For the home builder choosing the plans is such a huge part of the process. There is quite a feeling of pressure revolving around choosing the "right" plans. If you make a wrong choice here, you may not know it for some time (and $$$), by which point you are going to be committed. Many of us don’t have a lot of chances to get this right.
Especially for a boat a little "bigger" than the more typical 15-20′ craft, these concerns grow exponentially.
Well, I’ve come to realize something that I am beginning to think is even more important than the choice of plans… its the choice of designer. Especially if you are doing any modifications, custom design work (with the designer or without), or having a full up design created just for you, then the relationship you have with the designer is going to be hugely important. You have got to be able to work together, exchange ideas, have mutual respect and get the job done in a time and monetarily expeditious manner.
You also have to have a relationship where you as the owner/builder are not intimidated by the designer. Yes, they have a lot (?) more experience, maybe degrees on the wall, books that they have published, whatever. That doesn’t mean that your ideas are not worth consideration, and any designer worth their salt will be anxious to take those ideas and work with you to incorporate them, or to show you why they shouldn’t be incorporated. For this relationship to work, then you have to be comfortable enough with them to speak up in the first place.
So… short bottom line… interview your designer with more than just the plans in mind.