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Splashing Hulls: Right or Wrong?

Old 03-14-2002, 02:33 AM
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Splashing is wrong. I don't like it because I think it is theft.

Medicine Man, there was a review of a Saber 41 made from the original Apache 41 molds in Powerboat or Hoat Boat a couple years back. The article said the layup and mold work were awesome as was the paint, though the reviewers were disappointed with some of the rigging. You may be able to do a search and come up with the review. If not, I might be able to locate it (about 50% that I still have it).
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Old 03-14-2002, 03:14 AM
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puder- i guess im more concerned with current stuff, i mean if skater came out with some ground breaking new hull i think we can all agree it would be wrong to just go out an start ripp'n out copies. as far as producing a boat that has long sense outlived its usefullness by the original manufacturer, i dont really see a problem. as long as it is agreed on by the original builder. of course this is where it gets into the grey area as some of the original builders are no longer around. but i really think the reason for the anti-splash laws are to protect current run stuff.using the term splash is just a matter of symantics (sp?) heck the old excalibers are a good example of what you are talking about, it has probably been reproduced more than any other. an for good reason, its a hell of a boat. in fact its one of my all time favorites.

redstrip- i guess i never really thought about it. at the time, (about a year ago) the hull he had was only about a year or so old. it was a 1999 or 2000 22' baha hull. . . . that was the hammer was'nt it? . . .at any rate i really did not want any part of this project and i also tried to discourage the gentelman from persuing this any further, in fact i think he sold the bare hull on this board in the "boats for sale" section. i dont hold any thing against him for asking me to do this project, at that time he was uninformed about the legal and ethical issues that i explained to him. he made a good choice and sold the hull as is, guess it was a dealer warrenty left over or somthing. hope im not stepp'n on anybody's toes with this little story
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Old 03-14-2002, 06:29 AM
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I had heard that the Donzi classic series, the 16 and 18 especially, were some of the most splashed/copied boats. I know that Four Winns built a couple of very similar boats back in the 90's, and when I was looking for one (still looking, of course), I found this company: - their "Vyper" model sure looks an awful lot like the Donzi 18.

Similar boats and workshop boatbuilders are supposed to be a dime a dozen down in Florida (going from memory, this was discussed over at a while back).
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:12 AM
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Four Winns had a 17 and 19 that looked a lot like the little Donzis. Apparently they didn't drive like the original. I remember a not-so-good review in Powerboat.
I don't agree with splashing. I think if someone like Sabre buys old molds, OK. They're paying for the right, not just stealing someone's innovation behind their backs.

(MikeStar - If you're interested, my old 16 Donzi is back up for sale at a dealer here in TX. 1997 w/5.7L Merc.)
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Old 03-14-2002, 09:34 AM
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I've got, I think, a splash or a copy. Or maybe mine is an original and others splashed of my hull. It's a 26' 1979 Mirage. I know back then there was a lot of splashing going on untill the laws were stiffened up a little. Eliminater and Carrera both made a boat identical to mine. I've been told Eliminater had a 26 SS daycruiser that was the same as my boat. I've been looking for a pic of one but have never found one. I've seen an ad for a Carrera that looks the same.
Who copied off of who? I don't know. I think it's wrong to splash, that is simply stealing. Am I going to seel my boat because of it? Only to the highest bidder. [IMG]mirage[/IMG]
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Old 03-14-2002, 10:42 AM
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Glassdave is correct. Many companies sell off their older molds to acquire capital for starting new projects. These molds typically, just a rough average, sell for $25,000 to $75,000 depending on their popularity, size and condition. They aren't just selling the molds, they are granting the sole rights to use this design as well.

When a company sells a mold and the rights to build it, that buyer is now the rightful owner and can do with it as he wishes. It's the only legal way to acquire designs that belong to another company.

But the hull can be splashed for much less than that, and if it is, the original molds obviously depreciate in price, bringing a loss of asset value to the originator. And therefore, his budget for new projects decreases too. That in turn, hurts all boaters. Except for the person who performed the splash, of course.

Purchasing a mold (from the owner of the design) is not considered a splash or copy. But purchasing molds from a splasher is still a splash even if the buyer didn't realize it had been molded illegaly. And under the new law, those splashed molds can be taken away from the buyer even if he paid for them in full, just like with purchasing stolen vehicles.

There is a case of hot-potato going on right now with a set of splashed molds of a wildly popular (and very much in production) 20' modified tunnel hull. These molds are switching hands, much like the journey the cloned-HTM molds went on after HTM caught wind of them.

All I can say is, Caveat Emptor - buyer beware.
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:08 AM
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If a purchaser unknowingly acquires a splashed boat, and if that boat can be taken away, then does that purchaser have any recourse? Can he sue the seller to recover money? Also, Cuda made a great point. The point of a patent is to protect something valuable. Marketers in other industries patent and copyright names and product designs and logos to protect the r&d money and advertising dollars they spend to build the brand's value, regardless of the actual value of the product. A copyright on the name is one thing, but a patent on the design requires qualification. And many marketers that apply for patents don't always receive them. You can't just patent something for the sake of it. You need to show that some serious work went into it. I'm not exactly sure of what qualifies as the "work" but it must be earned. I am in favor of protecting the brand name and look. That is, if the look and personality of a manufacturer's boat is being stolen then it is very wrong. And if a splashed bersion of a super duper patented )or pending) stepped hull design is done, that is also wrong. But, to splash a hull, while I personally don't think it is a cool thing to do(and I certainly wouldn't feel respectable riding around in one), it's gotta be valuable to be protectable. No?
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Old 03-14-2002, 11:59 AM
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rtaylor - Sorry if my message was confusing.

If you bought a boat made from molds that were splashed, and the splasher gets caught - I don't believe the boat will be taken from you. However, any profits the Dealer and Manufacturer made during the sale of that boat, plus any hulls in inventory, might be ordered destroyed or given to the original company. But I dont think the private buyer be affected at all.

What I was talking about was if a person or company purchases splashed 'molds' without the rights to the design. Either to make a boat for himself and pass it on, or go into business or whatever.

A splash is not using another person's idea, it's when a person makes direct copies of the boat -- also known as an impression of this design. Kind of like taking a wad of clay and pressing it onto a quarter -- when you pop it off, you'll see the exact duplicate image of the engraving.

And that's how boats are splashed -- A hull is cleaned and greased up to create a plug. Then molding gel coat sprayed all over and layers of cloth and resin are placed over that. This procedure makes an exact impression of the hull being copied. When that cloth and resin cures, it is "popped-off" of the plug, and instantly becomes a mold ready for production.

About patents: To have a patent, your boat must have a feature that is unique and identifiable. Dimensions of running surfaces and specific angles are not considered unique and you can't normally get a patent for these, even though those tiny changes is what makes the differences in 95% of high performance hulls. These changes also require testing and R&D and sometimes take years to improve to perfection. But the patent office really never was interested in vague R&D and performance numbers, the patent office wants a visual appearance that is unique to the industry.

According to what I read, the new law does not cover items that have previously been patented. But it will allow builders to register their boat designs under copyright protection. In the registration, the designer must include items to prove this is their own design: This includes blue prints, drawings, photos of the plug-building, photos of running surfaces with dimensions, photos of finished product etc.

Another item I noticed when reading the new law: It is a Federal offense to register a design that you knew was not your own, and there are stiff Federal penalties for this fraud.

Once a boat is registered, it becomes copyrighted. If a company splashes that product and they get taken to court, it is now a Federal offense with big penaties up to $50,000 + any profits made. If the copying company never applied for a registration, they're going to have a very tough time defending themselves. In the past, taking someone to court was sometimes not even worth the legal expense - But the new law suggests the judge may issue recovery of legal fees too! This will certainly help to encourage legal action to get the splashing to come to an end.

I think this new law is really going to clean up the copy-cat scenario. Good designers are going to become much more in demand, and competition will be on the level again. I think we'll see more really cool, innovative stuff start showing up because of it.

Sorry if I got carried away writing here about this new law, but what can I say - I am excited
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Old 03-14-2002, 01:08 PM
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Im with puder.................

I visited the fountain factory last year and bought one because of intresting thing about it .............

the molds are not that whiz-bang even though you can tell they have had modifications done to them based on racing etc. and probably arent really protected that well....... but i can tell you from EXPERIENCE...............

the " lamination schedule" which includes what kind of glass - bi-axial - tri etc, weight of glass, aapplication direction .piece size, resin type, resin mix, internal part placement .....detail ad nauseum ........... IS PROTECTED LIKE FORT KNOX............

.they wont even talk about it.............

so in my mind buying a splash is just that.....................a splash

a copy of the design.........NOT the real thing in Texas we kill em for doin that crap......

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Old 03-14-2002, 01:25 PM
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Originally posted by E Z TERMS
...the " lamination schedule" which includes what kind of glass - bi-axial - tri etc, weight of glass, aapplication direction .piece size, resin type, resin mix, internal part placement .....detail ad nauseum ........... IS PROTECTED LIKE FORT KNOX............
You may be right, but the worst thing about this whole shady business of splashing, is that for a couple hundred bucks, all of that can be had as well.

Ply sequence and material tables can be quickly determined by simple destructive testing of small sections in varying locations of the hull/transom and any one of a whole miriad of labs can tell you what chemicals, resins, gels and concentrations(even the brands) were used for just a few hundred dollars.
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