Observations on boat prices

JumbleDuck

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Interesting that some have suggested that we in the uk do not have the economies of scale to compete.
It has just occurred to me that Colvic was the largest GRP moulders in Europe at one time & that companies like Tyler were nearly as big. Westerly and Sadler must have been up there as well
But even the resin makers such as Beetle and Scott Bader do not seem to have survived

Reliant Cars were the world's largest producers of GRP in the late 60s, when they were making 25,000 Regal tricycles per year. Scott Bader are still very much around (http://www.scottbader.com/) though they don't have retail outlets any more.
 

GrahamM376

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Reliant Cars were the world's largest producers of GRP in the late 60s, when they were making 25,000 Regal tricycles per year. Scott Bader are still very much around (http://www.scottbader.com/) though they don't have retail outlets any more.

Pity the retail Strand Glass shops packed up, as well as local supplies they ran some good one day training courses.
 

JumbleDuck

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Pity the retail Strand Glass shops packed up, as well as local supplies they ran some good one day training courses.

I used to buy my stuff from their shop in Glasgow ... until I discovered that Silvers would sell me resin by the gallon (take your own can) for around 1/5 of what Strand Glass were charging me.
 

Tranona

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Interesting that some have suggested that we in the uk do not have the economies of scale to compete.
It has just occurred to me that Colvic was the largest GRP moulders in Europe at one time & that companies like Tyler were nearly as big. Westerly and Sadler must have been up there as well
But even the resin makers such as Beetle and Scott Bader do not seem to have survived

But the world had changed since then. In the 60's to 80's the UK market was the biggest in Europe. Once their markets opened up volumes massively increased, and for different types of boats. To put things in perspective, the biggest selling UK cruiser, the Centaur took 15 years to achieve 2500 sales. Bavaria make that many boats in a year!
 

sailorman

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But the world had changed since then. In the 60's to 80's the UK market was the biggest in Europe. Once their markets opened up volumes massively increased, and for different types of boats. To put things in perspective, the biggest selling UK cruiser, the Centaur took 15 years to achieve 2500 sales. Bavaria make that many boats in a year!
The Westerly ( and most British builders of the time ) were little more than cottage industries, run by enthusiasts,employing local skilled people on the whole, who crafted each boat.
Bavaria are now quite different, boats designed for ease of production,highly geared towards robotics with minimum of manual semi skilled labour. Along with this has come high production runs that create high buying power & leverage on prices. How many builders buy say 15,000 winches a year.
 

Tranona

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The Westerly ( and most British builders of the time ) were little more than cottage industries, run by enthusiasts,employing local skilled people on the whole, who crafted each boat.
Bavaria are now quite different, boats designed for ease of production,highly geared towards robotics with minimum of manual semi skilled labour. Along with this has come high production runs that create high buying power & leverage on prices. How many builders buy say 15,000 winches a year.

Exactly. That is the point I was making. When demand was small and localised, boat building was a cottage industry. As the demand (and supply) is no longer in the UK so the industry including the infrastructure of suppliers has moved elsewhere.

Well worth going on the Bavaria website and looking at the youtube video of the factory. Then you will appreciate why their products are so good and low priced. Same for the other big builders.
 

sailorman

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Exactly. That is the point I was making. When demand was small and localised, boat building was a cottage industry. As the demand (and supply) is no longer in the UK so the industry including the infrastructure of suppliers has moved elsewhere.

Well worth going on the Bavaria website and looking at the youtube video of the factory. Then you will appreciate why their products are so good and low priced. Same for the other big builders.
VAT @ 25% stuffed our boat building
 

Seven Spades

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This is interesting stuff but I am amazed at the price you paid for a Bavaria 33. In 2006 I bought a year old Bavaria 36 for £65,000 after delivery I received all the original paperwork and the seller had managed to negotiate a discount with the then dealer Opal Marine and he paid £66,000. At the time I felt like a chump, but I think he had done really well rather then me having done badly.

There have been lots of changes to the currency and commodity prices such a lead and oil. Personally, my perception is that working people are just seeing a reduction in their living standards and it impossible to get on to the housing market. There are few middle class families in their 40's with the disposable income to buy new boats. Things have changed dramatically, marinas are emptying out all over the place. I have just returned from a week in Normandy and it was really noticeable that there were so few yachts around. We were in Carteret for three days and only saw two other yachts from the mainland. How many GP's can afford to send their kids to boarding school and buy a new yacht for example, they are the "squeezed middle" and the "squeezed middle" were the buyers of Bavaria/Ben/Jen.
 

sailorman

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This is interesting stuff but I am amazed at the price you paid for a Bavaria 33. In 2006 I bought a year old Bavaria 36 for £65,000 after delivery I received all the original paperwork and the seller had managed to negotiate a discount with the then dealer Opal Marine and he paid £66,000. At the time I felt like a chump, but I think he had done really well rather then me having done badly.

There have been lots of changes to the currency and commodity prices such a lead and oil. Personally, my perception is that working people are just seeing a reduction in their living standards and it impossible to get on to the housing market. There are few middle class families in their 40's with the disposable income to buy new boats. Things have changed dramatically, marinas are emptying out all over the place. I have just returned from a week in Normandy and it was really noticeable that there were so few yachts around. We were in Carteret for three days and only saw two other yachts from the mainland. How many GP's can afford to send their kids to boarding school and buy a new yacht for example, they are the "squeezed middle" and the "squeezed middle" were the buyers of Bavaria/Ben/Jen.
Many boats in Port Zeeland never move, bought on credit, cant afford to use them & cant sell them either
 

Tranona

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This is interesting stuff but I am amazed at the price you paid for a Bavaria 33. In 2006 I bought a year old Bavaria 36 for £65,000 after delivery I received all the original paperwork and the seller had managed to negotiate a discount with the then dealer Opal Marine and he paid £66,000. At the time I felt like a chump, but I think he had done really well rather then me having done badly.

There have been lots of changes to the currency and commodity prices such a lead and oil. Personally, my perception is that working people are just seeing a reduction in their living standards and it impossible to get on to the housing market. There are few middle class families in their 40's with the disposable income to buy new boats. Things have changed dramatically, marinas are emptying out all over the place. I have just returned from a week in Normandy and it was really noticeable that there were so few yachts around. We were in Carteret for three days and only saw two other yachts from the mainland. How many GP's can afford to send their kids to boarding school and buy a new yacht for example, they are the "squeezed middle" and the "squeezed middle" were the buyers of Bavaria/Ben/Jen.

Just at the time Opal was going down the tubes - might explain the big discount! Their business model was different in that they bought build slots several months in advance (partly because Bavaria were on a high and demanded that) and then took out finance on the boats when they were delivered so were often in the position of having to shift boats quickly. Now, most boats (like mine) are built to order and I paid for it the day it was finished at the factory at the price we agreed at the time of the order.

You are right. Even though prices have fallen in real terms working people with families are not in a position to commit the sums necessary to buy and run a boat so the buyers are more like me. Well retired, comfortable income, few outgoings and cash that earns nothing. Does not look good for the secondhand market which has relied in the past on people constantly moving up the chain.
 

Sybarite

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But the world had changed since then. In the 60's to 80's the UK market was the biggest in Europe. Once their markets opened up volumes massively increased, and for different types of boats. To put things in perspective, the biggest selling UK cruiser, the Centaur took 15 years to achieve 2500 sales. Bavaria make that many boats in a year!

One of the catalysts which led to the French market taking off was the performance of Eric Tabarly who attained super hero status in France and popularized the sport.

Incidentally, the Tabarly Centre in Lorient is well worth a visit.
 
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I think thats the point in all this is times have changed, so have peoples pastimes and hobbies as well as the now limited spare time and cash that the type of person who say 30 years ago would've boat a boat - now have.

The economic reflection of this is the builders with any skin in the game need to make they're boats efficiently and appeal to as bigger market as possible, thats something Westerly, Sadler, Rivals, Moodys, Leisure, Jaguar, Pegasus, Snapdragon, Hunter (UK), Newbridge, Mirage, Macwester, Trapper or Parker never did. (that was just off the top of my head too!)

Shame really...................
 

DoubleEnder

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That is genuinely really interesting stuff. And backs my view about 2nd prices of Moodys, Westerly's etc that just seem to be tumbling over the last 2-3 years.

Several good points in this interesting thread. Society has changed, the economics of boat ownership have changed, there are more activities competing for people's money, time and attention. And modern boatbuilders are able to build well designed, safe, strongly constructed and enjoyable boats at comparatively low cost.

Net result, an increasing number of ageing, uncompetitive,undesirable and fast depreciating second hand boats on the market and a shortage of buyers. Wooden boats decay away. Old cars bikes and machines get scrapped and recycled but the GRP just hangs on and on.

There MUST be a way to deal with this, to restore some balance to the market, to free up space ashore and afloat, to put sad old boats out of their misery..... Isn't there?

I was hopeful when metal prices were high that scrapping for their content might make sense but that's not the case now. We have to find some sort of solution. It's just getting worse and worse!
 
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