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  Topic Review (Newest First)
11-22-2007 03:31 PM
Diva27 I still have my 29-foot pilothouse powerboat, but it's on dry land and for sale. It was perfect for doing the shallow-draft inshore route of Georgian Bay, but I'm a sailor at heart and am focussing on my C&C 27. Powerboaters here generally are different than sailors, more of an RV culture. They stick to carefully buoyed channels, and when they get to marine parks a lot of them want a dock, would love to have hydro, want to be able to drop off their trash, and generally aren't going to try to blaze trails into the cruising unknown. Some are an exception, but a lot of them don't even like to anchor. I've watched people with decent sized express cruisers drive em right onto the beach at Giant's Tomb rather than anchor out. As for the fuel issue, it is hurting hereabouts, and I would agree that the smaller end boats are getting hit the hardest. People just don't have the budgets, and when they start cutting back on their trips, they start looking harder at their total marina costs. Our season is short, and boating can start to look awfully expensive. A couple years ago a marina operator on the east side of the bay was already telling me the flotilla traffic was down. Americans especially who come up Huron or Michigan and into the North Channel were just turning around and going home rather than heading into Georgian Bay the way they used to. All the for-sale signs don't surprise me, and no, they won't become sailors.
11-22-2007 03:12 PM
Faster Last time around this phenomenon led to some REALLY bad sailboats as the manufacturers (Bayliner, Reinell) tried to get into the sailboat business as a survival tactic... Not seeing that this time around.

What I have noticed this past season is more planing-capable powerboats rumbling along at 8 knots or so.... a sudden interest in seeing the sights? or a keener eye on the gas gauge?

Looking around our area it doesn't really look like the high end powerboat market is slowing down... I guess if you can lay out that kind of cash the fuel costs are incidental.
11-22-2007 03:07 PM
LynW You mean those powerboats actually go out sometimes? I thought they were just for filling up marinas.

In the marinas round here there are three powerboats for every sail boat. But out on the water, if you exclude the small fishing guys the ratio is exactly the reverse.
11-22-2007 02:11 PM
xort Well, I am. But my main reason is that I want a bigger boat. And fuel on my smaller PB was bad enough so going up in size to a trawler wasn't acceptable.

At marinas near me, the big slips are full but the medium & especially the small slips are thinning out quite a bit. Those were for 25' to 35' boats. They aren't getting re-filled with sailboats. I think the average PB is just going out less or not going as far or downsizing to smaller boats.
I was talking to a fuel dock guy up in Northern Lake Huron. I asked if his business was suffering. He said his volume was the same but he was seeing fewer boats. Meaning the big boats were buying more fuel than ever. Boats like my 26' were becoming scarce.
I was very happy to get above BUC price for mine!

Gobble Gobble
11-22-2007 02:03 PM
SEMIJim According to a sailboat broker The Admiral and I talked to earlier this year: No, power-boaters are not switching to sailing craft.

I think most power-boaters aren't in it for anything close to the same reasons sailors are.

11-22-2007 12:13 PM
CaptKermie Funny, I do not see a drop in sales for SUV's and trucks in my area nor do I see a waning interest in high performance cars, some people just don't think green.
According to data from NMMA sailboats are only a fraction or small percentage of boat sales. Most boat sales are those that have outboards on them, likely trailerable, after that the inboard/outboard and on up the scale. I did see a big surge in the kyack/canoe sector relative to the original small market share they occupied. See links below:

I realize this data is a few years old but it does indicate a trend. Powerboats are still the boat of choice despite the fuel costs.
11-22-2007 11:49 AM
deniseO30 I guess I should have said "joe average" not the upper middle class. I was talking with a transport captain one day last week and he was telling me they just moved a boat up the coast. $19,000! in fuel!

I guess PBers could argue that us sailboaters have all the fuel problems and engine problems because we don't use our engines enough

I still think there are going to be thousands of PBs owned by average working for a living type people for sale or stuck in the backyard or left to the elements.
11-22-2007 11:47 AM
Sailors & Powerboaters are different

Keep in mind that sailing is a sport, a skill, a hobby, and for many, a lifestyle. The compartive complexity between the two is what seems to drive purchase choices; not gas. Powerboating is for playing on the water or taking care of commercial business -- insert key, start motor, go. The remark of a powerboater sums it up. "I couldn't switch to sail, there are all those ropes, and sails, and things, the heeling, slowness, need for lessons -- it's all too much. I just get in my boat and go."
11-22-2007 11:26 AM
teshannon The big power boats in my marina still go out, day trips and all. It's the mid-sized ones that are popping up with "For Sale" signs all over the place.
11-22-2007 11:17 AM
Brezzin Most of my frends with 40+ foot PB simply decided that day trips were out but still did the vacation thing. One of my buddies with a Pace 46 said that his fuel cost last summer was roughly $5.00 per mile.
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