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Old     (spoon5285)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-28-2008, 7:15 AM Reply   
I know there are fixed costs associated with building any given boat hull, but i was just wondering why there is not a v drive 19-20 foot boat with maybe a v-6, reduction transmission, huge prop with like a 30-35 mph top speed. Wakeboard specific.

Im talking bare bones. Tower and ballast, but maybe not even a radio. Bolt in seats, no frills. Is there not a market for it? Does it cost that much just to build a dd/v-drive hull? They build i/o and sell them close to that price range.

Just wondering.
Old     (himain10ance)      Join Date: Apr 2006       08-28-2008, 7:24 AM Reply   
honestly half of the full size V-Drive boats are garbage. So why not
Old     (bmartin)      Join Date: Jan 2007       08-28-2008, 9:20 AM Reply   
A new 19' Bayliner with 6cyl has an MSRP over $23K, 20'+ will run $29K and up. Sure you can buy them for less than MSRP, but if Bayliner can't build a 19' I/O for under $20K who can build an inboard for less?

With the economy the way it is, it might be the right time to build a more budget oriented boat and maybe a 20' v-drive could be built for <$30K, but do not think you will ever be seeing them for under $20K. Of course if you build a budget boat and the vinyl is not of the thickness found in a MC or Malibu it will get slammed on this forum.
Old     (clubmyke)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-28-2008, 9:42 AM Reply   
buy used... there are some great deals out there.
Old     (spoon5285)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-28-2008, 9:43 AM Reply   
But does it cost more to build a v drive, or even an inboard. it cant cost anymore to build a hull for a stern drive then a hull for an inboard. the extra cost has to come from the drive-train. Its probably more of a sales volume issue. I think there would be a market for a v-drive at the 18-22k msrp. Market it as the Kia of the water. As long as it has a good wake, i dont care how thick the vinyl is :-)

Anyone in the industry have some insight?
Old     (spoon5285)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-28-2008, 9:48 AM Reply   
I am going to buy used later this year or early next year. But in my search i started thinking about it and wondered if there was some glaring reason i am missing.
Old     (wakemikey)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-28-2008, 10:16 AM Reply   
What is your budget?
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-28-2008, 10:17 AM Reply   
"Of course if you build a budget boat and the vinyl is not of the thickness found in a MC or Malibu it will get slammed on this forum."

It will anyway
Old     (spoon5285)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-28-2008, 10:31 AM Reply   
Im probably looking to spend 20-25k, but only because im tired of owning boats as old as i am. There are plenty of boats in the used market, thats not my point. I am just curious why a company hasnt offered a stripped down "Kia" version yet.
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       08-28-2008, 10:50 AM Reply   
^^^ No one will unless they are willing to roll the dice on selling enough units to make enough gross profit. The more units you sell, the less G/P you need to make per unit. It's the reason the Lowes and Home Depots have killed the Mom'n Pop hardware stores.
Old     (derek23)      Join Date: Oct 2006       08-28-2008, 10:59 AM Reply   
I agree. Why not make use of the old 2001 hull. It is a proven winner. needs less weight to weigh it down. Make it a V-Drive and put a playpen in the bow and you have a great all around budget boat.
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-28-2008, 11:14 AM Reply   
Hard parts costs will never let this happen...The boat will have to be a V8, and continued emissions pressure both in CA (large portion of the marketplace) and country wide will soon force all inboards to be EFI in order to meet emissions standards. Add the fact that the Transmission and V Drive unit cost more than a Stern Drive assy, and the powertrain alone is going to run the builder somewhere north of 10-12K depending on power output. No way any builder can put a boat/motor/trailer package together, and then ship it across the US, for a retail anywhere near 20K. Plus, the dealer needs a profit, so it would need to land at the dealership in the 16-17K cost range...impossible in this day of material costs. Fiberglass resins and Gelcoats are closely tied to the petroleum market, and those costs are on a crazy rise.

A builder who could move big numbers (750+) of a budget model might be able to bring it to retail at the 30 to 35K mark at retail.
Old     (hbskier)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-28-2008, 11:48 AM Reply   
It's do-able and it's been done. Every time a new entry mfr gets traction, they start building more profitable boats. None of these guys are in it for the goodness of there hearts. I've got the marketing know-how if anyone wants to start one of these up, I'm all in. If anyone finds an angel investor that wants low returns let me know.

Here's the perfect example that most forget about. Bayliner! I have an uncle that just picked up the '98 Maxum version (2089px)and look forward to a few pulls next summer. I nabbed these pics off CL in a futile effort to find pics before they can email some. It looks like a decent boat. But if Brunswick couldn't figure it is the true test of a 2 year production faliure. From a production cost standing I speculate only $1500 extra for v-tranny and rear bulkheads/seating materials.
"1997 Ski Challenger 2089
The ski boat market has long been the realm of the small to midsize builder and the boat owner who is fiercely brand loyal. Large, general-purpose builders have never really understood or penetrated this cliquish customer base that obsesses on the smallest details of layout and performance.

Now the world's largest builder of recreational powerboats wants to sell you a ski boat -- provided you are the type of skier who wants to have fun, make some great ski runs and then enjoy a boat that is more than a through-the-buoys workhorse.

Using the company's advanced naval architecture software, a U.S. Marine design team created a hull that would deliver responsive performance, straight tracking and a smooth, stable ride -- all for less than $20,000. Then designers turned their attention to rounding out the boat's creature comforts and general-purpose boating appeal.

The result is a cost-effective inboard design that is equally suited to towing skiers or hosting a family cruise. Because they build more than 20,000 boats a year, U.S. Marine can buy premium materials in bulk and pass the cost savings along to the customer.
For example, the Ski Challenger is an all-fiberglass product with unitized construction and glassed-in bulkheads. It features a fiberglass cockpit liner, heavy-duty 32-ounce carpet and marine-grade vinyls, and is backed by a five-year structural warranty. In addition, extras such as pop-up cleats, tilt steering, cockpit lighting and a four-speaker stereo system are included in the base price.

For the thousands of buyers who never thought they could afford a real inboard ski boat, or who want a boat that can do more than just drive through the buoys, the Ski Challenger might be the ticket. It delivers a well-rounded blend of skiing ability, quality construction and recreational appeal -- all at an attractive price.
Old     (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-28-2008, 11:48 AM Reply   
In 2001 I bought a Moomba Mobius V, It was a 22 ft, stripped down boat, still had the Indmar 320hp V8 engine with v-drive. It was 30K. Cheaper vinyl, carpet, no perfect pass. Very basic boat, but very functional with a very quality wake. The Outback V was a 20 ft version and was around 26K. Most of the people on this forum bashed Moomba for their lack of "quality". The wake was great on the Mobius V. Skiers Choice has continually upgraded the interiors of the boats and the price has risen some, no more than other brands.

Centurion started making the Falcon series last year. You can get a functional 20'9" boat with 315hp v8, trailer and basics for under $40,000.

If you took any older hull and went with basics I don't believe you can get below $35,000.

The next problem is the profit isn't as large on a stripped down boat and they can't fill the factory with all "low end" boats and maintain profit. Same problem Ford, GM, Chrysler have when they lose sales of "big" cars and trucks.

The only way to significantly cut the cost is to reduce engine horsepower. Then you don't have the torque for holeshot required for ballast that all wakeboarders want.
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-28-2008, 12:08 PM Reply   
The Ski Challenger retailed for 19,995 LESS trailer, in 1990's money. At that time say 1996, you could buy a Sanger DXII on a trailer in the 22-25K range.

That fact, along with the fact that the Bayliner was a huge pile of crap, killed the market for them.

Can't be done today for under way, no how.
Old     (wotan)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-28-2008, 12:08 PM Reply   
My ex girlfriend had a Bayliner Wake Challenger (I believe it was the bigger one, 21'8" ??) .... new it had a $35k price tag and she picked it up 3 years later (with under 60 hours) for $13,500. There was NO DEMAND whatsoever for this boat.

It wasn't a malibu, but it was a decently built boat. Her's had the Mercruiser Black Scorpion in it and was a true V-Drive. How many other manufacturers were making a v-drive in 1997? They added a monster tower, speakers, and some ballast and it was a VERY capable wake boat. I wish I had purchased it from her when we broke up.... instead I thought, "eh... it's a gayliner" and I bought an 88 Supra that ended up costing me twice as much, doesn't look half as good -- but it says Supra on the side and at the time, that was important to me.

(Message edited by wotan on August 28, 2008)
Old     (hbskier)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-28-2008, 12:09 PM Reply   
I doubt engine HP being much savings to cost of goods. A TBI 350 costs about the same as a TBI 4.3 v6. Real cost savings come from scale or method. I think Genmar with their semi-automated production could redo this Challenger target for low 30's. Note the improved carpet & vinyl on this Challenger vs a '01 Mobius too. But, maybe this was a dumping strategy to crack into the category without an AWSA cert.

(Message edited by HBSkier on August 28, 2008)
Old     (bog)      Join Date: Sep 2002       08-28-2008, 1:14 PM Reply   
some of you guys that think it is so simple to build a cheap boat should actually take a boat factory tour. When you see how much manual labor goes into boat building you may then realize how hard it is to build a cheap boat.
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-28-2008, 1:24 PM Reply   
"How many other manufacturers were making a V drive in 1997?"

Pretty much all of them.
Old     (jayc)      Join Date: Sep 2002       08-28-2008, 1:29 PM Reply   
How many others were selling theirs as a wake specific boat though?

I have the maxum 210ss, same boat as the wake challenger just a little bit more shiny. Great boat for the money, almost identical to a maristar 210vrs.

Anyhow the only people who could get close to a 20K vdrive are these :

Good luck bringing one into the US though!
Old     (srh00z)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-28-2008, 2:10 PM Reply So that is where the old Nautique 210 hull molds went. Am I wrong or are they pretty blatant ripoffs of the Sport and Supersport Nautiques other than some windshield tweaks. I think Malibu could still build the original VLX hull and Nautique could continue to build the original 210 hull for a reasonable price. I don't think Correct Craft is interested in building a price point boat though. Malibu is splitting the difference and building a mid-level boat with the Ride series. I would love to see it happen, but I guess the manufacturers are making plenty of money off of their current offerings. I talked to a local Malibu dealer the other day and he said that their sales haven't dropped off much in spite of the sluggish economy. That may change in the coming years though. Then the manufacturers may have their hands forced into building a more budget friendly boat, but I don't think we will see them until they have to.
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-28-2008, 2:30 PM Reply   
A company tried to make a 20 ft dd into a v-drive. Because of chines and other factors it did not work. This hull was very "similar" to the 2001 hull. It wouldn't have to be a v-drive, I'd take a bare bones 2001 hull as long as it came with a warranty, it would still kick all these Yamaha and Sea Doo boats out of the water. I hope those don't start taking over because they are easier to buy.
Old     (02ssv)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-28-2008, 2:35 PM Reply   
It doesn't make any sense to me to buy a brand new stripped down boat. If you have the 20-25k why would you not to get the most bang for your buck. Look used and i'm sure you can find a great deal.

To answer your question, there is no market for the boat you described when you can get something better but slightly older for the same price.
Old     (spoon5285)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-28-2008, 6:16 PM Reply   
I think there are a lot of people buying used because they donít want to pay for 10 years on a new boat. I would much rather buy a new stripped down v-drive with a warranty then take a chance on an 8 year old cc or mc. Just my preference though.
Old     (spoon5285)      Join Date: Aug 2008       08-28-2008, 6:25 PM Reply   
I started this thread to get a discussion going, not as to whether or not there are good used boats for 20k. Iím not scared to buy used, Iíve already rebuilt two velvet drives myself, I just wanted to see why there hasnít been an attempt (to my knowledge) to corner a possible market.
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       08-28-2008, 6:56 PM Reply   
I think someone could take the old 2001 hull, make it vdrive, basic interior, basic v8, tower, racks, pp, and ballast. Price would probably have to be at 30k, but I think people would buy them if the economy ever popped back.
Old     (johnsvt)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-28-2008, 7:10 PM Reply   
I am not sure I would spend 20-25K on a new vdrive vs. buying an older 205v or sunsetter.
Old     (hbskier)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-28-2008, 7:37 PM Reply   
Ok, I was wrong with the low 30's. Just for kicks I ran some numbers through a planning model incorporating true inflation since '97. I used assumptions of cost of goods increase of $11k. This may be high, it's a guess on labor costs & commodities spikes (with so many boat parts from Oil @ $21/brl back then). For kicks let's say it takes a year of devlopment for a spring 2010 launch. That would peg this $20k 1997 boat at $37133 in '09 and $37805 for '10.

This is all based on the category cracking price strategy and with a chopper gun hull. It's easy to see if an investor, say like Penske, wanted a better return on a hand laid hull prod'n, that we'd be pricing this boat, oh I don't know around $12k higher.

Anyone in the boating industry that can give some better 10 year-to-date assumptions on COGS increases?
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-29-2008, 8:43 AM Reply   

You have a way better grasp on the mechanics of the equation than I insights are solely based on industry experience, and working closely with a manufacturer in a similar marine segment, not 'glass inboards, however.

It's would be interesting to me to know just how much of a ROI a "major" entity like Penske would expect from a venture like this....this market is still microscopic in turns of total unit volume when compared to other segments in the price catagory.

This makes me think of Toyota....if anyone had the buying power and business stratagy to succeed in this area, it would seem to have been them. However, the simple fact that building fiberglass boats is so far and away different from anything else they had done exemplifies this's a whole different game. Profit levels seem to be in the area that will not support the kind of returns that a large corporate entity would be satisfied with.
Old     (jeff359)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-29-2008, 8:59 AM Reply   
They haven't done it because they didn't have to. The cheaper boats in boat lines took huge production hits, as the market was sucking up by higher end product. Why would CC sell you 30K boat, when they had no problem selling a 60K boat. They can only make so many boats, only so many spots on the production line.

Now that inventories on high end boats stock up, and dealers can't get rid of them, these manufactures will have to address it some way. By building better, more expensive boats, probably not. You will see the new market adjust, boats will get smaller, cheaper, and brought to you with a lower bottom line.
Old     (ridesdirt)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-29-2008, 10:36 AM Reply   
Boats are luxury items. The majority of people who buy them do so for entertainment. Price point shoppers go to the used market. It is the same with most other luxury items, like Motorcycles and Jet Skis.

As far as "Kia" for water... I just don't see it. When buying a luxury item most people do not shop for "Kia" type products. I agree with the manufactures points of view stated above, all of them seem valid to me.
Old     (hbskier)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-29-2008, 11:02 AM Reply   
I don't know why this has to be considered a luxury category. We don't have to rely on how others have defined it. I believe there is a sufficient niche of used market consumers that would prefer a boat with a warranty that will give them all they want/need at the end of the rope. If cheap-new is not the solution, certified used could accomplish the same target. I have one more alternative but I might try and launch it myself in a few years.

Meathead, I know someone at Toyota close to that project. It died because it was a pet project and they outsourced hull builds. Since their expertice is manufacturing they decided to do it right and built a facility and a few months before fully stocking with equipment a new division manager took over and cut it off immediately.

(Message edited by hbskier on August 29, 2008)
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-29-2008, 11:06 AM Reply   
With the economy, it will def change from a luxury category. People that just want to ride will go and buy the cheep boats, bayliners, sea doos, etc. Make one that is actually for riding, but can compete with those. There's plenty of hulls sitting around.....
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-29-2008, 11:19 AM Reply   
Ryan, I agree, and am familiar with the Toyota demise...but I have to believe the new manager realized the margins that were going to come out of that low volume venture, and based a good percentage of the decision to shut it down, on those margins.
Old     (shredhead)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-29-2008, 11:49 AM Reply   
If the market was much, much bigger I think you could do it. Manufacturing in China or India is so much cheaper than the US. But I don't ever see it happening.
Old     (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-29-2008, 12:33 PM Reply   
You could move the fiberglass lamination process to Mexico, pay low wages and not worry about environmental impact. Then do the rigging in a US facility. You could also have the vinyl cut and sewn in China. Lazy-boy does that with fabric and leather for recliners and sofas.

I hate this idea, but rumor in TN a couple years ago was that Sea Ray evalualted the possibility for their 18 - 24 ft boats.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       08-29-2008, 1:09 PM Reply   
I think the people looking for an inexpensive boat with a warranty are barking up the wrong tree. The best way to reduce the cost of a boat is to eliminate costs after the boat is built. This means selling direct to consumers and eliminating the warranty. Certainly there is a market for buyers who choose not to cover the overhead costs of dealerships, warranty claims caused by operator error or overly picky buyers, or any other costs not directly related to the manufacture of their boat like rider and event sponsorship. If you build a good boat it shouldn't need a warranty and if the buyer insists on having one they can always go to their own provider. I'm sure most wakeboards get sold to people who will never ride behind a blinged out V-drive so the opinion of people at WW doesn't concern them in the least.
Old     (hbskier)      Join Date: Dec 2005       08-29-2008, 1:11 PM Reply   
I'm grateful to have a boat, and maybe it's a luxury to some. I don't consider my '93 PS190 a luxury item though. To me it's a recreational item with a utility factor and cost me less 5 years ago than many motorcycles or even PWC.

Meathead, that and he wanted to push more for the Toyota aviation FBO programs. I'm sure you're right especially with the instance of giving new boats to those with warpped hulls. That didn't help the net profit situation and would at least yield a bad picture to be painted from the P&Ls.
Old     (meathead65)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-29-2008, 2:24 PM Reply   
True, true. the same Toyota guy who I had some decent input from told me that when Toyota got into the forklift segment, they figured it would be 20 years before the group actually turned a profit, and the reality was a little better at around 14 years. For that reason, I was shocked when they bailed on the Marine program, or that they at least did not continue in an effort to become a player in the powertrain side of the segment. Again, the economics of scale had to come into many forklifts are sold in a year vs. inboard boats?
Old     (mobv)      Join Date: Jun 2002       08-29-2008, 3:58 PM Reply   
I was never in the Toyota so I'm speaking from hearsay evidence. An friend used 2 at a ski and wakboard school. He said they were great for skiing,but didn't have the low end torque for heavily weighting and wakeboarding. As the saying goes there is "no replacement for displacement" when it comes to low end. I don't think there is a V-6 that can meet the needs for wakeboarding.
Old     (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-29-2008, 6:04 PM Reply   
George,I don't know if your refering to the toyota boats when your saying v-6 but The only ones I know of had a version of the lexus v-8 with over three hundred horses.
Not that its relevant seeing they don't make them anymore.
Old     (jeff359)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-29-2008, 6:11 PM Reply   
When Toyota got into the towboat segment, it wasn't actually a great market. Wakeboarding saved 3 out of 5 boat companies we see today. If it weren't for wake, the tow boat market would be dead and had been for years.

Toyota bailed a couple years to early. If they'd stuck around, they might be within the top three. Anybody who's spent any time in a Toyota, usually loves it.
Old     (jeff359)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-29-2008, 6:13 PM Reply   
The toyota V8 did not have nearly the displacement of other marine V8s, maybe thats why they did so well on fuel.

The lexus V8 they used would be under powered in todays market
Old     (kko13)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-30-2008, 11:39 AM Reply   
because its not 1981 anymore.


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