What is the systematic mistake?

Seems like we have had another problem with building RC-multies. I dont want to go trough details and seek for guilty parties, but I am worried.

Ernst summed it up: 4 different builders have tried and so far we have 4 different failures, some more severe and some less. Some have been just delays on delivery ( wich in most cases have been agreed between builder and customer ) and some have had their reflections on the boards.

But what is wrong here? From my experience I can pinpoint out at least a few problems similar in these 4 cases:

Builder related problems:

  1. The estimate of the work involved has been miscalculated.

  2. The cost because of work miscalculation is highly miscalculated

Business related problems:
3. A boat is sold first and built afterwards leaving no money for the builder if something is not going as planned. However this has not been the case in all cases

  1. Primitive working methods, I have not heard anyone using female moulds or vac-bagging.

What is difficult is that you actually need 6 female moulds to complete the boat. 1 deck mould for float, 1 Bottom mould for float, same 2 in mainhull and 1-2 beam moulds. thats 5 more than on monohull. If we use pipe as beams, the moulds needed are still 4. The moulds cost like 2 times of a completed boat, wich means that if you have like 20% of profit from building ( moulds excluded ), you need to sell 10 boats to cover your mould expenses. Also Monohulls have only 1 Hull to deck-joint, Multihulls have 3 + 2 beams. Also

Multihull classes, Mini 40 and f48 etc allow certain sail area. The idea originally was to make a no limit experimental concept. However if we would limit that Marblehead A, B and C rigs are allowed and adjust the rule to fit into the largest marblehead rig, we would have many rigs ready for use from boats wich would sit on the shelf otherwise. this would put the design and developement focus to the platforms and maybe in some time someone would have such a good concept to a platform, that the moulds would be profitable.

Ok there was a short analysis, Feel free to gun it down or whatever

  • HJ

Edit: I didnt want to refer all unsuccessfull projects as equal ones. Some projects have been compensated without any problems.

Edit2: I claimed that no one is using female moulds ( Successfully or unsuccessfully ). This is wrong information, as Dough Lord from microsail is using female moulds, at least according to the microsail website.

“Expertice is gained trough mistakes. However repeating
same mistake is not learning but stupidity.”

I plan to answer this post in the status of being the acting Class Secretary for the Formula 48 Multihull Class Owners Association here in the U.S. Please excuse the manner in which this is posted, but I want to respond on behalf of the Class - not as a personal opinion.
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As I noted by my personal post, this issue of unreliable builders is taking it’s toll on the general world multihull scene. As a Class

  • We would like nothing better than to be able to reference new buyers and potential owners to legitimate builders where a buyer could expect a reasonable product in a reasonable amount of time - or by a promised date.

  • We would support a purchasing/selling standard procedure of a minimum of 50% down payment and recommend witholding full payment until the boat is ready to ship - or until tracking numbers for shipment are available. The alternative being that the boat is built on “spec” (speculation) that someone would purchase upon it’s completion when ready to sell/ship.

  • Builders ( and want-to-be-builders) must educate themselves on the class, the costs, the potential for sales, etc. As a Class - we will <u>NOT</u> be responsible for doing <u>YOUR</u> research into the potential to sell/supply these boats. It is YOUR responsibility as a builder to determine the market for your products. The Class does not subsidize builders - nor do we ask for a builder’s fee to support the class for each boat built or sold.

  • As a builder, you must recognize that YOU are the sole source for the distribution of your products. There is no hobby shop, no organization, no network for your product distribution unless you create it yourself.

  • As a builder, if you decide to hang out your “shingle” and advertise your desire to supply boats, and also if you take money to further this effort - the problems associated with your ability to perform are yours - NOT the buyer unless he fails to pay.

  • Misjudging interest, or assuming numbers of interest inquiries as being potential sales is (again) your responsibility.

  • Not having the time, experience,marketing, distribution, etc. is again - YOUR responsibility. If you get sick, run into financial issues, find end building costs higher than your selling cost - please don’t blame that on the buyer.

  • In all cases, the “builder” requested and accepted money from the buyer. The buyer sent the money in good faith, with the understanding the product would arrive as advertised in the promised time frame.

  • As a Class Association, we do not feel obligated to handle legal issues, but in most countries ( certainly here in the U.S.) there are only a few basics that make up a legal contract. An “offer” to sell, and “offer” to buy, and an “agreed upon value”, and finally an “exchange of product for value”. (greatly paraphrased for brevity). Failure to perform is breach of contract, and of course there are legal rights and options provided for the resolution of issues.

  • As of this writing, we have no indication of three of the previosuly mentioned suppliers NOT wishing to supply boats or kits. Two suppliers have notified the Class they no longer wish to be considered an international supplier. For this purpose, I would reiterate that to now, only Ernst Zeamann (Austria) and Anthony Wright (U.K.) have indicated they are no longer interested in supplying boats, hulls or kits internationally.

  • Peter Birch (Australia) has not said he would no longer produce/provide boats.
  • Doug Lord/MicroSail (US) continues to advertise the X3 and the F-48 multihulls from his business.
  • Ian Sammis (US) has relocated to California from Kansas but has not indicated he is no longer taking orders.

Of these builders in question, Ian Sammis has prodcued, sold and/or delivered Class legal multihulls in the past three years, that the F-48 Class is aware of.

Given the issues surrounding current and past building, it is the responsibility of the “Buyer Beware” and it is the “Builder’s” responsibility to set prices and terms/conditions for the sale (and stick to them).

You will notice that this is not just related to multihulls - but is a general consideration in any hobby/sport. People think they can do it. They want to succeed, but eventually, some are going to fail. Finger pointing, while fact, may not resolve issues, and each buyer/seller will make their own decisions and mutually agreeable methods are needed to solve issues.

Isolated incidents does not mean the hobby is full of “pirates” - but it does mean that there are some rules, some expectations, and eventually there may be legal issues. Resolving them up front is the easiest, the least messy, and will continue to reward those wanting to be a part of the hobby.

  • As a Class, we continue to recommend to new owners to consider building. We continue to recommend to builders to complete a boat, and sell it from the shelf. Building one boat at a time from order has proven to be a disaster, unless you have the production facilities and know-how to make it a success and handle the orders in a timely manner when they do arrive. But one must also realize not everyone will buy a boat.

  • Finally, too often, builders will short change themselves, charging too little and finding out the build was a loss. Coping with this is a problem that must also be dealt with.
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Ok, thats a good guideline for business, But I see the problem a bit differently:

We have Demand and demand usually produces a supplier. Modelbuilders asa group are usually enthusiastical people, who have a dream of making a Job from their hobby. Also as they are enthusiatics, they usually spend more time on models and less time on moneymaking, wich is excellent, money is not everything in this life.

However this produces a problem: The lack of basic funding to start business. The cases have more or less been promotional customer-funded business to take the first step. Unfortunately it seems that the basic amount of orders and money involved has been too low to make the first step properly.

This all is not coming from sharks and frauders, but from ordinary people who would a) want to see the class evolve via more boats and b) from a bit too kind people who know they are experimenting and are wanting to put their own effort there, and therefore charging too little. Also these a bit too kind people are not business-professionals, so the aftermath is not always meeting the business-manners.

It would help the future a lot if builders would list the honest time consumed, material costs and estimated Correct price for a F48 model. After some comparison and discussion certain guidelines could be made and the process would be easier to debug. I bet most of the builders kno what went wrong. Keeping the mistakes under shed however wont help the sport. Also I wont see a business-edge being lost in any way by giving out this information, as at the moment no one is seriously building and theres practically no competition coming in the future. Also the new business edge would be received if someone can debug the process via the data provided.

  • HJ

“Expertice is gained trough mistakes. However repeating
same mistake is not learning but stupidity.”

Ernst my friend,

The official position of Dick Lemke is not the case on this discussion, and wont lead the original discussion anywhere. lets keep it on the subject ok? Instead could you get us some rough numbers for this question? :

“It would help the future a lot if builders would list the honest time consumed, material costs and estimated Correct price for a F48 model. After some comparison and discussion certain guidelines could be made and the process would be easier to debug. I bet most of the builders know what went wrong”

It would also encourage self-builders. They would either see “this is too big project for me, im turning this to a boatbuilder” or “I can do it because I have the time or the cost is too big or everything between” I also fully understand if this a bit secret and you have pulled yourself trough alot to gain the information im asking.

  • HJ

“Expertice is gained trough mistakes. However repeating
same mistake is not learning but stupidity.”

Heck - we are in the “PUB” so why not…?
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As in most organizations, when no one wants to volunteer, there is not much sense in an election, is there? In addition, a behind the scenes “peek” at the organization…

The F-48 COA (Class Owners Association) is currently affiliated and part of the AMYA “OPEN” Class. There is an appointed AMYA seretary - Mr. Stan Abadie. You can email him via the AMYA Class pages, or write or call him for more info on the “OPEN” Class. His address (taken from the AMYA website) is:
<center>7213 Westminster Drive
Harahan, LA 70123-4828
(504) 738-0521 Prior to 7:30 pm CST weekdays please.
Saturday and Sunday most anytime.</center>

Until there are twenty AMYA registered boats owned by twenty registered AMYA members, a constitution and by-laws are not required for the F-48 COA. Also, at the time of adoption of constitution and by-laws, the COA members would then be required to vote, volunteer or get hi-jacked into filling the various positions within the COA.
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(editorial here)… Now if we (COA) had a group of viable multihull builders that actually built, sold and shipped boats during the past five years of their personal promotion - we “should” have had an active class by now. (end editorial).
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So for present, I guess you can “officially” consider me a volunteer under the “OPEN” Class assisting Mr. Abadie with the multihull side of things. This includes the management of the Multihulls Discussion Forum located at: http://formula48.proboards13.com/index.cgi?action=login2

By the way, Kris Harig (MultiONE Class developer) has been pretty busy, so again, I have stepped in to volunteer help him promote/push the concept of the smaller multihulls that some seem to want for size/transportation reasons. Questions concerning rules, their development, why they were selected, etc. really still should go to him for clarification. I only help to the point of telling folks about the class, it’s rules, etc. I have no official capacity within that group except as an owner/member.

Hope that helps with your questions Ernst - if not - feel free to ask others.

Dick Lemke
F-48 #US-06
MultiONE #US-06
Class 3 Landyacht #US-196