Discussion of market for small sailboats referencing Talman Menemsha 24 and Katama 25

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Stephen Ditmore, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. tunnels

    tunnels Previous Member

    And who should you blame for your missfortunes ?? you folks made the situation your in so now you complaining about it . no good shutting the gate after the fact its got to be done before so where were you hidding ?. You always had the land of milk and honey but the milks gone sour and thee bears ate all the honey so get over it ! money money money is all us poor folks ever hear want more want more . From the greed of a few that just plundered the system they created they crippled the world economies and we still paying for it . thems what at the top have so much they should have it 90%taken off them and redistributed to the lower classes . :mad:
     
  2. Stephen Ditmore
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    Stephen Ditmore Senior Member

    Actually I just spoke with Gregor Tarjan about the Alpha 42 catamaran being built in Patchogue, NY, and he says he's sold the first five. I'm feeling encouraged by the positive remarks of Watercolor and Andy. If I had a yard up-and-running I'd do it. It would certainly be more affordable than an M29, S&S 30, or Harbor 30, just by virtue of being smaller, and done right it could be at least as much a head turner as any of them. I spoke with Reuben Trane of Island Pilot Yachts (which are built in China) the other day. His feeling is it's only worth the effort of building abroad if the boat is going to sell over $200,000. Remember that the Hunters, Catalinas, Tartans, C&Cs, MacGregors, Island Packet/Blue Jackets, Morris Yachts, Sabres, Colgate/Precisions, most of the Hobies, J/Boats, and Lasers sold here, and some of the Jeanneaus and Beneteaus, not to mention countless powerboats, kayaks, canoes and other types continue to be built in the U.S.
     
  3. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I have never produced a boat for sale, but I do know something about business and economics and a bit about sailboats. What you have here is an opportunity, to produce a boat with established capabilities. The free molds represent a six figure investment and one year minimum advantage over setting out to produce your own new design. That's a substantial amount compared to labor cost. Break-even and profit margin improve dramatically (use a realistic interest rate in the teens). The real question is how attractive is the life you are buying into? Would you jump out of bed in the morning because you love the job of selling this boat?

    About the boat, the thing that strikes me as a deal breaker is the weight. I would look into cutting the ballast by more than half, add back some weight in batteries for electric propulsion, add desirable amenities, cut the weight aloft with modern materials (with classic aesthetics) to return the motion and sea-keeping. I am sure that the layup can be lighten'd significantly.

    The boats produced in the past were bricks. They are all still around at prices you cannot compete with -so don't.
     
  4. Andy
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    Andy Senior Member

    I'd second that - it'll be cheaper to produce if you get some weight out of it without going to expensive composites. If you have the lines plan you could do some sums to see the effects of and limits of reducing weight in terms of what happens to the form stability and buoyancy centre etc. And pattern EVERYTHING. If you have to measure and fit anything after the first boat then something ain't right. MDF or plywood patterns for all the panels etc and a router with a flush cutting bit are your friend, and will let you do kits of parts for 3 boats at a time. And fitting jigs for everything too. Am sure you know all this already though!

    Brass oil lamps are a must for the ambience btw, and some t and g panelling on the bulkheads...lovely.
     
  5. salglesser
    Joined: Apr 2012
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    salglesser Junior Member

    Hi Stephen,

    I agree with Skyak. Producing a boat in America today is a very challenging endeavor. If you are thinking to do this for profit, success may be elusive.

    Our boat building project is in it's 2nd year of production and is not yet profitable and probably won't be for another 2 years. Even at that, large profit isn't expencted. we (my wife and I) have a day job.

    We believe that small trailerable boats is a slowly growing market at this time. But light and hi-tech, not an old heavy design. Ian Farrier is tooling up for a 22' Trimaran for which he expects large sales. It's a very modern, hi-tech trailerable that is expensive. He also has a proven track record for success with Corsair.

    I don't think that "going on the cheap" with a free mold will bring you anything but frustration and a few very expensive (in the long run) pieces.

    You might speak with some of the current US builders and their progress in this economy. Get a copy of "Small Craft Advisor". A fine magazine with an enthusiastic audience.

    sal
     
  6. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I think this is spot on.

    I feel like I maybe a reasonable target market.
    I moved up from a laser to racing oriented beach cats. I've gotten tired of wet and cold sailing. I have a wife who isn't interested in trapping out. So I sold the beach cat and moved up to a keel boat. It's slow. It ok to bob around in the sun, but I'm looking for more speed, but I'm not wiling to go back to a typical beach cat.

    A Hobie Getaway sounds fun, but I'd like a bit more room, small cabin possibly for storing lunch and gear, and ability to sail dry.

    Dream boat is probably an F22, but I'm not at a point where I can drop $50-100K on a toy.

    So I've ended up building my own 18' folding tri. It's a PITA. Lots of work. If I could buy something similar for $20k, I'd be in that market tomorrow. There's just nothing like it available. I want a fast, stable, dry, fun, easy, day sailer for 4. All the builders seem to want to build a complex demountable trimaran to be the biggest flashiest beach toy. I don't want that. I want comfortable speed.
     
  7. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    Tri'n harder

    It's interesting to me that this discussion of trailerables turns to trimarans yet again. S. Ditmore was more interested in in producing a small tri of his own design and he started it. By the way there are many at this point -from hobie Island single and tandem, to Warren's little wing single and tandem and ultralight 20, to the weta....

    But what I think you are looking to make is a tremolino. I don't know if you have ever heard of them but the design is basically a main hull with a center cockpit, cabins fore and aft, and crossbeams that mount to standard beach cat floats and sail rig. There was a fiberglass production run, but at first they were built stitch & glue marine ply. I think it was a Newick design. My favorite feature was the bench seats on the inner edge of the tramps. The brilliance in my mind was recognizing that used beach cats are cheap and abundant and building better amas is very difficult. In contrast, the main hull can be a simple flat bottom skiff for planing. If I was making one today, I would leave the rudders and dagger boards in the amas to keep the main hull super simple, open, and light.
     

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  8. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I'm already too far into the Scarab 18 to use beach cat amas - I've already built the amas...

    There are some great options for beach cats though. A number of the 18-20 footers have good volume hulls with forward buoyancy that could work nicely as amas.

    Most of the current little trimarans are maxed out at 2 passengers and are really a bit too small for me. An Eagle/ Haines Hunter Tramp is a 30 year old version of basically what I would find as an ideal family/trailer day sailer. And they still sell for often more than what they sold for new even though they are really a bit of an outdated design.

    I looked hard at what I wanted and just kept coming back to a trimaran. In order to be fast and stable, plus easy to trailer weight wise, you end up recognizing that you need to get rid of the lead. Using beam for righting moment solves the issues of overall weight, righting moment, and space to spread out, plus it makes sailing easier and more comfortable.

    I'm not opposed to monohulls. I have one now. It's just really slow, and hiking on the rails isn't fun. So I come back to multihull as the solution to the problems. The problem with a multi is that they require 3 times as much work to manufacture. Building an ama isn't much easier than building a monohull.

    A 22ish foot cruising cat would be great too. I just don't know of any. Everything bigger than a Hobie Getaway seems to be purely oriented toward racing. I want a fast cruiser. Not much out there in that market. A Macgregor 36 could be an interesting boat, but setup times are too long and it's a bit too big for my storage space. A 22-24 foot version of a sliding cruser cat could be a great boat too. That's just what I want. I suspect there are more people like me out there looking for something like this, but I could be wrong.
     
  9. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    The Scarab 18 looks like a fine boat. Are you building in foam or ply?

    Trimarans tend to be much easier to sail flat out fast. There is a comfort at speed that you can't get in other configurations without getting too large. The downside (beyond the difficult build) is that performance suffers as you add weight. I think that's why you don't see many small tris rated for four crew.

    There was a design in the 80s called a Tomcat 20. It looked like a little pontoon boat on the trailer but you would crank the floats out to get some beam for sailing. Looked pretty handy but not very fast. For speed the stiletto 27 is the ticket. There was a stiletto 23 but it was a wet sailer. The other distinction of these light cats is that they can be dangerous for inexperienced crew -not a problem on a tri.
     

  10. Jetboy
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    Jetboy Senior Member

    I really am a reluctant builder. I would rather buy, but there's just nothing like what I really want available for less than $60-100k. So build I must. I did consider trying to buy a completed Scarab 18 at $27k and shipping it here.

    I'm building in PP honeycomb. It's not a spec'd core, but I think it will work. And it's a LOT cheaper. A sheet of PP honeycomb is only $30USD. Compared to ply at $120ish - I live in Utah so I have to ship in all of it as there are no real sources for any marine ply locally. And the PP honeycomb comes in 8' lengths, which meant I could make two 20' panels out of 5 sheets instead of 6 with 7' foam sheets.

    Anyway, if I were to do it over, I'd buy a cat to start with. I think I could be on the water by now. I underestimated how much work it was to build the amas. What's done is done...

    One thought I had about building a fast cheap tri for day sailing - not really what I want with this boat, but could be a lot of fun anyway - would be buying 3 cats. Find a 20 foot cat with as much volume as possible in symetrical hulls with daggerboards. Then use each hull as a center hull for two trimarans. Could be light fast little trimarans for single handing, and cheap.
     
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