James Dwyer, buyer of the Origami 8 plans....
I've always wanted to build my own boat but having the confidence to apply my experience of fixing bits & bobs on boats to actually building something as complex as a boat is the hurdle I have to overcome. Your site & detailed instructions have given me the confidence to do so.
Your site created a 'cottage industry' type feel that, along with the very reasonable price you are charging, created a very supportive approach from me. Nice and easy process to pay & download.
As for the plans, they are easy to read but not patronising. Great intro discussions about materials, tools & techniques. They really help to build confidence. Pictures are excellent...'worth a thousand words' as they say. They really help you visualise what you are trying to achieve every step along the way. Valuable appendix of links & addresses. I wouldn't have known where to start looking for some items. I liked the variations section. It helps people to create something for their specific needs. I was interested in something lighter than the 30kg Seahopper I was planning to use.
As an amateur boat builder myself, I have an eye for a boat that gives me a lot of usefulness in return for my time and money. When I first saw this boat, I begged Benjy for the rights to sell it on our website. I just knew it would be an instant hit and sure enough we sold over a hundred sets of plans for Origami so far! In fact now we find that it has outsold all the other hundred-odd plans that we offer. As editor of an ezine for amateur boat builders, I know what folks want to build and for many this is it. If you have a microcruiser you can lash it on deck and use it to row ashore from an anchorage. If you are an apartment dweller, you can store it in a closet and use it on weekends at the local pond. If you are camping, tie it to the top of your car or caravan and use it for an extra dimension on outings. The instructions are crystal clear and perfect - either for someone who has never built anything or an accomplished craftsman.
When I first saw the Origami I was dubious. Folding dinghies were not my thing, but reading through the site my opinion was swayed. I started thinking back to the times one of these would have been very useful on the 18' micro-class sailing boat we used to cruise up and down the local coastline on.
Benjy was kind enough to supply a set of plans for review and once again I was scratching my head. I am used to line drawings and offset tables and the like. Here the plans are a full colour 100 page PDF "book" and the tracing and making of each part is described with infinite detail in a step by step textual manner with photos. The first read through is a bit overwhelming because there is so much information. On the second read the logic falls into place - even the complete novice will find the information required to successfully build Origami.
The amount of work that has gone into the writing of these "plans" (instructions in the noblest form is a more adequate description of the document) is clear throughout. And the insights into tools and materials to use clearly come from one who has built boats in wood! Well worth the modest sum and I am looking forward to seeing many of these folding dinghies built and used in ports around the world.
Editor - www.amateurboatbuilding.com