AO Custom Product Design Tool FAQ’s & Guidance

Welcome to the industry's most advanced interactive Online Product Design Tool!

We created this fun & intuitive drag-n-drop program for the weekend warriors who know exactly what they want and want it now.  Our product design tool will save you a ton of time by avoiding the sometimes unnecessary back and forth with our sales & design team.

Once you're finished designing your product you will know exactly what your future product will look like and you will know exactly how much it costs - in a matter of minutes.
Isn't that awesome!

So let's get straight to the reason you're here - you have questions and/or you're looking for some guidance on how to navigate our product design tool.  You've come to the right place!  

Our interactive online product design tool is incredible, but it does have its limitations in some areas.
Search the topics below to find the answer to your question.

Hint: Hit 'Ctrl+F' on your keyboard to speed up your topic search by looking for specific keywords.
Ex: "odd shaped products"

Couldn't find the right answer below? No worries!

We're continuously building our Product Design Tool FAQ's & Guidance library so we apologize for not being able to answer your question on this page.  BUT!  You can reach out to us via the chat box in the bottom right, email, phone, text, Instagram, FB messenger, whatever.  No question is too stupid so please do not hesitate to ask!

If your custom product is too 'advanced' for our Online Product Design Tool (i.e. a three dimensional storage box) then you will probably need to contact us directly.  Don't worry - we've still got you covered!

We can tackle just about any custom one-off project involving acrylic and starboard material.  Go ahead and take some pictures of the areas of your boat you'd like to upgrade then answer the questions in our interactive easy to navigate 'AO Quote Request' form.  It will take you approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete the form and you can do it right from your phone!  Completing the form gives you information about the products we offer while also giving us the information of what products you want upgraded on your boat.

Here's the link:  AO Quote Request

Product Design Tool not working on mobile device (phone, iPhone, tablet, etc.)
Nothing we can do to help you here.  Unfortunately the product design tool is limited to large screen applications like desktop computers.  Some tablets will allow for normal operation & appearance, but we recommend you design your custom product on a desktop computer.

Lead times (How many days until it ships?)
We're boaters too.  We understand you want it now, or sometimes even, yesterday!  We will make every attempt to get your product shipped as fast as possible without sacrificing quality.  If you need it "yesterday" we offer expedited manufacturing & UPS Next Day Air at additional costs.  Our manufacturing line is organized on a first come first served basis so please do not hesitate if you expect to receive your product in a timely manner. Checkout our lead times by clicking HERE, but remember: North Shore Builders, Inc. – Santa Cruz Construction Guild

Odd shaped products (odd shapes, circles, round bezels, etc.)
The online product design tool is unfortunately limited to rectangular shapes.  If you have a product that is odd shaped (and two dimensional) you simply need to measure the maximum height & maximum width of your existing product then build your product online from those maximum dimensions.  After you complete your order contact our design team for more information on how to proceed with the odd shaped design.  If we already have the shape on file we will likely not ask you to ship anything to us.  If we do not have the shape on file we will likely ask you to please ship your odd shaped product (a template and/or simple sketch also works) to us so we can guarantee we match the specifications precisely.  
Yellowfin livewell lid odd shaped product

Having trouble aligning & distributing 'Drag & Drop' components
Don't get discouraged if you're not able to perfectly align & distribute every single component in perfectly precise locations.  This is the exact reason why someone from our design team will be emailing you an official design for approval - to get the design absolutely perfect!  The goal of the Online Product Design Tool is for you to have fun and design your product as best you can.  So have fun & let our design team take care of the 'heavy lifting'!  (Psssst!  Can you spot the small error our design team made?  That's exactly why we ask you to approve the design!)
Alignment info product design tool

Push button & toggle switch labels
We'd love for you to be able to type your push button & toggle switch labels directly onto the product design tool, but that's simply not possible.  Without getting too technical that level of customization would require a TON of coding!  On Page 3 of the product design tool you will see a 'Comments for American Offshore' box near the bottom of the page.  Within this box type your list of switches (in order, from top left to bottom right) along with each switches' respective function and amperage.  Our design team will take the information in that comments box and use that information to modify the design accordingly.  

How to relay each individual switch information to us
This side of the project will require you to complete your own homework on your boat/vehicle.  It's important to understand that each individual switch is unique when it comes to the function of the switch and how much amperage will be passing through the switch body.  You wouldn't want to install an ON-OFF switch for your horn, unless you're really wanting to piss someone off - haha!  When relaying your individual switch information to us ask yourself the following three basic questions then provide us with the answers to those questions: 

1) What is each individual switch controlling?
2) What is the function of each individual switch?
3) What is the amperage that will be passing through each individual switch?

"What is each individual switch controlling?"
The answer to this question should be something like:
Nav/Anc, Lights, Bilge, Livewell, Acc 1, Horn, etc. etc.

"What is the function of each individual switch?"
Quick note: (ON) indicates a momentary function where the switch body springs back to OFF when you physically remove your finger from pressing the switch.  An example of this is a Horn switch.  You have to physically press the switch to the (ON) position for the Horn to 'beeeeeeeeeep' then the horn turns off when you remove your finger from the switch.  Hopefully that makes sense.  

The answer to this question should be something like:
(ON)-OFF (similar to a Horn switch function)
ON-OFF-ON (similar to a Nav/Anc switch function)
(ON)-OFF-(ON) (similar to a Trim Tabs or Windlass switch function)

"What is the amperage that will be passing through each individual switch?"
This is probably the most delicate part of the homework you need to complete.  Make sure you refer to your component's specific manual or spec sheet, but the general rule of thumb for amp ratings is:

Lights: 5-10a
Pumps: 10-20a
Accessories: 10-20a
12v Socket Plugs: 15a

The amperage passing through the switch body is dictated by the component (pump, light, etc.) at the end of the circuit.  Each component is unique in how much amperage is required to 'run' the component so make sure to reference the component's manual to see how much amperage is required to run that specific component.  If you do not have the physical paperwork on that component then you can search online for that component's electrical specifications and often times the electrical specifications are even printed on the backside of the component itself.  If all else fails we recommend contacting the component's manufacture to see if they know the answer to how much amperage that component uses.