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Marten Yachts, NZ bankruptcy

Discussion in 'Marketplace' started by brian eiland, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    I saw this report in one of the trade publications, and wondered if anyone had some more info on why this might have come about in that robust boat industry of New Zealand?

    "One of the world's leading shipyards, Marten Yachts of Auckland, New
    Zealand, has filed for liquidation. Over the years, the yard has been
    responsible for building some of the world's best known race boats,
    including Ellen MacArthur's Kingfisher, America's Cup yacht KZ 1 and
    various performance cruisers such as the 19.8m (65ft) Spirit of Adventure
    and the 20.1m (66ft) Pinta Smeralda. The NZ Companies Office listed Marten
    Yachts' claim for bankruptcy on its website last week, and the news has
    since been confirmed by the Marine Industry Association (MIA) of New
    Zealand."
     
  2. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
    Posts: 796
    Likes: 35, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 354
    Location: Maryland

    CDBarry Senior Member

    Just because you can sell the boats doesn't mean you can make them at a profit. Palmer Johnson also went under a year ago or so and was bought.

    "We lose a little bit on each one but make it up on the volume" might be a funny joke but...

    Rec boat builders, especially custom "I'm in it for the art ..." often have quite low productivity and don't know about the tools to improve.

    The techniques are all out there for anyone to find out about: Lean, Six Sigma, 5S, TQM are all established manufacturing industry techniques. Get Journal of Ship Production, belong to APICS or SME, etc.
     
  3. D'ARTOIS
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: The Netherlands

    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    This will not be the last one..... I get bad reports from people involved in yachtsales.......
     
  4. RThompson
    Joined: Nov 2004
    Posts: 155
    Likes: 10, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 121
    Location: New Zealand

    RThompson Senior Member

    The Yacht industry has had it coming for a while. Like D'Artois says, it will not be the last.
    I come from NZ and it is a saddening bit of news to get - Marten Yachts are iconic.
    Through the '90 s the growth of the yacht building industry in Auckland (and the rest of NZ) was explosive.
    The whole America's Cup circus came to town for a while. The government invested heavily in the yacht industry.
    All of a sudden builders who had been building 6 to 14 metre boats were building 20 to 30 metre boats. New megayacht yards sprung up all over the place (well two or three anyway). The NZ dollar compared very favourably with the USD and Euro/Pound.

    Unfortunately, I think it may have been to much, to fast. The infrastructure and mentalities of the industry were overwhelmed, then the booming market was taken for granted. (keeping in mind the majority of the industry is within a population of about 1.2 million people)
    Indeed new yacht sales world wide have been booming.
    What goes up, will probably come down.
    I see that several of the bigger (NZ) yards are suffering.
    The previous unsatisfied demand for tradesmen is in decline.
    I think the stockmarket term is "correction".

    However, I believe that the quality of boats coming out of NZ will not suffer. Yards may close and profits shrink, but the national pride of boat building standards will be maintained.

    I am sorry to learn of Marten Yachts in trouble. They are one of the old guard.

    Rob
     
  5. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Boatbuilding in NZ, post AmCup

    I have tried to maintain a watch on the boatbuilding situation in NZ as I have always though (and recommended) that it was one of the best places in the world to build....and primarily as it is just a national pride, and they have such a dedicated and skilled labor supply.

    I particularly liked their skill with wet-preg epoxy layup verses pre-preg systems. In fact ALL of their skills advanced at a very significant level.

    I was concerned that these capabilities might be overbuilt considering the slow down that would eneviably occur after the lost of the Cup and the narrowing of the currency exchange with the dollar.

    I had a friend who looked at building a power cat in NZ several years ago, but found the industry a bit TOO busy at the time, and the price a little more than he had hoped to pay. I imagine one might strike a better deal at this time?
     
  6. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
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    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    END OF AN ERA
    Auckland, NZ - Over the years, at least seven America's Cup yachts -
    including KZ 7, New Zealand's plastic fantastic - and ocean-going battlers
    such as Kingfisher for British solo sailing star Ellen McArthur, two Grant
    Dalton Whitbread entrants and many cruising boats took shape at Marten's
    Auckland yards. With the boom brought on by New Zealand's America's Cup
    reign, it looked like Marten was in a dream position in a dream industry.
    The dream ended this month when Marten Yachts collapsed. The voluntary
    liquidation of his company has come at a time when the marine export
    industry is struggling after years of tremendous growth. Two main factors
    are raised as the reason for the slump: the rise and rise of the Kiwi
    dollar, which this week hit 73.05USc, the highest level since it floated in
    March 1985; and the loss of the Auld Mug to Alinghi in 2003.

    In the past year, exports have dropped, companies have laid off staff, and
    the industry has been through a major overhaul, leading to the redundancy
    of one of the men who led it through the heady days. Documents relating to
    Marten Yachts' could just as easily tell the story of the industry as a
    whole. "The liquidators have been advised that the business had begun to
    experience trading and cash-flow difficulties as a result of the generally
    depressed state of the industry," says the liquidators' first report. "In
    addition, the strengthened New Zealand dollar has made the purchase price
    of yachts produced by the company much more expensive to foreign
    purchasers, thus precluding desired new contracts from being signed."

    In the weeks leading up to the February 10 collapse, Marten tried to seal a
    contract for a large boat to keep the company afloat. But the efforts were
    in vain and the company was left with liabilities of $6 million, almost $2
    million more than assets, as assessed at the time of the liquidation. Three
    yachts were under construction, including one for German businessman and
    sailing enthusiast Michael Illbruck, and discussions are underway with the
    owners. Experts predict more companies will close as the industry adapts.
    By the Marine Industry Association's reckoning, many companies were close
    to dire straits - with dangerously low numbers of orders - in the six to 12
    months after the loss of the Cup.

    Excerpts of a story by Eugene Bingham in the NZ Herald.
    Full story: www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?ObjectID=10112676
     
  7. RThompson
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: New Zealand

    RThompson Senior Member

    So there we go...

    Still not very good news, but on the other hand it probably is a good time to look at building a boat there.

    Rob
     
  8. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    Location: Maryland

    CDBarry Senior Member

    Unfortunately, it is very easy to get into a cash flow crunch in any business with a small number of very expensive projects that take significant time.
     
  9. Sailor J
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Location: Southern Cali

    Sailor J New Member

    I know this thread is old, but I am considering buying a used Marten 49 (early stages) and wonder if there is any follow up information? Is Marten/Azzura gone for good? Is there anyone around to provide support or parts (it's a sophisticated vessel)? Will Reichel-Pugh provide technical advice?

    Other boats currently on the short list are Swan 45 and J145 (but it may expand). Martens are pricey compared to these. What is the boat's reputation - both design and build quality? Did they race against any comparable boats in Aussie/NZ and how did it turn out? How have the high tech features faired? I'm thinking fold out anchor and lifting keel. For me the lifting keel is the most exciting thing on the boat, but only if it works! And what holds it down? I'd hate to imagine 7000 pounds crashing through the floor if the boat ever rolled.

    I've had several J Boats and getting advice from the Johnstone's was one of the best things about them. What happens with Marten?
     
  10. CDBarry
    Joined: Nov 2002
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    Likes: 35, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 354
    Location: Maryland

    CDBarry Senior Member

    One problem with building yachts outside of the dollar or Euro zone is that exchange rate movements can really hurt.

    If you are building yachts outside of the major currency areas, find out about hedging exchange rates.
     

  11. Charlier77
    Joined: May 2014
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    Location: Perth Australia

    Charlier77 New Member

    Sailor J I sail on one of 3 Marten 49's in Fremantle, Australia and they are great boats.
    They have done well in most races they enter and so far repairs have been no issue.
    Email me for more details please.
     
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