Chuck Burns, Naval Architect

Mission Statement & Design Policies

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Mission Statement & Design Policies
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Mission Statement:

To take our clients away from the stress of everyday life and create a relaxing and fun adventure on the water.

We believe every boat owner deserves to live a dream. If none of our existing designs suit your needs, we will work with you to create your own special experience. We are here to serve your needs, and to help make your new boat one you will use with joy.

Design and Consultation Policies

A. Preliminaries for New Design

In designing a new boat we work to fill the client's exact needs and desires. We prepare preliminary drawings first to outline our interpretation of the client's wishes and then prepare a second set of preliminaries after the client's review of the initial drawings. Fees for this first round will amount to 30% of the quoted design fee. If after the initial phase, the client wishes to change the boat's size or other major parameters, the process will start over, but the preliminary fee for the new beginning will amount to 5% of the adjusted fee, as it is assumed that the client will have a better idea of what he wants. It is understood that the preliminary phase in no way obligates the client to complete a design, or to build a boat.

Should the client ask us to travel away from our office for the purpose of design consultation, it is understood that the client will reimburse the architect for reasonable out of pocket expenses such as travel, meals, lodging, long distance phone, etc.

Any costs directly leading to a design contract will be credited toward the design fee with the exception of out of pocket expenses.

B. New Design

In designing a new boat, we provide preliminary Sail Plan and Arrangement Plan along with a Midship Construction Section and a set of Specifications in order to submit these to builders for bid.

We will recommend builders for bidding, circulate requests for bids, aid the client in analyzing bids, and assist the client and builder, with their attorneys, in preparing a construction contract.

Upon the selection of a builder, we produce and supply to the client and builder the following:

Lines Plan, Table of Offsets, Construction Plan, final Sail Plan, final Arrangement Plan, Joiner Sections, Spar and Rigging Plan, Chainplate and Stemhead-Backstay Structural Details, Deck Layout, Rudder and Keel Details, and any other details necessary to complete the yacht. Some details of joinery and construction may be left to the builder, provided they are to the satisfaction of the client and architect.

During the construction of the yacht we consult with the builder and check construction details. We also prepare addenda to the specifications to embody changes approved by the owner and builder according to the provisions of the construction contract.

Our design fee is based on the length of the boat, and assumes a "normal" type of boat. Boats which involve complicated details, or extensive research into unusual features, will require an adjustment to the basic fee structure. Boats requiring certification to meet regulations such as USCG or CE (ISO) will also result in an increase in the fee, as will boats requiring ABS or other construction classification certification.

Except on demonstration of boatbuilding expertise, we will not usually engage in design projects intended for amateur construction.

C. Existing Designs

We have available a few designs which may suit the requirements of the client. These may be used as is or may entail some minor modifications requested by the client. If an existing design is used without modification, our fee will be considerably less.

If the client desires minor modifications be made, such work will be done on an hourly basis at our normal consultation rates, and will be billed separately. However, if the changes required involve alteration of the Lines Plan or the basic construction, the work may be considered new design rather than existing design, and the fees will be as outlined under New Design.

D. Tank Testing

Tank testing will be done at the request of the client. Since both client and architect benefit from tank testing, we charge no fee for work associated with tank testing as part of the design. Bills for model construction and tests will be forwarded from the testing facility to the client directly. In the event it becomes necessary for the architect to travel to the testing facility, no charges will be made for time involved, but out of pocket expenses will be charged.

E. Inspection

Periodic inspections during the construction and sea trials of yachts built to our designs are not a part of the design agreement and are charged separately. If built beyond a 50 mile radius of our office, out of pocket expenses will be billed separately. We will make every effort to minimize these costs by inspecting other yachts building in the same area during the same trip and spreading the expenses equitably.

During these inspections we check on the progress and quality of construction, as well as compliance with the plans and specifications and the wishes of the client and architect.

Inasmuch as these inspections are of a periodic nature, and are not to be construed to be supervisory, we rely on the builder to insure that the construction and fitting-out of the yacht comply with the design and with best boatbuilding practice, and we expect the client to do likewise. Since we conduct only periodic inspections, where testing and investigation can only be made on a sampling basis, we do not accept any financial responsibility for correcting any defects we fail to find. This responsibility rests with the builder and is normally covered in the construction contract.

It should be understood by the client that it may become necessary during or even after construction of a boat to revise the design. This very seldom happens, but can occur when construction weights run too high, or some key item of equipment cannot be delivered on schedule. If revisions must be made, we will make every effort to minimize the extra costs and disruptions to the construction schedule. We will accomplish any associated design work under the original design fee.

F. Ownership of Designs

All designs remain the property of the architect, including the right to future use, and it shall not be construed by the client that he has bought a design. The plans and specifications are supplied for use in the construction of one boat only, and the fees include design royalties for such boat. It will normally be agreeable to the architect to restrict the use of a particular design for a period agreed to with the client.

G. Multiple Construction

The above procedures and fee structures contemplate the building of a single yacht only. Specific arrangements must be made for the construction of more than one yacht.