Country: UK - England
Boat name: Leviathan
Length: 8m +
Engine: GM Diesels
Join Date: Jan 2003
It is a splash of a Phantom 18
To try and understand the priciple of having a design stolen, whatever the intended use, imagine having taken many hundreds of hours slaving over a wooden plug, getting every aspect of it perfect and true to the drawings you've produced in the hope that it will fulfill your needs, in this case, for racing/fast pleasure. after what was probably many months of fettling the new form, and preparing it for 'taking a mould' you throw more time and money into first, making the mould itself, then all the time & cost of producing a boat from the mould, then fitting the boat out, so that you can finally get to test all the theory you've been banking on.
lets say for arguments sake, on testing, there are characteristics you're not totaly happy with, now you must take the finished boat and make modifications to it, maybe many times over until you're completely happy, now you'll have to fair the hull, which you've stripped out again, so that you can take another mould for producing the production run of boats.
This process is usually very slow, very expensive, and risky, after all, it may be a complete flop, in which case, your gamble didn't pay off and it's back to the drawing board, and all your investment (time and Money) have gone!
Now you proven design begins to sell, hopefully you'll sell enough to re-coup the enormous outlay of the development and actually make some money.
Now you're as happy as a pig in shit, and feeling pretty pleased with yourself.
Then, fred bloggs finds a nice cheap second hand boat (of the model you've very kindly designed, developed, produced the tooling, paid for, and proved successful) spends few measely bob waxing it, and takes a mould from it, and in a few weeks is producing the very same boat, usually to a low standard of workmanship, and cheaper (coz he has no investment to re-coup) and starts selling them.
If fredd bloggs only bothers to steal the running surface, say, for a rib, it's not really any less anoying, coz thats the bit that took all the development, and this is the very reason the thief steals it in the first place, it's the valuable bit, and if he doesn't have the know how to design himself, he'd have to pay someone else to do it!
And trust me, having the skill to knock up a wonky old console plug, is a world apart from the skill required to build an accurate plug required for a successful racing hull, even if you do have the drawings.
most splashers make one or two small alterations to the moulding claiming it to now be 'their design' after all, they've changed it, it's a different boat now.
Trying to sue these types is almost impossible, and costs the earth, something the average cottage industry british boatbuilder simply cannot afford to do. also, as soon as any threat looms to the splasher (usually an even smaller firm) they just go pop, and re-appear a month later, working out of another lock-up, under a new name and start over, all your legal fees and heartache from your original case are history! and there's really fkk all you can do about it.
The few talented and successfull boatbuilders we have in this country deserve more respect than this, and the 'splashers' are no more than parasites!
I for one hate to see any thief make any sort of profit from their low life activities, be it a splasher, a common burglar, or maybe a car stereo thief!
when you get your £400 car hi-fi stolen, does it give you a warm feeling knowing the scumbag can now afford some fags and a big mac with the 20 quid he got for your stereo?