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Old 26-01-2011, 07:07   #1
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Valiant No Longer Manufacturing

I haven't seen this on here yet. I might have missed it. Apparently Valiant has announced they will no longer build new yachts. Valiant Yachts Closing Its Doors | Cruising Compass

Quote:
"After months of consideration, we have come to the very difficult decision that effective immediately we will no longer produce new Valiant sailboats. The ongoing economic situation has created an environment where it is no longer feasible to continue production."
I know they are expensive, but I thought there was still a market for high-end performance cruisers.
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Old 26-01-2011, 07:37   #2
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A shame to see another well known maker go. It's a tough world out there at the moment and small 'niche' companies like this will inevitably suffer from competition from the big mass produced manufacturers.

I think the other problem is their style. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE classic boats (look at my 1979 flybridge for an example!) but their designs were stuck in the '70's. To not offer something more modern in the range with such expected things like bathing platforms, etc. to compete with the likes of Beneteau et all was a mistake.
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Old 26-01-2011, 07:42   #3
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To not offer something more modern in the range with such expected things like bathing platforms, etc. to compete with the likes of Beneteau et all was a mistake.
I don't really think they are the same market as Beneteau and obviously their market was not big enough. They made boats primarily for offshore. I don't think most of their buyers wanted swim platforms. Apparently there aren't enough people who are willing and able to spend a ton of money for a great offshore boat.

I am sure the fact that well made boats never die is a problem too. A 20+ year old Valiant in good condition is almost as attractive as a new one.
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Old 26-01-2011, 08:01   #4
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I'm sure that the lack of a bathing platform didn't kill them directly, I ment that they just haven't evolved or moved on with the market like the others have. Look at Moody, they still retained great classic style but kept bang up to date. As you rightly said, a 20 year old Valiant is almost as good as a new one so what was the point in paying 100k + more?
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Old 26-01-2011, 08:06   #5
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A loss to the industry. Great boats with a timeless aesthetic. It seems that more of the interesting niche players get squeezed out at every recession. And few step in to take their place.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:01   #6
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Wow. What a shame. We have several friends with Valients. Just awesome boats.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:11   #7
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They are great boats but the interiors are cramped by today's standards.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:16   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonmd View Post
A shame to see another well known maker go. It's a tough world out there at the moment and small 'niche' companies like this will inevitably suffer from competition from the big mass produced manufacturers.

I think the other problem is their style. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE classic boats (look at my 1979 flybridge for an example!) but their designs were stuck in the '70's. To not offer something more modern in the range with such expected things like bathing platforms, etc. to compete with the likes of Beneteau et all was a mistake.
I think it has much more to do with their price point. At $500,000 or so for a new boat, Valiant is in that unfortunate netherworld between everyman and super-rich. The boats are considerably more pricey than Beneteaus but not stratosphere-expensive, i.e., costly enough to attract the super wealthy, many of whom manage to weather economic downturns unscathed).

I have said this before - Beneteau can produce boats more like Ford produces cars, whereas Valiants (as many other manufacturers) are much more labor intensive, I believe.

It really is too bad. They are fine boats, even without a swim platform to slew around the stern in following seas.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:34   #9
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To look at their webpage, you would not know that they have ceased operations.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:38   #10
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Very, very sad. Valiants are great cruising boats, IMHO, with few real competitors.

I gotta believe that it's more than just economics, though. For some years now the manufacturer has been known to be "difficult" when it comes to any customization...even smallish things. That turns prospective buyers away.

Maybe, just maybe, someone will step forward and salvage the business so these wonderful yachts can continue to be produced.

Bill
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:57   #11
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To look at their webpage, you would not know that they have ceased operations.
I noticed that..Not a word.
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Old 26-01-2011, 09:59   #12
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I noticed that..Not a word.
Though a friend with a Valiant confirmed that he received a letter from Valiant stating they had ceased operations.
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:09   #13
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To look at their webpage, you would not know that they have ceased operations.
They probably have a company handle their website, and don't update it themselves. At this point they might not want to spend the cash.......
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Old 26-01-2011, 10:21   #14
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They probably have a company handle their website, and don't update it themselves. At this point they might not want to spend the cash.......
I suspect they have a few boats left "on the stocks" that they want to sell before truly shutting the doors. Enthusiasts/current owners will buy the last of something, but the general audience would be concerned about warranty issues, and would look elsewhere.
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Old 26-01-2011, 12:05   #15
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My guess is that it wasn't Beneteau, Hunter etc. that drove them out of business. It was builders like Tartan, Gozzard and Island Packet, which sell at the same price point but offer more spacious interiors and more modern designs.

Hopefully Pacific Seacraft won't suffer a similar fate under its new ownership.
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