An off topic poll... (Do larger boat co.'s build better boats?)

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Nomad, May 8, 2002.


Do larger boat co.'s build better boats?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    29 vote(s)
  3. Should I care (click here and prepare for a life of embarssment!!)

    2 vote(s)
  1. Thunderhead19
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Thunderhead19 Senior Member

    Big companies bank on risk management, and (to a surprising degree) false economies. Privately held companies often shun engineers because engneers cost money and say "no" often (thus taking the power away from the boss who has an insatiable need to have his finger in every pie). Companies owned by shareholders and investors often are at the mercy of people with short sighted cost-saving-profit-building notions that destroy the company in the long term.

    I've been there twice.
  2. duluthboats
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: Minneapolis,MN, USA

    duluthboats Senior Dreamer

    Successful boat builders build what the customer thinks he wants. The number of boat buyers out there that appreciate quality and craftsmanship are very few. This spring at a local boat show while looking at the displays I heard several times words to this affect. “Is this the biggest motor you can put on this boat?” After price, the speed seemed to be the major concern. And then weather they can get it with a big screen TV. The market for quality is small.

    Gary :D
  3. yipster
    Joined: Oct 2002
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    Location: netherlands

    yipster designer

    dont forget how many she sleeps by folding tables down and more of that sales nonsens. :rolleyes:
    older better boat co's do sometimes use better marine fabric's, materials and other practical tricks they learned in time. i see a lot of progres in new boats also were i'm sure style and quality is also apriciated by some regardles of brand or price.
  4. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    That's what keeps Bottomliner in business! :D Fortunately, there are some that seek quality, and some that bring an o.k. boat to a guy like me to make it right. You can kinda have your cake and eat it too, for a lot less than a new one. I think it's a pity if it all comes down to rotomolded cookie cutter cnc machined no craftsmanship plastic junk. Some things should be hand built. If we could only get Joe Shmoe to think like a comercial fisherman.
  5. pungolee
    Joined: Jun 2004
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    Location: north carolina

    pungolee Senior Member

    China will continue to grow into the maritime trade until no one else can compete.Specialty boat assemblers will enjoy increased sales for the novelty of their product until the baby boomers begin to look less at the past and into the immediate future.More almalgamations will occur until competition is between name and style only,not build and price.Still,the one child will study the old ways,and build a memory.The last of the restorable hulls will have either been chosen,and lovingly restored,or left to rot in some field or under debris in an auto junkyard.Because after all is said and done a boat is nothing more than a Name,either of the builder or the owners fancy,and it is by that name its worthiness is judged.The clique may not accept you if your vessel lacks the proper credentials,name is everything to boat manufacturers,no matter that they are all built on the same line with the same materials.Chevy and Ford recently signed an agreement to use the same transmission,did anyone see the significance to this?We will soon have one brand car to choose from,one brand of boat,etc.It will probably be produced in China.
  6. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    Thanks for the rosy outlook :( Things like that is what will keep folks restoring/ building their own boats, cars.......
  7. lprimina
    Joined: Jan 2004
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    Location: Morehead City NC

    lprimina Senior Member

    Custom or simi custom built boats will always have a place in the market. Their share might shrink but never go away.Enough people out there still want quality and style.
    I read earlier about hatteras, As of right now Brunswick has poored a lot of money into Hatteras trying to make it a better boat.
    I guess they want to say they have one brand of boats worth what you pay for.
  8. Thunderhead19
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Location: British Columbia, Canada

    Thunderhead19 Senior Member

    I think that the prevailing theory for may years by industry lobbyists has been that american industry can't compete with foreighn countries, and that keeping foreign products out of the reach of american consumers is the best approach (despite the fact that it is grossly unconstitutional).

    What most people don't seem to realize that technology in america is bloody inexpensive compared to anywhere else in the world, and america can stay competetive (probably in the lead) if she embraces it as she should. Right now the average american has access (in Cafes yet!) to more computing power than NASA had when they put a man on the moon!

    If the lobbyists have their way, the technology just won't get used, and american made boats will either be only sold in america, or taxpayers will have to subsidize sales abroad. How would you like to help Fritz or Mumbahe pay for his new Carver?
  9. Corpus Skipper
    Joined: Oct 2003
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    Corpus Skipper Hopeless Boataholic

    I haven't seen a "Made in the USA" label in so long I forgot what they look like. However, I've seen "Made in China" so often I'm beginning to wonder if I should sail a junk and trade my chocolate chips in for fortune cookies :D
  10. Thunderhead19
    Joined: Sep 2003
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    Location: British Columbia, Canada

    Thunderhead19 Senior Member

    I guess I'm griping about the infamous "Jones Act" that prevents boats build outside the USA from being used in america for commercial purposes. There are proposed changes on the board to make it apply to pleasure craft too. To me, it's like saying that you can buy a Volvo Truck and use it for commercial purposes, but don't you dare buy a West Bay and try to put it out for charters. This happens in other industry sectors as well, like softwood lumber. Sometimes, being thrown to the wolves is the best way to learn to survive and thrive. What ever happend to good old yankee jingoism??
  11. Rob T

    Rob T Guest

    I would suggest that a boatbulder will not be in business for long if he is not also a business man, or at least have some astute business savvy at close hand (that he Actually listens to :) ! ).

    The days of old-school open mold spray-up boat building might be numbered, but the days of wholesale FRP manufacturing have not yet begun.

    Building in FRP increasingly offers what metal and "traditional" materials can't. (especially strength/weight, control, and "shape-ability")
    Every new manufacturing magazine I pick up has more stories about how FRP is now being used for this or that. The increase in popularity brings with it an economy of scale for the materials and technology. And so on.

    Maybe over-simplified, but:
    A few years ago the auto industry consisted of many (local) car makers hand building cars for the local market. Eventually some of the bigger ones ate the little ones and got bigger. Then the bigger ones got eaten by even bigger ones. Now there is a handful of car makers supplying the same basic car to all the markets and we all get just what we want (as if we actually knew what we wanted...).
    For the minority that DO want something specific or a little different, (for a cost) there are a bunch of small shops custom building, or more commonly augmenting production built cars.

    I think in a few short years boat building will be in the same position.
    We will all be driving around in something built by Brunswick, Ferretti or some such. (of course it will be badged with the local name we recognise)
    Medium sized builders will be either bought out or forced out unless they develope a niche for themselves making something that passes below the big guns radar. Or, get disproportionately good at what they do and compete with the big boys. Good luck to them.

    Rob T

    PS I think, also, that CAD/CAM developments will mean a yard will be able to effectively production build one-off boats.
  12. wdnboatbuilder
    Joined: Nov 2005
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    wdnboatbuilder Senior Member

    I said no, It has been my observation that the small shop usually build a much more "quailty boat" than do the big companies. There is NOONE here that will convince me that the guy(girl)spraying the gellcoat or the one making the jig or any part of the boat puts forth the effort being payed 10-15 dollars an hour and thinking he/she should be running the crew, to the builder who has 2-10 employees who has more control over his shop. In the small shop yea the builder makes less than that but at least when the final product leaves the shop he knows it was the best he could do and built well. The big builders employees just want their check on friday and complaining they did not make enough , and when the boat leaves they don'y give a crap!
  13. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    I would answer the same. Some do, some don't. There are some volume builders who build excellent boats, and some who build junk. There are some small volume and custom builders who build excellent boats, and some who build junk. So it's impossible to say yes or no.

  14. tri - star
    Joined: Feb 2007
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    Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada

    tri - star Junior Member

    Going back a 1000 yrs or so...
    - Nathanial A. Herreshoff, considered by many, to have been an
    exceptionaly talented yacht designer ( many A. Cup winners) had a
    brother who was a very capable business man.
    They made a great team.
    Then the brother died. Soon after the business was gone......

    Some things don't change much over time.
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