Very sad....Bob Leach is a really nice man and their boats have awesome finish work.
The reality of today is that the performance boating sector does not need 30 different boat companies making everything from starter boats to Bugatti Veron type boats.
In my eyes, the market should look like this:
2 Premium Cat Builders
2 Premium V Bottom Builders
3 Mid Tier Cat Builders
3 Mid Tier V Bottom Builders
2-3 Entry Level V Bottom Builders
Just my opinion
That said, consumer choice is a by-product of healthy capitalism. Fewer choices is never a good thing. Conversely, bountiful consumer choice is not a birthright. It ebbs and flows with the economy. Loss of choice (a lot of folks call it "market correction"), however necessary and cyclical, on the consumer side is not so great. It is not a sign of economic health, at least in this country.
So emotion aside, that is why I root for companies such as Eliminator. It didn't clutter the market. It contributed, and I would say mightily, to it. Prosperity, too, it not a birthright, and it is up to individual companies to sink or swim.
As for why Bob Leach invested personal resources, I reckon he has his reasons. He's been successful in this business for a long, long time. Based on his track record, I'd define him as a "reasonable businessman." I think he was doing everything in his power to salvage a business he built over more than 30 years from scratch.
I revised Dave's list a little bit based on current, and probable future, demand:
1 Premium Cat Builders
1 Premium V Bottom Builders
0 Mid Tier Cat Builders
0 Mid Tier V Bottom Builders
0 Entry Level V Bottom Builders
Of course Skater could occupy both of the remaining slots above....
Obsolete and proud of it
I hope he pulls through this, but, at this point in time, I can't see where his sales will come from.
As you said this is about much larger economic issues, and we are in a survival period rather than one fitting an entrepeneur. The political moves and legislation that have
been instituted by our government in the past couple of years may very well make activities like performance boating extinct in the near future. In a world where the term "rich" simply means non-government employed taxpayer, our shoulders are shrinking while the load is increasing exponentially.
I love going fast on the water and started in a 9 foot racing runabout with a 5 hp motor some 50+ years ago. I hope that doesn't become the only available ride in my twilight years as well.
Obsolete and proud of it
It could be as simple as what happened to a good number of the industries. You simply grow to fast by trying to keep up to all the demand at that particular time. From hiring additional people, additional buildings, equipment and everything that goes along with it. With great sales forcasts, and cheap or free financing its easy to see its the right or necessary thing to do. Then the bottom falls out overnight. They simply need to regroup and slimdown to levels prior the the boom era. Only now your costs of doing business are higher than they were prior to 2008. This forces you to be slightly under staffed to be profitable.
What performance boat companies are still left? (I'm talking companies that actually build more then 10+ boats a year.)
Who is left in the entry level v market? Sunsation, Checkmate, Formula?, Kryptonite? Fountian, Concept, Pantera.......
Is Superboat or Sonic doing anything?
I think the market will always need entry level v hull boat companies. While there are a lot of high $$ people on OSO that can afford 500K+ boats, the majority of us cannot swing that kind of money on a boat.
Last edited by X-Driver; 09-10-2010 at 03:15 PM.
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