As a keen sailor, I spend a lot of time looking at sailboat plans and designs on the Internet. And, because I always have an eye on costs, I'm always interested in offers of free sailboat plans. If you're after free plans then, like me, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed with what's on offer. But there is a way, and here, I'm going to tell you how I got the best free sailboat plans I could have wished for.
Free plans are useless
The vast majority, in fact, I'd go as far as saying all, free boat plans on the Internet are useless. They often miss out critical details. (Whether it's deliberate, in order to force you into buying the complete plan or just due to sloppy attention to detail, it's hard to say) or they are old designs that are so old that they're totally unsuitable for modern use. Some of them are simply scanned copies of old blueprints that are barely visible in many cases. Free sailboat plans? Forget it. There's a much better way to get the design you want for virtually nothing.
It's not rocket science
So what is this magic method? Well, it's simple. You design it yourself. I can hear you now. 'I can not design it myself !, I've never designed anything!' Well that's what I thought at first too. But I can tell you, It's a whole lot easier than it sounds and a whole lot cheaper than hiring a professional designer too. The fact is, you're planning to build a sailboat, not an ocean liner or an aircraft carrier. It's not that complicated. If you have an ounce of common sense and have done a bit of sailing so you know what's important in a boat, then you can do it.
A beautiful idea
And this is how you do it. You buy yourself a specialized boat design software package and have a play with it for a few hours. You'll soon get the hang of it and like me you'll be producing your own designs the same day. The beauty of this approach is that you get the hull shape that you want, not something that everyone else is using or that some other anonymous designer has drawn up.
Then, and this is how you get your plans for free, you can sell designs to other members of your club and recoup what you paid for the software. I bought my software last year (it was under fifty dollars) and within a few months I'd sold a dinghy design to a guy in my club ($ 25) and a speedboat hull design to a neighbor ($ 30).
Boat plan addict!
This boat design thing is addictive and I'm already working on some ideas for a 28 foot sailboat for the whole family. So my recommendation is to forget about about free sailboat plans and get stuck into what for me has proven to be absorbing and fascinating extension to my love for sailing.