The people are speaking: time to publish Wayfarer Dinghy plans

We realized that we have been running this blog for over four years now. This is the second iteration of it, as of last Winter, so our analytics are incomplete. It is the case for the last several months, however, – and we promise that it has basically always been the case – that one of our first posts, on the Wayfarer Dinghy, is the most popular on the whole blog. Specifically, we called out the poor decision on the part of designer Ian Proctor’s descendants and the various Wayfarer Dinghy associations to not publish plans for the Wayfarer so they could be built at home.

We find it interesting that this post has had such legs and dare to think that it might mean that we are not alone in searching for the plans. Want more evidence, over the same period (3/14/09 to 12/14/09), one of the top search terms that brought visitors here was “wayfarer dinghy plans.” We think there is unmet desire here and it is time to publish the plans. Again, we are all for fair one-design racing, and we also think that issues raised by home-built boats in this context could be mitigated (e.g., validation by the association at the owner’s expense). We just don’t find the reasons for holding back compelling.

19 Comments for “The people are speaking: time to publish Wayfarer Dinghy plans”

Troy

says:

Some people are selfish, I just want sail and have fun. Can’t have a ragotta here in Eugene Oregon, there’s no Wayfarers… Would love to build a club from the ground up, just need plans.

Steve Nickles

says:

I found an ad for a “wayfarer kit” some years ago, I still have it, and I thought it was a beautiful craft, it’s lines were calling to me, “build me”. I thought, if I ever have the time to build a boat, that’s the one I would build. Now that I have the time, I find there’s no plans available. Oh well, maybe I’ll build the “Conga”, still available free plans at “polysail international” the “Sunray” and “Super sunray” are also pretty boats, and share similar characteristics with the “Wayfarer” Good Luck to all homebuilders.

says:

Thanks for visiting, Brad. Seems like a bunch of folks would like those plans, but let’s keep it legal.

clay

says:

I know this is an old thread, my understanding of copyright and design law in the US is that hulls built prior to 1998 are not protected by the “anti splashing” laws passed by congress. the plans would possibly be copyright (arguably not as a boat is a device, and hence falls into patent law)
http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/IPCoop/89boni1.html
Unless Brad had made a specific legally binding agreement not to use the plans again, then he cannot be prevented from re-using them. It is also perfectly legitimate to create a plug from a previously built wayfarer, of course then you would need the knowledge to properly outfit it.
You would also be unable to market it as a wayfarer.

Jonathan Davies

says:

Like many others, I would like to build a Wayfarer from plans. Stumbled across this blog looking for a source for the plans. The fact is that a Wayfarer is not much different in design to an Enterprise (just scaled up from 13’3 to 16′) and building an Enterprise is not that difficult. So the argument that it would be too difficult for the amateur is spurious. Nothing to stop you buying an old scrap heap job and doing it up though. Jon

Al

says:

Indeed guys!
The concept that became the wayfarer as I understand was briefed to be an affordable and easy home build kit that could be made from x (4)? Sheets of standard ply and fit in a car sized (uk) garage….

Richard

says:

I have been sailing Wayfarers for over (off and on) 24 years. I have sailed and rowed many miles in my Mk 1. You have to realize that you are dealing with people who have improved the models of Wayfarer to where it is of little use to serious cruisers and IAN PROCTOR’s original idea of a dinghy that could be easily daysailed, raced and cruised with no changes in the boat.
I have seen the insides of what they are selling and aside from the hull and sails it is NOT a Wayfarer. It is only good for daysailing and racing. And since everything seems to be run by racers…racers make the decisions for us.
They don’t want the Mk 1 (wood or fibreglass) to compet

Hannes van Tonder

says:

If there is anybody out there who has plans or templates available
Please let me know – I ‘ll be interested .
It is common knowledge that the meassuring argument is a non valid excuse
not to sell the plans – but to force anyone who wants a Wayfarer to buy it at inflated prices from the so called lisenced builders.
A lot of people ( i suspect most of them) who wants to build a Wayfarer doesn’t want it to race but rather to cruise and sail for the sake of sailing in a legendary boat.
So please – any help would be appreciated – i am sure the design can be adapted without too much trouble for the stitch and glue way of building – if the estate keepers had any business sense , they would have had this done years ago and would have had cnc cutting files for the plywood developed so that the wooden hulls made from these kits would measure perfectly for racing as well .-
As for myself ? no problem if it doesn’t measure perfectly – there is anyway no Wayfarer class racing in South Africa where i live – i know of only one Wayfarer in my country.
Anybody’s help in this regard would surely be greatly appreciated
thanks , Hannes

Jonathan Davies

says:

Once again, 7 1/2 years after my last post, I have stumbled across this site! I have just bought a woodie in quite atrocious condition which will need complete renovation.
That aside, I want to suggest a spot of rebellion. In short, tell Hartleys and the Proctor family that we want the plans for the wooden Wayfarer. If they wont comply (we know they won’t), then let’s loft a set of plans from a woodie that measures and build them anyway. If it proves impossible to register them as Wayfarers (which it will), fair enough. Lets start a brand new class for wooden wayfarers (old and new) and call them Woodies. A genuine one design class which has no wish to be overtaken by glassfibre and greed!

Clay Baxter

says:

Jonathan, dont know if this is near you but worth a gander http://www.wayfarer-canada.org/

Jonathan Davies

says:

Hi Clay. Thanks for your reply. I live in UK on the Essex coastline. I’m a trained boatbuilder but spend most of my time doing carpentry and joinery projects for people. That way I get to enjoy my boatbuilding instead of it being a 9-5 chore!
Your link to the Canadian Wayfarer Association was really interesting. I went to the site and looked at the boats for sale. The Woodie No 286 is the way I hope mine will look when its finished, right down to the gloss black hull paint and the tiger stripe sapele decks. Mine is of a similar vintage.
Clay, what Im advocating is a call to arms aimed at people who own Woodies. The vast majority of woodies are very old (mostly pre 1965). Since then, the odd ones have been made for people who are able to afford them and who do not want a glassfibre version. It stands to reason that without a considerable amount of tlc these boats will literally rot away and consequently fall out of the supply chain which is (in my estimation) exactly what the Proctor family and Hartleys (registered boatbuilders) want to happen. I dont know what the rules are in Canada, but here in UK even the extent of the repairs to Woodies is sanctioned. As I understand it, the removal and repair (or replacement) of bulkheads, transom, hull planks etc is only permitted if carried out by the nominated builder. What a load of tosh. As long as the repair is carried out properly and the boat “measures” once the repair is made, it is immaterial who carried out the work.
Furthermore, look at what has happened to the Wayfarer since its launch in 1957. A wooden boat that a number of boatyards in the UK were building, and also available as a kit to build at home. Apparently 60 years ago the general public could be trusted with building a Wayfarer. It seems the Proctor family and Hartleys would rather sell you a brand new glassfibre boat today.
Fine, so let us, Woodie owners, take our boats outside the Wayfarer Class and start a new class dedicated to maintaining the ongoing fleet and encourage the building of new ones by boatyards and amateur builders alike.
I have a huge problem with being told what I can and can’t do with my own property, particularly when the motive is greed. I agree that the boat has to measure and that it needs to be seaworthy, but beyond that, I will decide who repairs my boat, not Mr Proctor’s family or Hartleys boatbuilders.

Clay Baxter

says:

Agree with all you say. Am surprised competition laws in UK permit such a monopoly provision on repairs,, we have a similar situation in NZ with the much loved p-class, similar to the wayfarer originally a class built around home built dinghys for kids to learn on, now a highly restrictive class run by one very rich yaucht club as far as plans et-al. In the so called name of competitiveness now into kevlar etc etc. Competitiveness of the parents wallet more like.

Maybe its time for a university that does marine design engineering to set students the task of meeting the breif of a bunch of home builder designs from say p-class style knockabout learner to something similar to the hartley 16 trailer sailer. As part of the class rules any commercially built boat would have a time penalty racing.
Sadly my home build abilitys are more of the kayak line, where there are some really nice plans available for the home builder.
It would be interesting to dig into the applicable copyright law in the UK to see what is and is not an issue.
Otherwise the only other thing I can think of to obtaing “Woodie” plans would be hunting through various libraries at Uni’s, or perhaps does the UK have anything like the library of congress which requires all publications to be submitted.

Jonathan Davies

says:

Hi again Cley. It would actually be dead easy to produce a set of plans of the Wayfarer. All you need is a Wayfarer that measures to use as reference to take all the offsets from. The crosssectional shapes at the various stations on the boat are a doddle because they are built into the boat. All you have to do is dummy stick the shape onto a piece of hardboard and then copy that shape onto a piece of 18 mm marine ply that you are going to incorporate in the new boat. I havent got a measurement form yet, but the first thing I am going to do is measure my boat before working on it.
The problem of course is the legality of so-doing and I have no knowledge or skills in that area.
Wouldnt it be great though to re-class the wooden version of the Wayfarer as a “woodie”, with its own rules and regs and “one design” ethos. Woodie championships, woodie events for racing and cruising and overall a renewed interest and passion for this timeless and inspiring boat that bears no relation to the glassfibre and foam sandwich racing machines of today.
I dont know if youre familiar with the Enterprise class, but in recent years they too have succumbed to the FRP revolution with the introduction of the “Rondar” version of the Enterprise. The cockpit bears absolutely no resemblence to the Enterprise of old, and yet this too is a one design dinghy. All I can say is that Rondar and Enterprise Association must have very good lawyers! But give the Enterprise class some credit. At least the plans for a woodie have always, and continue to be, available to anybody who would like to build one.
Clay, can you send a copy of our conversation to everyone you know who has a woodie or would like to build one. Lets try to get some movement for change going. Ill do the same at my end. Take care, my friend!

Clay Baxter

says:

I fell across the Wayfarer as a very heavy man that wanted something to learn to sail, that was forgiving of minor errors, and would fit me and the three sprogs in harbour waters. there seems to be no presence in Oz, and with the proctor families and Hartleys actions seems unlikely to occur. Racing here is either trailer sailer or skiffs for the most part, for various reasons neither particularly attracts me.
As the end user of the plans, if you have not turned a profit I cannot see the “copyright owners” being able to sue you, however if you made the plans pubic, perhaps.
I wish a good lawyer would take these mobs on in that you should not be able to enforce a copyright such that no copies are available at all.
Perhaps woodies fall into the same area that in the uk is referred to as industrial art, in which case the boats themselves are already out of copyright if not the plans.
For a boat builder I really can see the advantage in grp etc etc, however we are heading to a society where DIY except in home reno is a near impossible task.
Good luck with the measuring, I hope you start a revolution in the UK like occured in the 60’s.
I might just have a gander at the enterprise.

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