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-   -   Why so few new boats under 30ft? (http://www.sailnet.com/forums/boat-review-purchase-forum/74069-why-so-few-new-boats-under-30ft.html)

benajah 05-01-2011 10:44 PM

Why so few new boats under 30ft?
 
Im not in the market for a new boat or anything, but love to browse, and I realized that there really are very few new production boats under 30 ft on the market.
Of course I understand people build what sells, my real question is why isn't there enough demand for small boats to justify production? There are some out there, but among the big, popular names, years ago half of the model line would be small boats.
I'm just curious.

TakeFive 05-01-2011 11:21 PM

Not to get overly political here, but small production boats are typically targeted at the middle class. The middle class (at least in the United States) has taken a huge hit in discretionary income and creditworthiness. Many who would have used their houses as collateral for a loan are now underwater with their mortgages.

Large boats offer a much higher profit margin for the builder, as well as targeting a market segment that the econometric data show are doing much better financially on the average.

benajah 05-01-2011 11:30 PM

I can certainly see the reasoning behind that explanation. It is a shame, but probably true.
One theory I had was that the middle class still buys yachts, but there is such a good market in used boats that there is little to motivate one towards a new, small boat.
I was looking at a 200K Benetau a few weeks ago at a boat show, and the whole time I was thinking to myself that there was no way it cost the builder more than 50K to build, but if the market exists that is willing to pay, it makes more sense to build 10, 50K-200K boats a year that you can be pretty sure to sell than it does to make 200, 50K boats that cost you 25K to make when you run the serious risk of an economic change hitting the chance you will sell all of them.
There is something to be said for focused production.

blt2ski 05-02-2011 12:59 AM

Frankly, at least in the NA market, the under 30' segment has been gone for probably 20 some odd years, ie since the 80's. Other than sport boats or equal. 35-40 seems to be the 25-30 boat from the 60's and 70s as I recall growing up. I know a number of folks now looking at 40-50+ boats. Somebody has money right now, I know it is not me!

Marty

benajah 05-02-2011 01:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 725872)
Frankly, at least in the NA market, the under 30' segment has been gone for probably 20 some odd years, ie since the 80's. Other than sport boats or equal. 35-40 seems to be the 25-30 boat from the 60's and 70s as I recall growing up. I know a number of folks now looking at 40-50+ boats. Somebody has money right now, I know it is not me!

Marty

I hear you. We are an upper middle class family doing pretty well all things considered (please don't judge me I lost a leg in Afghanistan as a grunt and got lucky on the job hunt when I got out of the service), and the best we can afford is a fixer upper. Nothing on the new market, power or sail, even a 13 foot Boston whaler with a good outboard would be in our budget, he'll, even a really nice wooden canoe might be a stretch. Granted, our location in the sf bay area puts financial brakes on what you can and can't do but I wonder when I see some of these boats just what those people do for a living.

dnf777 05-02-2011 01:26 AM

I agree with all the above comments. Like Benajah, I would consider ourselves upper middle class, and am very thankful for that. Given the uncertainty of what things will be like when I'm ready to retire (let me re-phrase that.....when I'm ABLE to retire) that extra money at the end of the month that could go into a "nicer, bigger boat" fund....is getting put away in retirement savings and kid's 529s.

Same thing happened with aircraft manufacturers. Relatively few small plane builders (although more than recently) but the big expensive jets are selling just fine.

benajah 05-02-2011 01:35 AM

Yeah I guess the future has begun to look more uncertain and we have all begun to hedge our bets. The ability to pay my daughters tuition (she is 13 months old) to college and make our contributions to the 401k, and mKe sure we get all out taxes paid in an increasingly confusing scheme throw a kink in things.
In the 70s we were the target market for the Cal 2-27s, Catalina 27s, things like that. Now there aren't more than three or four 27s on the market at all.

TakeFive 05-02-2011 07:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 725872)
Frankly, at least in the NA market, the under 30' segment has been gone for probably 20 some odd years, ie since the 80's. Other than sport boats or equal. 35-40 seems to be the 25-30 boat from the 60's and 70s as I recall growing up. I know a number of folks now looking at 40-50+ boats...

The time period you reference corresponds exactly with the housing bubble. When things recover a bit more, you may find that 35-40' segment moving back to the 25-30' range. Now that the bubble has burst in the housing market, those who really want to get into sailing are going to look at less expensive boats because they can't finance as much as they used to.

NCC320 05-02-2011 08:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by benajah (Post 725850)
I was looking at a 200K Benetau a few weeks ago at a boat show, and the whole time I was thinking to myself that there was no way it cost the builder more than 50K to build, but if the market exists that is willing to pay, it makes more sense to build 10, 50K-200K boats a year

Are you sure abut the cost to build a $200K boat? Personally, every time I try to build something myself on the cheap, I wind up spending about 3 times what I had planned and wind up with something that is not satisfactory. I've never tried to build, nor would I, a boat of this type, but I am amazed at how much we get for our money when we buy today's manufactured products, including, but not limited to boats.

There are boats being manufactured in the size range that you mention. A fair number actually. So what's the problem? Just survey the available ones, step up and buy one. i.e. If there were 2 or 3 times as many manufacturers and models available, what would that gain you?

BarryL 05-02-2011 08:51 AM

lots of boat
 
Hey,

There are lots of new boats under 30. But, they are all sport boats and not cruisers or cruiser / racers. The reason for that is you can't really make a decent cruiser under 30.' Sure, there were lots of boats like that built in the 70's and 80s, but they were really only good for 2 people for a few days. There just isn't enough space in small boat for 4 people, gear, etc.

My second boat was a Newport 28'. Great for day sail, OK for 5 people (2 adults, 3 kids) for a night or two, too small for anything longer than that.

Barry


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