Appraise this canoe

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by butchinvenice, Jul 2, 2014.

  1. butchinvenice
    Joined: Apr 2014
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    Location: Venice, fl

    butchinvenice Junior Member

    I will be building several of these and would like to get an estimate of there
    retail value. It is 14' 4" long with a 40" beam with a square back. Wood is primarily
    heartwood cedar with aspen rails.

    Thanks in advance for your input.
     

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  2. NoahWannabe
    Joined: May 2014
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2014
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A Coleman "Scanoe" can be had for about $400 bucks, so you'll be up against stiff pricing competition. At the other end of the scale, the Old Town products start around $7,000. Strip planked canoes, even very well built, seem to resell at about $2 - $3 K, so plan accordingly.
     
  4. SamSam
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Google 'canoe manufacturers' and go from there.

    There are a few canoe and kayak magazines that will tell you about C & K shows, like boat shows but just C & K's. You can get all kinds of info there on the competition prices, features and quality of build and finish.

    What's it weigh? It should be around 70# for one like that. For the length, it should be under 60#, but yours is extra wide and not really a performance canoe.

    A few observations. You don't want the gunnel fasteners on the outside, especially sticking out like that as it will put deep scratches in other craft you sidle up to.

    The seat supports look structurally weak, I guess you'll find out if they are up to the task.

    Looking at the center photo...#1 The stem is pretty fat which is usually associated with the tupperware polyethylene canoes, as they can't make them thin as a consequence of being rotomolded polyethylene. Laminated are usually a lot thinner, 3/8" or so. #2 Compared to the gunnels, the stem tilts one way while the top of the transom tilts the other way. Maybe it's an illusion.

    I assume it's polyester resin, with the mat and all. Polyester or epoxy is the same as far as UV resistance, they don't have much. The bare resin over the balsa stiffeners will eventually break down and cause problems.

    If the inside is gel coated, you might consider substituting latex porch and floor enamel which will save at least 5 # in the final weight.

    I'm not even sure you need 'rib' stiffeners, especially that big. The keel will probably stop any possible oil canning, and the mat will stiffen the laminate, although it doesn't add much strength. The one's I built had foam ribs, spaced about like you have yours, but they were only 3/4" high by 1" wide with a 10 oz cloth tape over them. There was no keel and they only covered the 'flat' of the bottom and stopped short at the turn of the 'chines' because the curvature there is plenty strong by itself.

    It looks nice and nautical. I don't think I'd want to paddle it very far, but it ought to be fairly stable. It looks to be pretty fair on the outside, but it's hard to tell if the reflections on the bow are of a wavy line out of the picture or they take a straight line and make it wavy.

    If you plan on selling them at retail price is one thing, if you plan on selling to retailers, knock 1/3 to 1/2 off the retail price. What you can do is haul that one around to various retailers and ask them what they think it's worth and then go from there. Most regular boat dealers probably won't have a clue and will be leery of buying an unknown product from an unknown source, but most would do it on commission.

    As Par said, competition is very cutthroat, but the $7,000 price is their all wood classic canoe. It's not really comparable. What is vaguely comparable is their Rogue River 154SS at $800. http://www.oldtowncanoe.com/canoes/recreation/rogue_river_154SS/
    (except for the built in hog you can see in the side view. I can't believe they can sell **** like that.)
     
  5. philSweet
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    philSweet Senior Member

    If you can get your build time down to less than one hour FOB, you might be able to compete. There was a fellow in the keys who did this on the side. He'd get up in the morning, back his car out the garage and build two boats, then go to work, then come home and build two more, then pull his car in the garage. He could ship 25 per week no trouble, but it was just a hobby. Assembled from precut prepregs and vacuum bagged in two molds. He was a retired fiberglass production specialist. That's the sort of thing you are up against. Forewarned is forearmed.
     
  6. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    In the upper right corner under 'recently viewed' are two similar boats, but I wouldn't take those prices too seriously, they seem awful high.

    http://gear.canoekayak.com/

    Almost as much time and money is involved in selling them as it is to build them, if not more.

    .
     
  7. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    Another thing is canoes are usually carried to the water as oppose to backing it in on a trailer, so there is usually short thwarts or carrying handles in the ends.
     
  8. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    An Old Town is $1500, but they are cored HDP which can be thrown from the top of a building without major damage; they have a video showing that. A fiberglass canoe like that will be competing with the $400-600 range ones..
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    This is my point. There's a range you'll need to hit, if interested in being reasonably competitive, within the market. At the high end, you have all wood, traditional builds in the $7K and up range, while at the other end are the disposable plastic versions, for a few hundred. The typical market strategy would be to find a loosely filled nitch and offer a product or position your product's "advantages" with pricing, delivery or whatever is your "hook".

    The easy part is building the boat. The real business is finding a way to position it within a market, so it's noticed and sellable, preferably with a competitive price and/or feature set, that make it worth considering. Just another square butted canoe, hasn't much of a chance against nearly fully automated built, plastic products, that cost as much as a cheap dishwasher. Price point isn't the only game in town, but it is what most look at first.

    Lastly, before you build, work up a business plan that can address the current and expected future market, coping with trends, changes, features and performance issues, plus market position and viability, as an alternative to the other offerings in the market.
     
  10. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    This is also seasonal, especially up North where most canoes are sold, so you have to invest and budget and build an inventory for 6-9 months, with no monetary return, to cover a selling season of 3-6 months.
     

  11. NoahWannabe
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    NoahWannabe Junior Member

    butchinvenice, build something nice within your expertise and your comfort level. See whom or which market will appreciate your canoe. Preferably some place near by. Make a basic canoe and make a canoe with all the features and see which one sells. Make a basic canoe and determine your lowest cost to pay your bill. As you add more unique features, add more profit.

    Your canoe looks more like a pirogue than a canoe to me. If I were you, I would stain and varnish them like a hand made wooden pirogue rather than a cheap plastic (polyethylene) Scanoe. And, advertise in Craigslist, Etsy, fishing blogs, etc in Southern states. Change wording, emphasize different features to see what attracts customers.

    As a brand new barebone handmade wooden pirogue? $1000 to start? Going up to $2500 for a custom fit pirogue with all the bells and whistles? Make few and try. Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014
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