$364,000 Center Console 35’ – Part One

New boats are selling in smaller numbers than in the past. Sales forecasting requires a boat builder to account for their direct costs as always, but today one must divide company overhead over far less units. This new boat market demands a new pricing model, which makes for a state of the art boat, but with each unit shouldering a high percentage of the overall company’s basic cost of business per boat unit expected to be sold. Administration, advertising, and keeping-the-doors open expenses add more money onto each boat – than ever before.

When Seabuddy was the fifth largest Wellcraft boat dealer in the world, the new boat business was different.  All of us in the marine industry were eyeing the coming shorter work week and more time for fun on the days off from work. So, we had long conversations on how boats should try beat out other recreational choices for the consumer fun dollar.

But the home builder’s got us. They built bigger/fancier houses and that made the shorter work week impractical. Heck, it even put Mom to work to afford those houses. Then there was always a series upon series of more issues that pounded boat pricing and made a new boat higher priced.

Some came from within the industry. The first outdrive boat engine was only 80 horsepower. Now what is an acceptable power level? Bow rider seating and a walk-thru windshield to access those cushy seats added costs. Boat builders added better quality.

Some price increase pressure came from government. California banned many bottom paints, requiring research dollars to invent new ones. The EPA wanted cleaner engines. Safer fuel tanks. Anti-siphon valves.

This boat is a 35’ 6” Center Console with a 10’ 10” beam that weights roughly 7 tons. She goes 0 to 30 MPH in around 11 seconds and its top speed is right at 55 MPH.

Well, the boat business is back to where it was in the 1920’s. Boats seem to be affordable to the rich only. Question. Do you agree?

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