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Its over..... "The common man"

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Old 02-22-2012, 09:02 AM
  #31
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I don't think I follow the point of this thread. OP states "where are the entry level boats?" Well, there are a TON of them! SeaRay, FourWinns, Chapparal, Crownline and many others are still making boats to my knowledge. Sure, many have went under, reorganized and emerged a smaller tighter manufacturer, but they are there! As for "entry level" High Performance boating, that would be like an entry level Ferrari or Lamborghini! I have boated all my life, bought (and sold) many "family" boats. The boat I had before my Advantage was to me a "crossover". A 25' Crownline with a big block that would run 65. I bought it new, kept it several years after paying it off then found my current (used) 32' "go fast" with twin big blocks. BUT, my new "go fast" would be considered a tub by many of the REAL high performance boaters. It was what I could afford. In my eyes, the Miami Boat Show is like someone mentioned before, the "Barrett Jackson" of boat shows. If you go to many of the smaller boat shows around the country, you will find your "entry level" boat for "Joe Boater".

Most of the folks I boat with have 20-25' boats that don't run much over 50, so in THEIR eyes, I am the high performance boater. It's all about perspective. There will always be someone you look at and wonder "how in the hell do they afford it?"
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt Trulio View Post
Allow me to offer another perspective:

Guy is making $200,000 a year. Let's say after taxes, state and federal, he nets $150,000. That would be pretty "good."

He finds a new entry-level sportboat he wants for $50,000. That, too, would be pretty "good." So he buys it. Sure, he can finance it, but that leaves him with debt on a rapidly, and I mean rapidly, depreciating asset

He has now spent one-third of his net income, a hefty chunk, on a luxury item with a price tag that is equivalent to four years of tuition for his kid at a good university in some states (and one year in a spendy private college).

But my point isn't that his hobby takes up a substantial, some would argue inordinate, chunk of his net income. My point is that ... a guy grossing $200,00 is not the common man.

Put another way, go-fast boating, even at the most affordable levels, is expensive.
I would consider my wife and I the "common man" if not less than in comparison to the average boating community. We spend a large chunk of our income in the summer boating. Consequently, we make significant sacrifices in other areas. We also purchased a used, old (good shape however) boat that works for us. We needed something to handle the LOTO conditions but within reach of our budget, that put new boats or even relatively new boats way out of our reach. It is difficult for the average couple or individual but it is either worth it to you or it isn't. Either way, nothing beats a day on water, good boater friendly company, a few good drinks, warm sunlight, & bikinis.

Here in the MIdwest, $200k salary is a monster salary IMO. I would also not consider this the common man. That kind of money goes a long way in my area of the country if managed correctly.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:03 AM
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Running along the lines of CrownHawg's post I keep seeing lots of new Ferrari type boats, the entry level manufacturers listed seem like the Camry and Taurus end of the fleet. While they may be fine family cars, they're not very exciting. What we really need is a some new Corvettes and Mustangs. They're not the fastest or fanciest things out there but have attitude and performance to avoid being to satisfy most people. Not necessarily cheap, but with financing, within reach of most people with salary under 100K.

Engine costs blow me away. When you cam buy an entire car for the cost of 1 outboard motor, or a house for the cost of some of the sterndrive engines, it's insane. I have good knowledge of what goes into an engine and makes it tick. I just can't imagine why a basic 525 engine should cost 30K for maybe 6K in parts. I know companies must make a profit to operate, but what's the difference between making a living and a killing?

I guess that's why I collect other peoples junk and rebuild it myself into something I want. I'll never turn a profit on my labor but at least I get to enjoy something I could not otherwise afford.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:04 AM
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It all started with car/truck prices, used to be you could (and I did) buy new in the $20K range .. the recent prices for a new Tahoe or F250 are sick.
The middle class used to tread water, now we need a snorkel.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:09 AM
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It is simply down to the economics of it all. There are very few people left that do not require some kind of financing on a boat until you are north of 300k. The lack of available customers coupled with decrease in volume; which is what drives small boat production; means there are fewer builders willing to invest in entry level boats.
That is why the boat market is hurting. Like others have said there are very few people that have the money to buy 100k+ boats then the 50k truck to pull and pay to operate it. I think that is why you have these bigger boats being out of reach of most people now because they figure the only people that has money for boats are people with big money.

Ill personally never be able to afford or at least justify a 150k boat. And I would never do the idiotic thing of doing a 20-25 year loan.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:14 AM
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I don't think I follow the point of this thread. OP states "where are the entry level boats?" Well, there are a TON of them! SeaRay, FourWinns, Chapparal, Crownline and many others are still making boats to my knowledge. Sure, many have went under, reorganized and emerged a smaller tighter manufacturer, but they are there! As for "entry level" High Performance boating, that would be like an entry level Ferrari or Lamborghini! I have boated all my life, bought (and sold) many "family" boats. The boat I had before my Advantage was to me a "crossover". A 25' Crownline with a big block that would run 65. I bought it new, kept it several years after paying it off then found my current (used) 32' "go fast" with twin big blocks. BUT, my new "go fast" would be considered a tub by many of the REAL high performance boaters. It was what I could afford. In my eyes, the Miami Boat Show is like someone mentioned before, the "Barrett Jackson" of boat shows. If you go to many of the smaller boat shows around the country, you will find your "entry level" boat for "Joe Boater".

Most of the folks I boat with have 20-25' boats that don't run much over 50, so in THEIR eyes, I am the high performance boater. It's all about perspective. There will always be someone you look at and wonder "how in the hell do they afford it?"
I get your point and do agree. But even if you go look at a 24 Ft Sea Ray or Crownline your still talking 60-80k for one, and thats a lot money for a boat. I am not an entitlist and people dont deserve everything and you must work for things. But 60-80k for a 24ft boat, I mean I just dont see the money in it. But boat companies are going out of business and losing sales and they wonder why.
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:34 AM
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Manufacturers will always go where there is a market.

My guess is the current condition makes it where the "common" man as described here is disappearing from the performance boat arena. I imagines loans for boats have to be atrociously hard to get these days so most manufacturers are focusing on where there is a market, higher end boats mostly paid cash or government orders that necessitates less lending.

Manufacturers will not be able to build middle types of performance boats until lending instruments for consumers of these boats come back to be available, which I think currently they are not.

I think for a good while the "common man" will stay in the used market with loan to value ratio requiring a lot more cash-down than what we were accustomed to in the 2000-2009 "free credit" times... So someone who in the years mentioned before could afford a 35-42ft boat will only be able to fund a 27-32 ft boat. He may also find another pass-time instead of moving backwards... Where the hell are my golf clubs!
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Old 02-22-2012, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by onesickpantera View Post
I think once the "fire sales" are done we'll see the used market come back.
Where on earth are you finding fire sales?? I saw that in 2008-2010 but in the last year I see very few giveaways..

Back in 2006 when the economy was in fire I was shopping for a 10-15 yr old 25 ft boat with a 454 and b1 plus trailer. My budget was $20-$30k and had quite a few boats to choose from although most were dated in terms of colors..TODAY when I do searches for boats which are 10-15 yrs old with a 496, b1 and trailer I see prices $20-$30k. So in other words, IMO prices today are comparable with what I was seeing when we had low unemployment and a smoking hot economy. 2008-2009 was the time to buy a boat if you wanted a giveaway deal...

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Old 02-22-2012, 10:54 AM
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Today's reality: entry level performance boat = used boat!

I think it is a combination of things but mostly a sign of the current (and future) economy.

I bought a new Baja 25 Outlaw in 2005 for $65K. Easily financed through BoA. I think that would be considered a typical entry level boat (although some people say all Baja's are entry level boats! ) and was affordable to a lot of folks.

I don't think I could get the financing for that boat today and as a typical blue collar guy, I don't have the cash to buy one.

I got lucky and sold it soon after buying it for what I paid and bought a used low hours 29 Outlaw for way less than what I paid for the 25.

During the boom people were pulling out equity from their homes or were just getting loans from banks. That is no longer happening so the lower end market has dried up.

The buyers are now (mostly) guys with big $ and can pay cash or have a big chunk to put down. They don't buy the cheaper boats, they buy the big expensive ones.

I was surprised to see OL come out with their 29. It's a beautiful boat but I'm wondering what the market is for it. Cigarette made their 30' Vice but discontinued it quickly. I wanted one of those but it cost them almost as much to produce as their larger boats so the price was pretty high and they didn't sell.

I think used boats priced under $40K or so will continue to sell as regular guys can scrape up that kind of cash. Boats at $40K to $70K may sell too as a guy can put a big down payment and finance the balance (if the boat isn't too old). Used boats above $70K will be harder to move.
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Old 02-22-2012, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by CrownHawg View Post
I don't think I follow the point of this thread. OP states "where are the entry level boats?" Well, there are a TON of them! SeaRay, FourWinns, Chapparal, Crownline and many others are still making boats to my knowledge. Sure, many have went under, reorganized and emerged a smaller tighter manufacturer, but they are there! As for "entry level" High Performance boating, that would be like an entry level Ferrari or Lamborghini!
I don't want to speak for the OP but I think he was talking about smaller entry level performance boats. Gone are the Scarab 22 and 26, Powerquest(I can't remember their sizes), 27 Fountain, 27 Formula, Sunsation 25, Active Thunder 25, Liberators, etc. Those are just a few off the top of my head.

As one poster said we need the "mustangs and corvettes". Those are becoming much more rare.
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