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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
6924

US Watercraft receivership ? (Alerion etc)

138 posts in this topic

News in Scuttlebutt today - anyone know any details. I'm very surprised. The owner of the company is a first rate businessman with very good skills and wise. 

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18 minutes ago, 6924 said:

News in Scuttlebutt today - anyone know any details. I'm very surprised. The owner of the company is a first rate businessman with very good skills and wise. 

Tough biz for sure

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I was wondering when this would finally get into the SA rumor mill. But this is one of those rumors that is par for the course in sailboat building. Also there is a Mark Twain quotation that may or may not be applicable. We shall see.

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Alerion Yachts,

C&C Yachts,

True North Yachts,

North Rip Boats,  

licensed builder of several JBoat models

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anyone have any detail why or what ? 

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Not uncommon, it's a tough biz and a shrinking market. Probably see more in next few years.

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The Alerion 41 was what, around 600k when new?

yes, they went under.

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As I learned as a child, "How do you make $1,000,000 in boating?"  Start with $2,000,000.

 

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" The way to make a small fortune in the boat-building business is to start with a large one. "

Scot loves it when you link stuff from the 'butt.   What what...

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4 hours ago, fastyacht said:

I was wondering when this would finally get into the SA rumor mill. But this is one of those rumors that is par for the course in sailboat building. Also there is a Mark Twain quotation that may or may not be applicable. We shall see.

It's not a rumor.  A receiver was appointed.

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1 hour ago, Great Red Shark said:

" The way to make a small fortune in the boat-building business is to start with a large one. "

Scot loves it when you link stuff from the 'butt.   What what...

yup 

 

thats why I no linkee

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3 hours ago, Parma said:

The Alerion 41 was what, around 600k when new?

yes, they went under.

So, does anyone think the inability to sell something like the above was because it didn't fit well into a charter fleet scenario?

How much does being saddled with older type cruisers that nobody wants depress the new boat market?

Those make any sense or am I pissing in the wind here.

 

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I little birdie pondered over a scotch this evening...

He was asked "How many C&C bankruptcy events?"

"Let me try

1. First it was that airline guy

2. North South charter guy

3. Hong Kong guy

4 Tartan Yachts guy

5. Now US Watercraft. 

That's 5!  Must be a record in the industry!"

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Yeah, I thought that there was some sort of connection with Tartan.

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14 hours ago, 6924 said:

News in Scuttlebutt today - anyone know any details. I'm very surprised. The owner of the company is a first rate businessman with very good skills and wise. 

 

first rate businessman... well if he was a good businessman he wouldn't have gotten in the marine industry.  

 

Also was barely Careful still in the mix with C&C?  if so how many boat companies is this his name has been attached to that have done less than great...

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C&C sadly goes bankrupt more often than a Trump casino :(

OTOH they always seem to dig their way back out of their grave B)

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I did speculate that the sport boat market is too many boats chasing a relatively fixed pool of buyers, but that may just be sailboats in general at this point.

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It is my understanding that the C&C transaction was a non-cash deal. 

Randy Borges has been in the business for decades. He knows the business extremely well and always had run a first rate & profitable enterprise. The TPI deal was also nil cash - essentially just a big building.  

Therefore, it's surprising to hear this news. 

 

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This is not the first time that an existing and successful marine related business has fallen apart after lawyers get involved in ownership.   "Smart businessmen/people" want to be in the marine industry in the worst way, buy into an otherwise reasonably well run company, and in a matter of years manage to bury it.  This one is ugly in a lot of ways.  C&C angle had nothing to do with it.  Nor BC - he never had an ownership stake in USW/WLS.  He exited some time ago - likely when he saw the writing on the wall.  I'm waiting to see the list of creditors - that will be interesting. 

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12 hours ago, summeradventures said:

I little birdie pondered over a scotch this evening...

He was asked "How many C&C bankruptcy events?"

"Let me try

1. First it was that airline guy

2. North South charter guy

3. Hong Kong guy

4 Tartan Yachts guy

5. Now US Watercraft. 

That's 5!  Must be a record in the industry!"

 

You're missing the first one as the original C&C...1993 or so.

Greg

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13 minutes ago, anarchydink said:

This is not the first time that an existing and successful marine related business has fallen apart after lawyers get involved in ownership.   "Smart businessmen/people" want to be in the marine industry in the worst way, buy into an otherwise reasonably well run company, and in a matter of years manage to bury it.  This one is ugly in a lot of ways.  C&C angle had nothing to do with it.  Nor BC - he never had an ownership stake in USW/WLS.  He exited some time ago - likely when he saw the writing on the wall.  I'm waiting to see the list of creditors - that will be interesting. 

Borges wasn't an Owner ? 

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12 hours ago, By the lee said:

So, does anyone think the inability to sell something like the above was because it didn't fit well into a charter fleet scenario?

 

 

that and also when you're in that 600k price range for a day sailer there are just a lot of less expensive, and perhaps better, options

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So -- No real info here....WHo is RBS / Hannibal LLCs...  Who is the Petitioner / Temporary Receiver?  Just curious if this is a restricting thing or a full meltdown??  Good brands, with a place in the market if done correctly??  IMO...

 

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Warren Luhrs the founder of Hunter Marine once asked me...."do you know how to make a small fortune in the boat building business ?....start with a large one"

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Was US watercraft building the new J/121?  If so I wonder what will happen with that since it appears as though the first boat(s?) is in the middle of production.

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1 hour ago, SailBlueH2O said:

Warren Luhrs the founder of Hunter Marine once asked me...."do you know how to make a small fortune in the boat building business ?....start with a large one"

How to become a millionaire in the _________________ industry (fill in your favorite waste of money).  Start out with $2 million and get out fast.

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20 minutes ago, Hugh Jorgan said:

Was US watercraft building the new J/121?  If so I wonder what will happen with that since it appears as though the first boat(s?) is in the middle of production.

Nope - the 121 will be built at CCFC down the road in Bristol. They have been the go-to builder for the 111, 70, and 88. 

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15 hours ago, By the lee said:

So, no more of these.....?

 

 

Just how many of those did they actually think they could sell and keep the doors open?  Part of the problem- too much of a niche product line.  We can armchair QB all day, right now is not a good time in the sailboat biz.

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22 hours ago, summeradventures said:

Alerion Yachts,

C&C Yachts,

True North Yachts,

North Rip Boats,  

licensed builder of several JBoat models

 

3 hours ago, Hugh Jorgan said:

Was US watercraft building the new J/121?  If so I wonder what will happen with that since it appears as though the first boat(s?) is in the middle of production.

Unless something has changed, US Watercraft is/was only the licensed US builder of the J/22, J/24, J/80 and J/105 lines of J/Boats - all models well past their realistic US product lives for new production anyway. So hopefully (to me) almost no impact on J/Boats.

I believe the J/80 and maybe others may still be available from J/Composites in Europe.

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35 minutes ago, bowduude said:

right now is not a good time in the sailboat biz.

 

in the usa maybe..., take a trip to europe - it seems to be booming there...

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53 minutes ago, us7070 said:

 

in the usa maybe..., take a trip to europe - it seems to be booming there...

A country where the sailing lifestyle is embraced from the cradle.  USA/NA not so much. 

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I'm guessing I know the answer to this question but what happens to unfinished new boat warranty issues when a company like this goes into receivership?

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In most cases they will only be the builder not the owner. eg C & C

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On 7/24/2017 at 4:04 PM, RKoch said:

Not uncommon, it's a tough biz and a shrinking market. Probably see more in next few years.

Shrinking market? Who can afford these little toys anymore?

Did someone say that these guys made some J boats too?

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1 hour ago, Dick Johnson said:

I'm guessing I know the answer to this question but what happens to unfinished new boat warranty issues when a company like this goes into receivership?

Complicated.

Builder, who is usually, but not always the owner of the brand, provides the warranty with warranty work done by an authorized dealer.  Dealer then needs to be reimbursed by the builder/owner for its costs.  In cases where the boat is hundreds, if not thousands of miles, from a dealer; the builder/owner will often authorize another yard to perform warranty work, consistent with what it reimburses its authorized dealers.  Cannot speak for other dealers, but warranty claims were a money loser for the dealership I used to work for.  Our billable hourly rate to a client was quite a bit more than what the factory reimbursed us for.  There was no padding hours to get a job done as the factory told us what the time to do a job should be.  Anything beyond about 1/2 a standard deviation from the mean required considerable documentation.

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6 hours ago, Meat Wad said:

Shrinking market? Who can afford these little toys anymore?

Did someone say that these guys made some J boats too?

From above. "Unless something has changed, US Watercraft is/was only the licensed US builder of the J/22, J/24, J/80 and J/105 lines of J/Boats - all models well past their realistic US product lives for new production anyway. So hopefully (to me) almost no impact on J/Boats."

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1 hour ago, Kevlar Edge said:

Wesley called this months ago, its old news.

Who is this sage prognosticator and what other foretelling's does he have?

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21 hours ago, Parma said:

that and also when you're in that 600k price range for a day sailer there are just a lot of less expensive, and perhaps better, options

The 41 is a full-on cruising boat, but your point is still spot-on. 

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42 minutes ago, Slim said:

The 41 is a full-on cruising boat, but your point is still spot-on. 

They say it is a cruiser but it really is just a big day sailor with cruiser-ish features. Ground tackle system is a joke.  Huge amounts of wasted space.  A savvy buyer has many better choices. 

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1 hour ago, Bull City said:

I didn't think state courts handled bankruptcies. I thought it was the US Bankruptcy Court.

If it was not a publicly traded corporation, why would it be federal? That is a question because I don't know that it was private or not.

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If C&C is back in bankruptcy, isn't it time for another Tartan reorganization? 

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3 hours ago, Bull City said:

I didn't think state courts handled bankruptcies. I thought it was the US Bankruptcy Court.

individual states have receivership provisions under their banking laws.  The underlying suit is essentially an eviction action likely for nonpayment of rent.

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9 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

If C&C is back in bankruptcy, isn't it time for another Tartan reorganization? 

Shh, stop that! :P

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1 hour ago, bloodshot said:

individual states have receivership provisions under their banking laws.  The underlying suit is essentially an eviction action likely for nonpayment of rent.

what amount of backrent ?

who is landlord ? 

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1 hour ago, bloodshot said:

individual states have receivership provisions under their banking laws.  The underlying suit is essentially an eviction action likely for nonpayment of rent.

So other than the eviction, the court wouldn't get into other issues like liquidation of assets, employee wages, suppliers' claims, warranties, and etc.

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37 minutes ago, Bull City said:

So other than the eviction, the court wouldn't get into other issues like liquidation of assets, employee wages, suppliers' claims, warranties, and etc.

my limited knowledge of receiverships is that the appointed receiver essentially becomes the manger of the company in default...here, US Watercaft ...in order to safeguard and manage the remaining property of the company

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3 hours ago, Ajax said:

Shh, stop that! :P

Do the gays still run Tartan? NNTAWWT

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22 hours ago, bowduude said:

A country where the sailing lifestyle is embraced from the cradle.  USA/NA not so much. 

Since when has Europe been a country?

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4 minutes ago, DFL1010 said:

Since when has Europe been a country?

Wah, wah... Countries in Europe- you get it...  Quit being an ass. 

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Sheesh people - bone up on your current history. Tartan had nothing to do with the USW C&C.  It was C&C in name only - only the name was bought.  No prior designs, no responsibility for ANYTHING done by any prior builders of C&C. Nothing carried over - including designer as Mark Mills penned the new 30 and 41. 

As for seeing this coming.........  I'll bet a number of vendors did. 

 

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8 hours ago, bloodshot said:

my limited knowledge of receiverships is that the appointed receiver essentially becomes the manger of the company in default...here, US Watercaft ...in order to safeguard and manage the remaining property of the company

for the benefit of creditors.

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So what happens now? Auction? Could use some J24 parts (deck, mast, etc.)

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1 hour ago, anarchydink said:

Sheesh people - bone up on your current history. Tartan had nothing to do with the USW C&C.  It was C&C in name only - only the name was bought.  No prior designs, no responsibility for ANYTHING done by any prior builders of C&C. Nothing carried over - including designer as Mark Mills penned the new 30 and 41. 

As for seeing this coming.........  I'll bet a number of vendors did. 

 

Well, no shit. Left out the sarcasm font.

Remarking on Tartan's last 15 years or multiple bancruptcies, reorganizations and sell offs. They have been stable for 4-5 years now. Based on history, they are overdue. 

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9 hours ago, Slim said:

That is the former Tillotson-Pearson plant, where all Jboats used to be made, along with Freedom Yachts and Rampage power boats.  Not certain, but I think the J109 was the first J built somewhere else (J Composites).  

We drove by there a few years ago.  I believe the name on the building at that time was Pearson Composites.  It was depressing to see the lack of activity, as well as all those molds in the side yards.

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On 7/25/2017 at 2:26 PM, us7070 said:

 

in the usa maybe..., take a trip to europe - it seems to be booming there...

Why is that? Because the Washington Consensus got a later start over there and there's still peeps other than the 1% who can buy sailboats? Their 1% aren't quite a savage as ours?

I mean, it's a fucking desert in NA compared to the smorgasbord of yachts one has  to choose from in 'yurp. Maybe they're just better entrepreneurs? Maybe NA yacht building is still populated by meritocrats who only cater to the wealthy?

Maybe a buncha' bankruptcies is just what they need to smarten the fuck up, eh? 

We should teach Mexicans how to build boats instead of picking our lettuce.

 

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2 hours ago, J28 said:

That is the former Tillotson-Pearson plant, where all Jboats used to be made, along with Freedom Yachts and Rampage power boats.  Not certain, but I think the J109 was the first J built somewhere else (J Composites).  

We drove by there a few years ago.  I believe the name on the building at that time was Pearson Composites.  It was depressing to see the lack of activity, as well as all those molds in the side yards.

It's the old Pearson shop. The old man sold to a financial house who moved the wind turbine blade business to AZ and grew it to a $1 billion enterprise. They liked the Billion Dollar business, and didn't really know what to do with the boat business back in RI. 

I think the old man kept the hot tub business.  

The financial house sold the RI R/E for about $2 million to a local guy about 5 years ago. The local guy leased the building back to the company.  Then the financial house  'sold' the boat building business to Randy Borges maybe 4 years ago.  At the time they had 12-15 people.  

Randy had a good plan, good people, and grew the business back to ( I think ) 50   -75 busy people doing both new and aftermarket. Appeared to be a success story. 

BTW - I am reasonably certain the 109 was the LAST J/boat built there. Major warranty war between TPI -Johnstones-Dealers-Customers resulted in TPI vowing to never do business with Johnstones again.

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7 hours ago, By the lee said:

Why is that? Because the Washington Consensus got a later start over there and there's still peeps other than the 1% who can buy sailboats? Their 1% aren't quite a savage as ours?

I mean, it's a fucking desert in NA compared to the smorgasbord of yachts one has  to choose from in 'yurp. Maybe they're just better entrepreneurs? Maybe NA yacht building is still populated by meritocrats who only cater to the wealthy?

Maybe a buncha' bankruptcies is just what they need to smarten the fuck up, eh? 

We should teach Mexicans how to build boats instead of picking our lettuce.

 

actually, i think in part it might just reflect different choices about what to do with money for leisure activities.

americans make different choices

recreational fishing is a huge sport in the usa, and people spend a lot of money on it. not so much in europe...

if you've been to florida.., you will have seen marinas choking with enormous sport fishing boats - 40-50ft.., and half the houses on the canals have one in the back yard - there is nothing comparable in europe. you hardly see any of those boats. 

i've never seen any numbers, but my sense is that the ratio of powerboats to sailboats is greater here than there.

RV's - while europeans will rent one occasionally for a family hoilday, few people own them.., or turn RV'ing into an activity that they organize their lives around. RV's are a huge industry in the usa..., those people could own sailboats

and there are other recreational activities that consume money and time.., which are popular in the usa but not in europe

 

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Exactly US7070.  Sabre parked their sailboat production and are building high-end mobos.  Hinkley is inching that way too.  There is an operation down south county popping out massive multi million dollar Hatteras-style pseudo fishing boats fast as they can make them.  Meanwhile nice blue water sailboats sit on the market for months and months.  BeneteauUSA looks to be refashioning itself as a trawler company and the builder of lavish dock queens.  Not a week goes by that I don't hear someone complain about having to hoist a sail or sheet them in.   The conversation seems to inevitably drift to how many days are left until they move to a trawler.  None of these people would buy an affordable new Ericson like the well-found boat I grew up with.    

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21 minutes ago, Gunni said:

Exactly US7070.  Sabre parked their sailboat production and are building high-end mobos.  Hinkley is inching that way too.  There is an operation down south county popping out massive multi million dollar Hatteras-style pseudo fishing boats fast as they can make them.  Meanwhile nice blue water sailboats sit on the market for months and months.  BeneteauUSA looks to be refashioning itself as a trawler company and the builder of lavish dock queens.  Not a week goes by that I don't hear someone complain about having to hoist a sail or sheet them in.   The conversation seems to inevitably drift to how many days are left until they move to a trawler.  None of these people would buy an affordable new Ericson like the well-found boat I grew up with.    

From what I can see, you can hardly give a sailboat away and $100,000 + center consoles are flying off the shelves and you can't even sit inside the thing when it rains!

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7 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

From what I can see, you can hardly give a sailboat away and $100,000 + center consoles are flying off the shelves and you can't even sit inside the thing when it rains!

Dealership I used to work for was almost exclusively a sailboat operation. A line of inflatable and OBs to power the inflatables.  Today it handles 2 lines of sailboats and maybe a half dozen or eight powerboat lines including a line of pontoon boats.

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10 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

From what I can see, you can hardly give a sailboat away and $100,000 + center consoles are flying off the shelves and you can't even sit inside the thing when it rains!

and i think that proves that all the complaints about people not having the money to sail.., are off target.

Yes - sailing costs money.., sometimes a lot of money...

but there are a lot of people with enough money - they just choose to spend it on something else. motorboats are one of those other things.., but not the only one.

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Money and TIME

The powerboat sits on a lift and no worries about bottom paint, winterizing, or all the 500 systems and things it doesn't have. In one hour you are at the (fill in the blank for dock bar 30 miles away) and one hour home instead of it being 10 hours underway. A weekend trip is now between lunch and dinner. The boat "maintenance" is some soap and a hose.

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Rhode Island is littered with molds. That's the tip of the iceberg.

 

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43 minutes ago, kent_island_sailor said:

Money and TIME

The powerboat sits on a lift and no worries about bottom paint, winterizing, or all the 500 systems and things it doesn't have. In one hour you are at the (fill in the blank for dock bar 30 miles away) and one hour home instead of it being 10 hours underway. A weekend trip is now between lunch and dinner. The boat "maintenance" is some soap and a hose.

Powerboats don't require winterization?  Tell that to my neighbor, whose I/O powered, center console Trophy destroyed itself over the winter due to improper winterization.  I think you're overstating things a bit but I agree with your general premise-

Powerboats are easy, convenient and "fun". Jump in, turn the key, go fast and arrive at your destination. (Assuming everything works correctly)

The money hurdle is overstated. As already demonstrated in this thread, plenty of people have enough money to sail, they just choose spend their recreational dollars elsewhere. Powerboats are often stored on trailers. Many fun sailboats can be stored on trailers. Many small, fun, fast types of sailboats are comparable in cost to recreational powerboats.

Aside from the false impressions of high cost and exclusivity, sailing has an image of requiring a much higher ratio of "effort:reward."  Too much time spent rigging and setting up in order to go slow (relative to recreational powerboats.)  You can't tow the kiddies on inflatables at 30mph behind a Hobie 16.

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All my outboards are self-winterizing. When you tilt them up, the water drains out ;)

I/O is a different beast.

 

* I do flush them with fresh water and fog them for the winter, but that isn't because of freezing

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1 hour ago, kent_island_sailor said:

From what I can see, you can hardly give a sailboat away and $100,000 + center consoles are flying off the shelves and you can't even sit inside the thing when it rains!

Last summer we cruised over to St. Michaels and stayed at a marina filled mostly with big motorboats. Sitting around the pool, one motorboater from Annapolis asked me how long it took me to get there. I said 6 hours. He said 45 minutes. I believe the trip cost him several hundred dollars in fuel but I'm sure that he didn't care.

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Very sad, like so many boatbuilding failures past.

Does anyone honestly see this turning around somehow? Unless there's a radical change in boats and/or boatbuilding tech to lower costs - after many years of hoping/trying to some extent - I'm afraid boats, sail especially, will continue on a path as a niche product for elites & wannabees with an ever smaller racing community. Sailing for the masses continues it's clear generational demise. I know a few sailing industry pros who privately just hope the industry will continue to provide a livelihood until they can retire, they put on a brave face but they're not hopeful in private.

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27 minutes ago, Ajax said:

 

 sailing has an image of requiring a much higher ratio of "effort:reward."  Too much time spent rigging and setting up in order to go slow

it's not just an "image".., it's the reality...

i've raced a variety of dry-sailed small keel boats - J/70.., echells, and so on.

what a pain in the ass..., people from most other sports would think we are completely insane. it can easily take 45 min-1 hour of puttering around in a hot parking lot to launch one of those boats. then you have another hour of work when you get back to the dock...

it's not a family-friendly activity

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22 minutes ago, us7070 said:

it's not just an "image".., it's the reality...

i've raced a variety of dry-sailed small keel boats - J/70.., echells, and so on.

what a pain in the ass..., people from most other sports would think we are completely insane. it can easily take 45 min-1 hour of puttering around in a hot parking lot to launch one of those boats. then you have another hour of work when you get back to the dock...

it's not a family-friendly activity

Agreed, the effort:reward ratio is the reality, but let me ask you this-  Do you find it rewarding? Enjoyable? Entertaining? I do.

Just because sailing requires effort, doesn't mean that it sucks. That's a message that sailing needs to sell.

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I get a boating trade magazine monthly that reports the statistics of both used and new boat sales.  All classes of boats are seeing increased sales (big powerboat cruisers, runabouts, fishing boats, pontoons, kayaks, canoes, etc.).  The only class with sales dropping is?  Sailboats for the past 3 months.  And new sailboat sales annually in the U.S. (including foreign built, Lasers, Sunfish, Optis, etc.) is about 2,200 units. This full explains the manufacturers bailing out of building sailboats, and moving over to building powerboats.  Gotta follow the money.

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1 minute ago, Ajax said:

Agreed, the effort:reward ratio is the reality, but let me ask you this-  Do you find it rewarding? Enjoyable? Entertaining? I do.

Just because sailing requires effort, doesn't mean that it sucks. That's a message that sailing needs to sell.

 

sure - it's rewarding...

but the dry sailing p.i.t.a. is one of the reasons i don't own one of those boats anymore.

and i would be somewhat interested in a J/70 - if i could sail it off a mooring, and still have a competitive boat.

 

 

 

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53 minutes ago, Ajax said:

Aside from the false impressions of high cost and exclusivity, sailing has an image of requiring a much higher ratio of "effort:reward."  Too much time spent rigging and setting up in order to go slow (relative to recreational powerboats.)  You can't tow the kiddies on inflatables at 30mph behind a Hobie 16.

True, no doubt as an image of sailing, but isn't it precisely those activities that require some effort that yield deeper, more lasting reward? Maybe that's what's being lost these days. I'll stop there before I sound like I'm getting old.

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4 minutes ago, us7070 said:

 

sure - it's rewarding...

but the dry sailing p.i.t.a. is one of the reasons i don't own one of those boats anymore.

and i would be somewhat interested in a J/70 - if i could sail it off a mooring, and still have a competitive boat.

 

 

 

I pay the $$$ to keep our Whaler in a slip because even though our ramp is about 2 minute drive from the house and free, no way would I be doing the trailer thing very often. It would get old very fast and that does not even approach the PITA level of rigging a sailboat.

BTW - there is - or was - a group racing Stars that required them to be stored in the water, have outboards, and have running lights. They were having fun with the old boats.

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There is more going on here than the failure of luxury sailing yacht builders. The massive disruption in our recreational view of leisure time really fucked thing up in the last 15 years. The death of sail  is because most of us don't share the love of sailing with friends and their families. Moreover many of you only share the love of sailing here in forums. Talk about speedy sports boats, bullshit over priced gear woes, bare show up for community events and rarely invite other uninitiated to beer can yacht club events. Our old boats languish in hundreds of marinas across the country. The reality is many more on the coasts, tens of thousands sail boats are squatters condos for the minimum wage earners, folks barely getting by on social security or or living on their 40% disability checks. The old man who used to come down 3x a week is in a senior home and the trust he set up pays the bills.

To be sure - new boats are expensive. I am looking into a new boat - a seascape 18. To bring one back to San Francisco, it is gonna cost be 50k. For most that is a years salary for the smallest of swiss army knife modern go fast boats.  Things ain't what they were. Hoping they come back isn't the answer and neither is waiting for the boat builders to make something you can afford.

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3 hours ago, Gunni said:

Exactly US7070.  Sabre parked their sailboat production and are building high-end mobos.  Hinkley is inching that way too.  There is an operation down south county popping out massive multi million dollar Hatteras-style pseudo fishing boats fast as they can make them.  Meanwhile nice blue water sailboats sit on the market for months and months.  BeneteauUSA looks to be refashioning itself as a trawler company and the builder of lavish dock queens.  Not a week goes by that I don't hear someone complain about having to hoist a sail or sheet them in.   The conversation seems to inevitably drift to how many days are left until they move to a trawler.  None of these people would buy an affordable new Ericson like the well-found boat I grew up with.    

The big sport fish market is down from the past as well Just Viking and Hatteras hammering out the production boats and a bunch of custom guys, back in the 90's there were almost a dozen big sport fish builders. Now the center console market is crazy, Tastes have changed people like big out board boats they can jump in run for that day the run quick home. Cruising is in general down. It's also not just power vs sail for instance the I/O high performance market has collapsed in favor of center consoles as well. And I/O bowriders were taken over by Pontoons. 

It's changing tastes as well as time and money constraints. You get a lot more bang for your buck in the low end RV market then the low end boat market for instance. 

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Somewhat related but not entirely covered upthread is the very real learning curve that sailing represents. I know some of those buyers of big power yachts and none of them are going to get in a FJ or Laser or Opti and learn the rudiments of sailing. They've waited all these years, they've made their pile and they're going to jump into a boat that they can flip a switch, fire that mother up, push the throttle and go. Never mind that they would actually gain a freakin' clue about boat handling from sailing a small boat, they aren't into paying dues and they aren't going to do it. The only hope for sailing as a pastime and an industry is to get young people out in small sailboats, let them grow up with that and that'll take a generation or two to have any effect. 

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2 hours ago, forty six & 2 said:

The big sport fish market is down from the past as well Just Viking and Hatteras hammering out the production boats and a bunch of custom guys, back in the 90's there were almost a dozen big sport fish builders. Now the center console market is crazy, Tastes have changed people like big out board boats they can jump in run for that day the run quick home. Cruising is in general down. It's also not just power vs sail for instance the I/O high performance market has collapsed in favor of center consoles as well. And I/O bowriders were taken over by Pontoons. 

It's changing tastes as well as time and money constraints. You get a lot more bang for your buck in the low end RV market then the low end boat market for instance. 

I/O boats are off because people finally realized the engines are disposable and the typical bowrider interior is pretty biodegradable as well. A metal pontoon boat looks about as good (cough like a POS cough) now as it will 50 years from now.

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4 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

I/O boats are off because people finally realized the engines are disposable and the typical bowrider interior is pretty biodegradable as well. A metal pontoon boat looks about as good (cough like a POS cough) now as it will 50 years from now.

Which is interesting because a Jasper rebuilt 5.7 300 HP can be installed for under 10k, less than a new big outboard ,and new interiors are about 3.5k every 10 years. My 2001 crownline 230 is a perfect example. 12k over the last 2 years and it's good for 10 more. 

My 42' sailboat doesn't have a cost log. I'm afraid to total it up. 

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25 minutes ago, Innocent Bystander said:

Which is interesting because a Jasper rebuilt 5.7 300 HP can be installed for under 10k, less than a new big outboard ,and new interiors are about 3.5k every 10 years. My 2001 crownline 230 is a perfect example. 12k over the last 2 years and it's good for 10 more. 

My 42' sailboat doesn't have a cost log. I'm afraid to total it up. 

Yeah outboards are pricey but if you got the cash a swap if fast way to get back on the water. Alot is also driven by corrosion issues on certain stern drives and high maintenance costs for the gimbals transom assy etc. Plus you get better performance with more interior space. 

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On 7/27/2017 at 1:43 AM, 6924 said:

 

BTW - I am reasonably certain the 109 was the LAST J/boat built there. Major warranty war between TPI -Johnstones-Dealers-Customers resulted in TPI vowing to never do business with Johnstones again.

That was for the multi-million dollar J/109 keel repair warranties, right?

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On 7/27/2017 at 10:38 AM, kinardly said:

Somewhat related but not entirely covered upthread is the very real learning curve that sailing represents. I know some of those buyers of big power yachts and none of them are going to get in a FJ or Laser or Opti and learn the rudiments of sailing. They've waited all these years, they've made their pile and they're going to jump into a boat that they can flip a switch, fire that mother up, push the throttle and go. Never mind that they would actually gain a freakin' clue about boat handling from sailing a small boat, they aren't into paying dues and they aren't going to do it. The only hope for sailing as a pastime and an industry is to get young people out in small sailboats, let them grow up with that and that'll take a generation or two to have any effect. 

Young people grow up and move away to a more affordable place, usually away from water. They find new things to do that cost way less but probably remember their sailing school days as just Fun.

On 7/27/2017 at 8:09 AM, kent_island_sailor said:
On 7/27/2017 at 8:02 AM, us7070 said:

 

sure - it's rewarding...

but the dry sailing p.i.t.a. is one of the reasons i don't own one of those boats anymore.

and i would be somewhat interested in a J/70 - if i could sail it off a mooring, and still have a competitive boat.

I pay the $$$ to keep our Whaler in a slip because even though our ramp is about 2 minute drive from the house and free, no way would I be doing the trailer thing very often. It would get old very fast and that does not even approach the PITA level of rigging a sailboat.

BTW - there is - or was - a group racing Stars that required them to be stored in the water, have outboards, and have running lights. They were having fun with the old boats.

I'm having this problem now. Needing help all the time to launch and haul. I can rig it but cannot sail it alone. I'd have to spend some major $$$ to set it up of singlehanded sailing. $88 to dry store or $285 (at the club); $310 at a marina to keep it in the water and I still need help to sail.

I'm hoping to raise some $$$ (donations) so the Local CSUCI boating center can buy it from me at a reasonable cost. With 99% of everything new on the boat (sails too) it is something the college kids can take the next step with.

It's a tough call.

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On 7/27/2017 at 7:55 AM, Ajax said:

Agreed, the effort:reward ratio is the reality, but let me ask you this-  Do you find it rewarding? Enjoyable? Entertaining? I do.

Just because sailing requires effort, doesn't mean that it sucks. That's a message that sailing needs to sell.

+1

The amount of time I've spent looking for a space to "legally" work on my daysailer around Newport Harbor is at times depressing but,  that's life in every warm weather " Paradise".

There were 46 boatbuilders in Costa Mesa in 1973.  Loads of yards up/around Placentia.   Now?   Just a handful.  This is hardly news anymore.  Marina  and yards to work in are condo developments now.

I'm digging in and will make it work.  The journey is the thing.   I like old boats.  Silly habit but it's what I do.

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On 7/27/2017 at 4:57 AM, us7070 said:

actually, i think in part it might just reflect different choices about what to do with money for leisure activities.

americans make different choices

recreational fishing is a huge sport in the usa, and people spend a lot of money on it. not so much in europe...

if you've been to florida.., you will have seen marinas choking with enormous sport fishing boats - 40-50ft.., and half the houses on the canals have one in the back yard - there is nothing comparable in europe. you hardly see any of those boats. 

i've never seen any numbers, but my sense is that the ratio of powerboats to sailboats is greater here than there.

RV's - while europeans will rent one occasionally for a family hoilday, few people own them.., or turn RV'ing into an activity that they organize their lives around. RV's are a huge industry in the usa..., those people could own sailboats

and there are other recreational activities that consume money and time.., which are popular in the usa but not in europe

 

The French teach sailing in high school.

Quote

it can easily take 45 min-1 hour of puttering around in a hot parking lot to launch one of those boats. then you have another hour of work when you get back to the dock...

C'mon!

Boat's on a trailer keel down/mast up jib on furler main in bag below w/chute you hook up drag to hoist plop plop fizz fizz crew bends on main while you re-park......and that takes "45 min- 1 hour"?????????? :huh:

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On 7/27/2017 at 6:52 PM, Innocent Bystander said:

My 2001 crownline 230 is a perfect example. 12k over the last 2 years and it's good for 10 more. 

People don't do this because you just spent $12k upgrading a $12k boat, turning it into a $13,200 boat if you had to sell it.

It makes no sense. This is coming from someone who has spent about as much on a $2k boat so I make even less sense, just saying.

The Zombie Fleet grows every year because the economics of putting money into an old boat are almost as bad as putting money into a boat building business.

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You can put dead money into an old boat or sell your new boat for  half what you paid for it.  What's the difference?

The cost of getting exactly what you want is always high 

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12 hours ago, Uncooperative Tom said:

People don't do this because you just spent $12k upgrading a $12k boat, turning it into a $13,200 boat if you had to sell it.

It makes no sense. This is coming from someone who has spent about as much on a $2k boat so I make even less sense, just saying.

The Zombie Fleet grows every year because the economics of putting money into an old boat are almost as bad as putting money into a boat building business.

I figured it was either ditch it or fix it. To start over would have been $20k for a younger boat with 3-400 engine hours.  Not an easy decision. Don't have any reason to sell it. 

 

Or, it was either fix it or pay to dispose of it. As you know, with a dead engine, it was worth nothing. 

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FYI  The following is  a bit of a rant. 

(OK It is a rant) 

It never hurts to stand up and read my posts out loud as though you were speaking in front of a giant hall filled with sailors: 

Have fun with it>>>

In the sixties and seventies there was a fantasy of building the affordable sailboat for everyone.

Many  companies tried. Only Sunfish and Laser really survived and each of those had had some brushes with death.

In 1977 over 200,000 new sailboats were sold in the USA. The number has dropped EVERY year except in 2001. That year, despite 9-11, the total only dropped by 53. 

In 2002, largely based on a Laser sales boomlet, the number actually went up. That was the ONLY year it rose and whatever caused it, Laser sales plummeted back to their old numbers the very next year and the sailboat sales  downfall continued as though it had never been interrupted. 

i am a firm believer a number of factors are contributing to the demise of sailboat production as a business and to the game of sailing:

1. There never has been and never will be big bucks to be made creating introductory affordable durable  toys.

2. All other sailboat manufacturers rely on customers who entered the sport on affordable toys. 

3. Sailors are mostly old people who either do not care at all about having the game continue after they are gone or would rather bitch than actually do something.

4. Access to many sailing venues is limited and controlled by rich old men who do not have any desire to share 

5. Aside from a dozen people promoting the AERO, no one in North America is making a concerted effort to get new folks out on their ready to  purchase freshly manufactured singlehanded toys. 

And ... the AERO is not really an appropriate total greenhorn entry toy. 

6. Look at the threads about the demise of the sport. I am pretty certain I am the only one of the 60,000 members of this site who consistently pitches any solutions. Everybody here and in the sailing world in general is much more eager to bitch, whine, and pronounce their sport dead than invest in making it boom again in ten years. 

Why do you people write, "Sailing isn't fun for them."??? 

Why the hell do you think that? Don't you love sailing? Don't your friends live sailing? WTF makes you think anybody could resist the wonderful lure of sailing?? 

**++++++******+++++******

Here once again is a fundamental description of a real solution. I will write it as briefly  as I can more time for those who might wake up.  ++++

We need to create a new boat that does what Lasers do but costs significantly less. The boat really needs to feel and sail much as a Laser does but it must be modernized for ease of manufacture, durability, and creature comfort. 

The boat must be heavily promoted in virtually every available boating media and the sales and promotion team must accomplish the things necessary to politically take over as THE SINGLEHANDED RACER'S  SAILING TOY.

(Think golf balls with dimples or 16 pound bowling balls. One sport. One toy for playing the sport) 

Done right, the first couple years there will be 3,000 strategically placed new boats. Soon thereafter, 10,000 to 20,000 of these new boats will sell annually in North America.

As it succeeds here it will easily take over the market in the rest of the world.

In ten to fifteen years,  the sheer numbers of people who enjoy sailing will cause need for larger racing and cruising sailboats.... (kind of like the boom in 22 to 30 foot sailboats that happened in the eighties. )

my guesstimate is:

It will take an initial Investment  of about $20,000,000 to get the new boat into production and sufficiently seeded around North America. 

Until somebody does that?? The game will continue to shrink. 

We need a billionaire who loves sailing and racing, has enjoyed racing with the very cream of the Laser sailor crop, and would like to be THE GUY who didn't just save the game , he turned it into the fabulous game we couid only have because he planted the seeds for the game and held on long enough to develop the root system. 

..... 

it can happen

it should happen

if all you want to do is try to stop it from happening

please STFU

 

I WONT BE LISTENING TO YOU. 

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Great rant, but typically US-centric.

Perhaps you may consider that there rest of the world does not necessarily follow the US.  In sailing, I think you might find the historically the opposite is true,

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1 hour ago, ColinG said:

Great rant, but typically US-centric.

Perhaps you may consider that there rest of the world does not necessarily follow the US.  In sailing, I think you might find the historically the opposite is true,

First, I'd like to respond to Gouv's #6-  It's pretty arrogant to say that you're the *only* person trying to do anything about the decline of sailing in the U.S. Yes, plenty of people are just bitching but plenty of people are taking actions, attempting to attack the problem on a variety of vectors.

Second, for Colin-  Gouv's rant *is* U.S.-centric because that is the area that he's focused on. He's not presumptively assuming that he can "fix sailng" in other areas of the world that he knows nothing about. If he did, you'd be bitching that he doesn't know what the fuck he's talking about, because he doesn't know anything about Europe.

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Gouv - cheap Lasers are the answer?

Anyone that has a couple thousand dollars can find a Laser to sail right NOW. Also note that many of us spend a LOT of time and money promoting or running events or otherwise keeping sailing alive. You are not the one person left in sailing - yet.........

 

 

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14 hours ago, Innocent Bystander said:

I figured it was either ditch it or fix it. To start over would have been $20k for a younger boat with 3-400 engine hours.  Not an easy decision. Don't have any reason to sell it. 

 

Or, it was either fix it or pay to dispose of it. As you know, with a dead engine, it was worth nothing. 

Makes sense to me. It's only a bad idea to do what you did if you then sell the boat.

While working as a broker I always hated having to explain the world to people who had bought and restored a boat, then decided to sell it.

 

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also - the gratuitous slap at "old white men' doesn't help your case.., or win any allies

in my experience nearly every town with a lake or bay big enough  to sail on has some sort of public ramp or whatever where a person could launch a sailing dingy if the wanted to. usually they are free, or nearly so.

in my town, it's $70 for a season beach pass. there is also a town boat club with dues of a few hundred dollars a year where you can store a boat. that town club is very near a private yacht club with laser racing - anyone who wanted to could buy a cheap laser, launch it at the town ramp, and race with that club.

at least 95% of the boats (probably a few hundred boats) at the town boat club are motor boats - the operating budget for any of those boats would easily fund a racing sailboat of one sort or another.

It's really very simple...

the reason more people don't sail.., is because they don't want to sail.

 

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