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Old 11-04-2016, 18:17   #1
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It Must Be Murder To Try To Start A Boat Building Business

I can imagine banks running the other way if someone comes looking for financing. Ok, Catalina. But every other company in history seems to be on a crash course with bankruptcy.
I seriously wonder how anybody is building boats anymore.
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Old 11-04-2016, 18:21   #2
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

Old saying, you don't have to be stupid to start such a venture but it sure helps!
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Old 11-04-2016, 18:26   #3
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

From a friend who started a boat building business:

"Whats the easiest way to make a small fortune in this business? ....Start with a large one!"
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:41   #4
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
From a friend who started a boat building business:

"Whats the easiest way to make a small fortune in this business? ....Start with a large one!"
I was going to use that same line. When I heard it, it was from a friend who owns a dive shop.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:35   #5
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

Airplanes are just as bad, or worse. Best thing you can do is sell out to the Chinese if you get an offer.

Question that keeps bugging me over and over, is why? Why is it so different than it was in the 1970's?

Without getting political or rants.

For the first time in my life, I'm heavily vested in the Stock Market, I have always avoided it til now, but from my very inexperienced perspective, the Global economy is different now than it has ever been.
Governments are actually paying negative interest on their bonds?
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:09   #6
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

Everything has changed since the 1970's all the so called free trade agreements have worked very well for corporations but have really killed the high paying jobs the middle class used to have. It has had the effect of leveling incomes on a global scale and reducing the middle class in NA.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:15   #7
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

I'd say more the developed or possibly more mature Nations, not just NA.
Japan for example, a former very strong economy is hurting?
Maybe began in the UK, years ago and has spread?
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:26   #8
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

Large corporations have never had it so good worldwide, their profits are border line excessive and many of them are sitting on multi billions of cash which they are not investing in growing their business. Yes Japan has struggled for years, very complex, their local demographics are a real challenge as they have a low birthrate and don't allow imigration as we know it. Tons of older people and few babies. It's an excellent time to go sailing and just watch the world go by. My problem is I'm a news junkie and as long as I can't get the internet Im in good shape but it's getting easier to stay connected these days. Never thought it would be possible to be sitting in an anchorage in central America and be on the cruisers forum.
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Old 12-04-2016, 07:35   #9
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

I thought this thread was someone actually wanting advice on starting a small boatbuilding bussiness. Used to do it for fun and some extra cash you just have to build what people want. Small tenders are a good start. Dsnt take much money to build one. People want them and they are also good for lake fishing. The real trick is to sell for about double the material cost. Then roll most of that into building two units to sell once you reach the point of building 3 with no out of pocket. You start to make some money. Now you will never become rich but you may just make a bit of beer money. The key is to not use out of pocket past t first unit.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:07   #10
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

A while back, right before 2008 crash, I was juggling some numbers for my boat building buddy who just came over from the Old Country then. He was initially very surprised at the boat show prices of under 30 footers, both power and sail, as he said those are very cheap to build, especially 15 to 22 ft range. He said that back home they priced them by pound of building materials. So we started researching the possibility of having a line of 16-20ft wakeboards my buddy has designed and sold successfully back home. Turned out that once the mold and plug are done (the most expensive part of the puzzle) we could churn out the actual hulls at about $2,000 a pop plus amortization of the mold/plug cost which was about $100-150K and could foresee a possibility of selling them directly online at say $6,000-8,000 in the 100s, making a killing.

Then came the reality check - EPA, local zoning laws, cost of production space including all the ventilation and safety systems, OSHA, state tax and enviro nazis, neighbors' opposing a resin rich facility next to them, etc, etc. With these costs added we would not be making anything until about $25-30K a boat on the retail side, which turned out to be about the market price now, give or take. All we could do to compete would be to offer an above average product but that would take years or decades to establish the reputation, not to mention above average production costs as well.

Chinese makers don't have all those hurdles to overcome thus we have what we have. Taking an expansive view, marine industry will never overcome its major hurdle, high cost of the initial entry and subsequent support, until it brings down the price of its product down to a level any Joe, Dick and Harry can afford, especially considering that unlike cars boats for the vast majority of the public are not essential to one's ability to earn an income or function in society. A $5-8K new 16-18ft boat anyone can have in one's garage, a $30-40K one - not so much.
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Old 12-04-2016, 08:15   #11
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

I believe that the reason for so many bankrupcies is a simple matter of supply and demand : people aren't buying many new monohull boats.

There are so many good used ones on the market, and they built them far too well. My Bristol is 35 years old, and will easily last the same again.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:08   #12
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

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I can imagine banks running the other way if someone comes looking for financing. Ok, Catalina. But every other company in history seems to be on a crash course with bankruptcy.
I seriously wonder how anybody is building boats anymore.
I don't think even a group of "poor men" could. A large corp. might as a business venture. It is an industry not a business. Runs just as Henry Ford would have. It would seem the yacht business is doing well, the boat business not doing so well. I'm sure the return on investment is far higher on the yachts.
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:16   #13
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

If you want a million dollars in the boating world.....you must start with 2 million
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:37   #14
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Unhappy Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

More like suicide!
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Old 12-04-2016, 09:57   #15
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Re: it must be murder to try to start a boat building business

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More like suicide!
There may be a small nitch for building custom wooden boats?
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