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Old 29-02-2016, 12:46   #196
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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Originally Posted by tdoster View Post
....
You either turn a lot of hulls and charge less, or fewer hulls and command more, in my opinion with the law of supply and demand. Instead of IP meeting the demand, maybe they should have scaled back a little bit and concentrated on improving the product with fewer hulls.

I still believe IP was on the right track with the SP Cruiser with the direction those with the money are going right now - trawlers. This is what they were all hearing at the boat shows and what they delivered - just didn't quite hit the mark as the next stepping stone for their loyal base as both they and their money age.
Yes the only way to be on the market making boats that only interest a very small market band is just to make few high quality boats for the ones that are interested in them, assuming that there are some interested in them at the price they cost. I know of some Brands that do just that and make high quality boats, some modern boats, other classic slightly outdated sailboats, even not one so outdated in the designs as IP. They only build for a command and all those boats are expensive.

For those brads to try passing to a medium production, or even bigger production, even if that would make the boats cheaper, it would be suicide. No market for more boats of that type at that price.

Regarding the SP being the right type for IP, that is just an assumption that seems correct since it seems that most that use a sailboat motors a lot, but the market had proven it wrong time and time again.

Some mass production brands tried briefly that type of boats just to abandon them very shortly after. That type of boat is really a niche market, if it was not you would see lots of new similarly typed boats and brands producing them, I mean medium production brands.

Notice that I am not making any judgement about motor sailors (being good or bad), just about the place they have on the market, a very small one.
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Old 29-02-2016, 12:50   #197
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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It's amazing how much everyone knows about boats they have never stepped foot aboard , much less sailed. Nobody cares about your opinions on what looks good or how fast or slow you think a particular boat is. It's a boat , they all look good. That's why we are all here.


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I was actually on board that IP with the seats in front of the cabin and the sheet winches aft of the pilothouse. What a monstrosity. The layout down below didn't work even if you were a dwarf (or a PC midget). Everything about that boat was wrong, wrong, wrong. It wasn't even what I would call a boat.

There are some very good reasons that the Desirable and Undesirable Characteristics of Yacht Design was written. Part of the basics has to do with how the sea moves boats around and the ergonomics of human interface with hard objects.

I strongly disagree with the respondent who said boat designs haven't changed much in the past few decades.

Given what Kenomac has correctly stated, they certainly have. I particularly like the post about golfing off the stern (not his comment). Needs two wheels to make that work!

When my hands are soapy and I have to open a door, I curse the builders for installing round door knobs. When I hit them in a seaway, I bless them. I'm sure the skippers with their new Beneteaus like the hard edged square ones when they try to open a door, not so much when they hit them. Which would you choose?
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Old 29-02-2016, 12:52   #198
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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What, you dont like beige? Beige hull, topsides, even down below. Beige is the color of carpets, drapes maybe, even dog poop; but a boat?
I like beige......it's just a pain in the ass to match but then again so is white , which is never really just white........
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Old 29-02-2016, 13:01   #199
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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I will say we have seen a ton of IP in the Caribbean, really a lot of them everywhere. So a very popular boat with the local crowd. Not my cup of tea but then again neither is a new Benni'. Let's face it though the Europeans seem to have a little more flair in their designs even if they are built on the cheaper side. When it comes to marketing there is no comparison, the Americans are not even in the game.
I cannot understand why you guys say that (not only you): European built on the cheaper side!!! Maybe because the European boats that reach the American market are only the cheaper ones?

There are brands for all tastes and quality regarding the European market.

If the only the cheaper mass production sailboats reach the American market it seems to me that's because those are the ones that the Americans want, otherwise you would see also on the American market, very high quality, very high priced European boats. You can find them here, even on the boat shows.
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Old 29-02-2016, 13:10   #200
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

Everybody is trying to analyze IP's going out of business. As I said early on, that's what boat companies do. Often.
I have been personally involved in a couple that went out of business. One thing I see is they try to constantly improve... and that actually adds to the cost. Customers want more and more... Then another boat company comes along and sell low by doing cheap things. The advertising is hype. People believe it.
Name a company that hasn't went out of business at one time or another? Catalina maybe.. not sure if they ever did?
Cal, Ericson, Pacific Seacraft, Valiant, all the Asian companies, Japanese companies, Coronado, Seawind, Cape Dory, Westsail, Columbia, Niagara, Spencer, Skookum, Tollycraft and more all went out of business.
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Old 29-02-2016, 13:22   #201
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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The only real problem I've got with most euro styled boats (modern designs) is the ventilation, or lack of.

I have an old (40 years) boat, because it fit most of my criteria, price included, however one of the biggest turnoffs for me on a large majority of the new boats (custom or exceptionally high end excluded) is that large and abundant opening ports and hatches seem to have fallen out of favor to climate controls. I'll admit a bright and cool boat at the boat show I inviting, but anchor it and the wind doesn't have a huge chance to pass through. In a tradewu ds anchorage it doesn't take much to ventilate, but everywhere else every little opening does make a difference!
...
I assume you are talking about main market boats? since voyage designs have not that problem.

The way I see it 95% of the boats are designed to be used on warm sunny climates, They have plenty hatches but they are zenithal big ones (on the ceiling) and they provide much better ventilation then the small lateral ones (that still exist but in lesser number).

The reall problem is when it rains and you cannot use the big hatches on top. Than the solution is using the Webasto (type) of system just blowing cold hair. It is very effective but off course, you have to have energy for it.

Not as much as for an Air conditioning system and after a certain size of boat (45ft?) that is what must clients that buy those boats want and that will solve that problem too.

Boats are designed according with what people want. If you like me don't use AC (but I have Webasto), another solution to ventilation is mounting solar powered ventilators on the big hatches. I have considered it but truly the days I use the boat when that would become handy are so few that doesn't justify the hassle and the price (and I sail more than 1/3 of the year).

Not saying that for someone that will live permanently on the boat that would not be a major concern, quite the contrary.
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Old 29-02-2016, 13:24   #202
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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Originally Posted by Polux View Post

Regarding the SP being the right type for IP, that is just an assumption that seems correct since it seems that most that use a sailboat motors a lot, but the market had proven it wrong time and time again.

Some mass production brands tried briefly that type of boats just to abandon them very shortly after. That type of boat is really a niche market, if it was not you would see lots of new similarly typed boats and brands producing them, I mean medium production brands.

Notice that I am not making any judgement about motor sailors (being good or bad), just about the place they have on the market, a very small one.
That comes from market studies based upon those with the money (Baby Boomers) and their wants and spending habits as they age. More moving into power boats as sailing becomes too difficult. It is the largest segment of the upper middle class with discretionary income. Remember many of our French friends start their lives in the Charter Industry, so unless you have that market share, you need to cater to an individual.

The generation behind it with the millennials have much less discretionary income and are after less of the long term goals and more into the instant gratification. For those choosing cruising early with a number of cruisers dropping out and cruising in their 30's, they are in the used boat market.

Again, why the cruise industry is so strong as it caters to the generation of no savings and tight financing.

No one has had absolute success with a pilothouse to hit that segment, but the idea is still strong with the buyer. Difficult boats to build and make them function as good compromises for the American market with better but still varying success in Europe in my opinion.

Trying to pick up a segment that no longer wants the pains associated with sailing all of the time and living in weather gear">foul weather gear, but still wants to have the ability to sail when they want to. Nordhaven even is after this crowd with the 56MS.
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Old 29-02-2016, 13:39   #203
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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Great post.

Did I tell you about driving a 1968 Mustang for 3 weeks? Gimme a Korean Rice-Bubble car anytime!
I SOOOOooooo regret selling my '68 Mustang, even though I doubled my money in 18 months. Cheaper to buy a sailboat now a days.
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Old 29-02-2016, 13:46   #204
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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You are talking about who? Don't know of any Lithuanian builder (or designer) that had won the boat of the year in any category at Dusseldorf boat show (but I can be mistaken).
Not a Lithuanian but close.

And he is not known outside of his old country although Professional Boat Builder mag did an article about him a decade back.

He later mostly specialized in the market for his area - little affordable power boats (16-22ft) for fun and leisure. But over this 40+ years as naval architect/boatbuilder he did up to 40ft sail and power boats as well. Not really business savvy so he once sold an old mold of his cheaply, thinking he had no use for it, to some Norwegian people he met at the boat show and who asked him to sign a paper "confirming that he's the owner of the mold". Come few years later he sees his boat winning BOA in her category in Norway and now being mass produced in China for the Euro market. I've met him a year or two after he sold that mold otherwise we'd be building it ourselves as it is a cute little thing and has a wide appeal, at least based on the first impression of anyone who ever seen or ridden it. And since in Europe gas was always expensive he designed the hull and bottom to be very efficient yet still fast with a relatively low HP motors.

BTW thinking of producing some of his boats here we did a business plan with him based on his 16-20ft designs and came up with $5K per boat our build cost with the initial plug and mold being about $200K. So that to amortize that $200K over 100 boats would mean our cost of now $7K per boat, or $9K over 50 boats. Not bad considering that less attractive or less useful designs are selling in $20-30K range and higher. The problem was of course finding an investor willing to put up that initial cost on the terms with which we could all be happy.

PS If anyone has the deep pockets to invest in a cute little fun boat for the masses we're listening.
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Old 29-02-2016, 14:01   #205
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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I SOOOOooooo regret selling my '68 Mustang, even though I doubled my money in 18 months. Cheaper to buy a sailboat now a days.
I don't miss mine at all. It was a lot of work restoring, but when driving my '65, it was a PITA. Wind noise, road noise, hard steering etc. Modern cars are sooo good. However, I don't agree that the analogy works for boats.... at least not in a big way.
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Old 29-02-2016, 14:02   #206
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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Then another boat company comes along and sell low by doing cheap things.
I think you nailed it right on the head. With the exception there is no one new coming along as there is really no money to chance on a startup based out of the US to compete with what is left. US Watercraft (Jboats and Alerion) may be the exception to classic innovation?
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Old 29-02-2016, 14:07   #207
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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If you want to buy tools these days you go to Harbor Frieght and you get cheap affordable tools.
You may, but I certainly don't. Life is too short for shoddy tools.
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Old 29-02-2016, 14:09   #208
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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You may, but I certainly don't. Life is too short for shoddy tools.
Yep, there are some things I will go cheap on, but not a lot.
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Old 29-02-2016, 14:15   #209
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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OMG,What I wouldn't give to have a car with a carburator, NO power windows and doorlocks! Everything is WAY too complicated now!
The simpler things are, the more time one has to,well, enjoy the simple things! :]
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Old 29-02-2016, 14:24   #210
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Re: Island Packet Closing doors

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Everybody is trying to analyze IP's going out of business. As I said early on, that's what boat companies do. Often.
I have been personally involved in a couple that went out of business. One thing I see is they try to constantly improve... and that actually adds to the cost. Customers want more and more... Then another boat company comes along and sell low by doing cheap things. The advertising is hype. People believe it.
Name a company that hasn't went out of business at one time or another? Catalina maybe.. not sure if they ever did?
Cal, Ericson, Pacific Seacraft, Valiant, all the Asian companies, Japanese companies, Coronado, Seawind, Cape Dory, Westsail, Columbia, Niagara, Spencer, Skookum, Tollycraft and more all went out of business.
Also since many boat builders often (mostly?) operate on a thin margin any setback, which in any other industry would be a hick up for a company, becomes a company killer. Mariner of NH is a very good example of this. The company built very sturdy well above average quality boats, built about 225 in 5 years in late 70s-early 80s. Than one day a friend of the owner who was running a charter business in the Caribbean asked him to do a few 39' and 47' hulls for charter. With the build in full swing the charter guy could not get financing and the boatbuilder had to fold under the pile of bills due.

As a testimony to the boat quality most of the boats produced by that company are still around, 35+ years later, and have very loyal and happy owners. But for that one unfortunate business decision it could have still be around.
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