Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I have been thinking about this since last I wrote. After noodling this around for a while I can see a number of problems that Pacific Seacraft may have faced. At some level Pacific Seacraft is a victim of their own success and business model. Because Pacific Seacraft's model's have stayed in production for a very long time they are in the unenviable position of competing with thier own boats.
Over time Pacific Seacrafts have gotten more expensive, but they haven't improved all that much. They may have improved build quality quite a bit since the late 1980's and early 1990's, but the designs have not improved at all. But in the period since these boats were first penned, our understanding of what makes a comfortable, easily handled seaboats really has changed.
So as I think about it, they start out dealing with a narrow portion of the market that is looking for an out of date offshore cruising design, and then they are stuck trying to sell the newer boats for two or three times what their own older boats are selling for. Even if you consider the perhaps $100K cost that it could take to properly rejuvinate one of the older boat to a condition adequate for prolonged offshore usage, the old boats are still something of a bargain when compared to the newer boats, that is if you assume that there is still a market for these older designs.
And of course I can see how this could lead to a kind of a death spiral where competion with their own bargain priced boats of identical design makes it hard to raise costs commensorate to what these boats cost to produce, and as prices go up production numbers go down and so supplier quantity discounts go down and prices need rise further.
I hate when that happens.