Kiwi, I restarted that thread about regulations under a more explicit title, feel free to edit.
Yes, regulations are a major obstacle to amateur boat building in Europe. Under the pretense of offering us a protection that we never asked for, regulating authorities are destroying creativity and restricting our freedom.
I say creativity because amateur boat builders are a creative bunch not afraid to experiment. Not everybody wants a cookie cutter boat. Freedom is even more important and then there is the economic aspect of boat ownership.
An amateur not counting his labor can build a boat for much less than a yard and end up with, if not a better product at least one that fits his requirements.
As some of you may know, I left Europe for those reasons. I sailed away on a boat that I build myself and had to register her as a freighter to avoid paying the VAT on my own work!
The type of obstacle has changed and today, the biggest hurdle for amateurs is ISO conformity. I know that [b]amateurs are not required to follow those directives as long as they do not sell their boat within 5 years[/b]. However, many want to build a small boat first and resell it to finance their next project and therefore, the boat must be certified.
CEE certification will also increase the value of the boat.
After several years of hesitation, I finally decided to offer ISO conformity as an option with our plans.
Let's explain how this works: a boat plan must follow some rules to be approved and then, the builder must follow those rules plus some others to have the boat certfied. It is a two step process.
As a designer, I can satisfy the first requirement but the builder must handle the building side.
This represent a large amount of extra work at the design level.
For example, stability calculations must be shown the way CEE burokrats want it, not necessarily the way naval architects calculate it. Scantlings must follow their rules, not necessarily the ones I and many others use with success. And it goes on forever, thousands of pages and directives.
This will not produce a better plan or a better boat but it will cost more, like a hidden tax.
The plans and scantlings may show some differences and we will sell those plans (at bateau.com) as an option at an extra cost.
Again, [b]this is only necessary for those of you who want to resell their boats within five years[/b] and you must handle the building side of the certification but that should be easier with approved plans.
Commercial yards should contact us about certification. I just came back from the IBEX (Miami Florida) where I discussed all this European certifying organizations and will be at the METS in Amsterdam next month if builders want to discuss it further.
Yacht Designer SNAME, ABYC,
posting from a place where I can build boats without asking permission.