Hi everyone, I would like to start a boat building business. I need suggestions from you guys

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by somaero, Nov 28, 2019.

  1. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    That would be me:)
    If you have the enthusiasm and tenacity to persevere just give it a go. I've done pretty ok out of boatbuilding and repairs but started in a time looking back that was "easier" so far as start up in the days where you could walk onto nearly any marina and find repair and fitout work- these premises are now so expensive their operators need to close the market where they can to extract every buck possible around what goes on. We were open to repair and construct in any medium but less so in the high end composites and did a bit of aluminium but most of that was as an employee.
    A niche with tidy margins and a small footprint is what everyone wants- larger boats cost some bucks to set up premises for. I currently still have a great shed but since GFC have just done small bits & pieces and stored stuff in it- I've loaned it to a mate so he can finish his motorised work platform in it as the yard he was in changed business model and got more expensive by a factor of 4..
    Since GFC I've been in continuous employment first for a island based yard that mostly does commercial work then for a not for profit heritage organisation and for the last 9 years for federal government in a heritage vessel area. Pretty sure I'm getting too old, slow & "lazy" to chase business around;) but for keen hardworking operators there seems to be enough action around.

    The survey work mentioned implied that some level of background and expertise in the scene so should be savvy enough to work it out- will be great to see what Somaero has planned. As a business model boatbuilding can be tough, repairs are always there but in harder times that can get competitive also- the marine trimmers seem to be doing extra well at present and hard to get, they go home clean and the jobs usually smaller so risk very much lower- also the component fabric etc are actually quite cheap with a great margin on completed product- marine sparkys are in high demand also but both require specialist skills or electrical quals/licence.

    Hope it goes well for Somaero.

    Jeff.
     
    bajansailor likes this.
  2. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  3. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

  4. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    agreed, I saw a design that put the main (and forward) foil retracted and conforming to a step in the hull, with vertical struts on sides not really getting in the way. Swedish IIRC, don't think it was IRL boat yet.
     
  5. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    How about a company that builds semi-custom boats from the big "build your own boat" and kit/plans sellers, but delivers a water ready complete boat. These mostly wooden boats have a certain charm lacking in factory plastic or metal boats, but the % of builds that end up complete and in the water is very low. It would be fairly low startup costs not needing a huge yard or warehouse, while at same time providing huge value in time, quality and mistake savings over your typical garage or backyard first time builder. That way you would not be locked into a particular model that might or might not be a big seller, while at same time establishing a reputation for quality and putting boats on the water.

    I'd guess 2/3 of such projects start with desire to get a useful boat as prime mover, and 1/3 start with desire to suffer the pleasure of building you own boat at home. Some who want to build their own boats might first order a professionally build boat of same general methods from same Plans and Kit company.
     
  6. Manateeman
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    Manateeman Junior Member

    Hi. Boatbuilding might not be your only option. I have a good friend who made a lot more money building schooners and taking passengers for a sail than just selling the boat. Another well known builder produced a swim in place pool which made money. They also built wind generator blades. The very first production fiberglass boat I lofted was a small catboat still in production 50 years later. One never knows. In Rhode Island, USA, a change in tax law bankrupted or forced away several great builders. Follow your passion but the prudent mariner always has an alternative course line plotted.
    You are fortunate to have found a forum wherein a great volume of real world knowledge resides.
    Mark the manatee
     
  7. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Repair work requires a lot more expertise than new construction. You need to know many different construction techniques and materials. Also, a new construction, as long as it is built as designed, can be more easily certified. A repair, particularly a structural one, is a lot harder to do.
     
  8. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Expertice, what expertice?
    I can't disagree more with what you say. It is clear that you have never intervened in an important boat building.
    Take it only as an opinion. I will not argue, we do not start from the same base.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  9. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I am a little worried that the OP is tardy in answering here, customer response times need to be improved !
     
  10. Barry
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    Barry Senior Member

    What Is the Small Business Failure Rate?
    20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small business fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business. Finally, 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business.

    According to statistics published in 2019 by the Small Business Administration (SBA), about twenty percent of business startups fail in the first year. About half succumb to business failure within five years. By year 10, only about 33% survive.Oct 28, 2019

    Just a couple of internet sourced paragraphs.

    Keep in mind the axiom " Businesses don't plan to fail but rather fail to plan"

    Some contributors in this thread and other threads tend to suggest to "go for it". If you fail to work through a business plan, you may find yourself bankrupt.

    If you get to the planning stage to the state that you cannot see how you can make a reasonable dollar at the process, find another venue.

    If you are a dreamer and are going to continue with the new business I would offer the words of the owner of a national company who offered me this
    critical advice "Risk only what you can afford to lose"
     
  11. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    If the original enquiry was about what segment of the boat building industry to enter, well, I would say that immediately creates the perception of not having a coherent plan in mind. He should talk to an accountant.
     
  12. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    MacGregor started his (wildly successful) company as his Class Project for his Stanford U. MBA.

    I'd say his biz-model is:
    1)bring boating to a new class of "average consumer" customer
    2)cut costs and quality, but only where you can
    3)mass production
     
  13. fallguy
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    fallguy Senior Member

    I am not sure about cutting quality. Didn't MacGregor build the unsinkable, water ballastable, trailerable, beachable boat? Sounds like tons of quality to me!

    Plus, I don't think Roger would like you saying cut quality..

     
  14. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    Many boats got "too much quality", more expensive materials and fittings than are needed, because either the maker over-specs everything, or the well heeled customer wants floating jewelry.
    I hear rigging is comfortably over-spec for safety margin, but its also not "the good stuff" that costs 5X more but has that 'certain something'. Like a Chevy compared to a Jag.
    It'd be #1 company to study if getting into boat building biz.
     

  15. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

    Maybe busy getting stuck right into building the demo model- gotta be ready for next years shows.
     
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