactly what you want rather than a compromise. This higher cost for the plans is off-set by the fact that my designs frequently cost less to build than many other designer's boats. This is because my construction background keeps me aware of the "buildability" of the shapes I draw and I don't draw difficult to construct shapes unless there is a specific reason to do so. The resulting straight forward construction plans, coupled with the tremendous accuracy of the plans thanks to the various computer programs that are used to create the design, allow the vessel to go together very smoothly and without unnecessary hassle.

While I will point out features that will effect the construction complexity or cost, I will draw whatever you want, UNLESS I think it will be dangerous. As you'll see on the following form, the payment procedure guarantees you that I'll draw what you want! I've worked as a carpenter in some very exotic yacht building firms as well as fishboat yards. I've been involved in the construction of classic Alden and Herreshoff wooden yachts as well as contemporary luxury craft. I've even helped build warships, and once, I surveyed out several of the Royal Saudi Navy's wooden minesweepers. But probably most importantly, I've personally built several of my own designs.....

I know very well what so called "yacht standards" are in construction and materials. I can spec out the most exotic and expensive or the most readily available and affordable. I can design in any style; from the most futuristic Italian to the most "traditional". And while I certainly have my prejudices and preferences, the final look of the boat is your decision; after all, that is the whole point of the custom design and frankly what makes it interesting for me too; working with the client to create their vision, not mine alone.

Custom design is what I enjoy doing the most; working with a client who has a vision of what he wants, and making it come to life as a complete boat plan. The results of your ideas, blended with my ideas and suggestions, creating a boat we both are happy with, is very satisfying. Now of course the bottom line is YOUR happiness, but from my point of view, it's best when we both really like it!

Rather than charge you by the hour which if I were the client would be just a bit vague to suit me, I use a simple flat fee contract, payable in 5 payments. Here it is.

Custom Design Payment Schedule


The entire custom design fee is _________ consisting of 5 payments of ____________.


First ____________: Due at signing of contract. Client will provide a thorough description of the size range, type, use, and interior accommodation requirements of the vessel (your sketches welcome and invited!). The designer will provide preliminary drawings based on this description and will revise them until the client likes the look of them. This preliminary study will "flesh out" the client's ideas, and if it becomes obvious that what the client wanted wasn't going to work out or if the client feels that I'm unable to provide what he wants, the client is under no obligation to continue the design. While this payment is non-refundable, in practice it is rare that the process stops at this point because we wouldn't be this far along in our talks if we both weren't interested. And, in the couple rare cases where work has stopped, the client felt it was well worth this payment to study his ideas in depth and to see that they didn't work out.

Second ____________: Due when client is satisfied with the preliminary lines. Final hull lines and Table of Off-sets will then be completed.

Third ____________: Almost Final Interior arraignment completed which will determine specific layouts of bulkheads, companionway location, and other items necessary to know before the construction plan can be designed. While some specific features can still be changed, we know by now pretty much what the boat will look like.

Fourth ____________: Construction plan, and if required, fine tuning of the interior layout.

Fifth ____________: Tankage and tank plumbing layout, mechanical installations. Final exterior profile and deck layout and (if applicable) final sailplan with rigging and spar specifics.

This series of payments guarantees that the client will get exactly what he wants because additional payments are held until he is satisfied. And, you can stop any time you want. The reason for the "contract" is to spell out the deal but if you change your mind mind-stream about the whole project, no problem. The point of this stuff is fun you know. The only reason for the contract is to spell out what you get and when you get it, for the money. If you loose interest for some reason, OK. It doesn't matter and we'll stay friends and actually, I might even go ahead and finish the design as a stock plan.

To keep the project moving, Client agrees to send payment for next step in the process within 30 days of approving the preceding step. Payment for each step implies the client is satisfied with the development of the design at that point and if he changes his mind later about something which would require much (in the designer's opinion!) redrawing or engineering to change, the client agrees to pay an additional amount which will be discussed at that time. Naturally it's in the designer's interest to provide a design that exactly suits the client and in practice will do his best to accomplish this. This statement is made only so that once a large part of the design is completed major changes that affect work already completed will not be casually considered.

The hull design and drafting will be done on computer Autocad, release 14 or newer, and other programs. The completed plans will be provided on paper and also on Autocad disk (or e-mailed file) if the builder has the facilities to use it. All stability and structural analysis necessary to meet Coast Guard requirements for a specific intended use can be provided if needed. If these studies are required by the client he needs to state so at the time of the initial agreement as they could require additional payment to perform. NC cutting disks can be provided for an additional fee. While certainly appealing, this expense often is not cost effective on many designs.

Unless otherwise discussed, the design is the property of the designer, with the Client having the right to build one (or as discussed beforehand) boat from the completed plans. The process is lengthy; it normally takes close to a year, depending on how busy I am.

 Signed: ________________________________________________________________ George Buehler, designer. _____________date
 Signed: ________________________________________________________________ Client ___________________date

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