How would you start a new cruising cat company?

Discussion in 'Services & Employment' started by SailorSteve270, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Location: Washington

    Ike Senior Member

    Just to supply a little bit of factual data into this thread. Part of my job with the US Coast Guard was tracking which boatbuilders were in business and which had gone out of business. I did that for over twenty years. The database contains all boatbuilders in the US and Canada (The Coast Guard has a Mutual Recognition Agreement with Canada). There are about 4200 boat manufacturers in the US and Canada. It ranges from people building a few boats annually in their garage, to companies like Brunswick and Bombardier building thousands of boats annually. On average 400 companies went into business every year. Mind you this is all types of boats from canoes to Mega Yachts. About 400 went out of business every year. These weren't necessarily the same 400. But on average 80% of the 400 who went into business were gone in 5 years. It was around 50% in 1 year.

    I talked to a lot of the people who were starting up a company, when they called or wrote to register for a Manufacturers ID Code. Almost everyone of them said basically the same thing you have said. Better built boat, better performance, better this and that and competitively priced ( some were flat out expensive going for the high end market).

    I agree with you, you need a really good business plan. But to sell your idea you need a lot more than that. As many have said , you need to provide tangible evidence of your claims, which means either really effective computer simulation or better yet, an actual boat. Otherwise you're going to be one of the outgoing 400.
    bajansailor likes this.
  2. baeckmo
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    Location: Sweden

    baeckmo Hydrodynamics

    Amen......marry rich!

  3. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Australia

    waikikin Senior Member

    Probably the quickest and easiest way would be to start with a boat already built from an established manufacturer secondhand, in good condition and somewhat reasonably priced.... then make up a trendy inclusive name- add some groovy hull graphics and sell fractional ownership to multiple parties and manage it, essentially you sell it twice so there's money up front for the next... & the next etc then you have a cruising cat company. It's low risk on a proven design & completely asset backed, no molds, manufacturing premises just lots of people that cant afford a whole boat and pay you to organise part of one..
    brendan gardam and bajansailor like this.
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