Mass production daycruiser! Most cost effective production method?

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by Gripenland, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    Why are boats so expensive? Because they are low volume production series and mostly hand crafted products. Often custom builds for a specific customer. Witch is really nice if you can afford it.

    For boats, the tooling cost i generally low but the production cost per unit is high.
    For mass production stuff (cars, computers etc.) the tooling cost is very high but cost per unit is low.


    In my mind there is a market for less expensive boats for the general public. Maybe 25 ft daycruiser or similar?

    What would be the the most cost effective production method? Lets use a production rate of 10000 boats per year as an example. It's a lot I know...but high volumes is essential to cut costs.

    Composites or aluminium?
    Forged composites?
    Pressing aluminium?
    Glued aluminium panels?

    Any ideas, comments, bantering? :D
     
  2. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I think it's been done, in the States at least:

    http://www.searay.com/

    These are mass production boats they turn out at reasonable prices.
     
  3. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    Does Sea Ray produce 10000 units of a single model per year? :eek: What production method is used?

    Still the price is high (to me). The technical content of a boat is pretty low compared to the price.

    From an engineering stand point I see no reason for a 25 ft daycruiser to be any more expensive then a pick up truck.

    Maybe that is naive but please enlighten me in that case :)
     
  4. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    It probably does not produce 10,000 per year, but when you are on the water, it sure feels like it sometimes. Every 2nd power boat in the USA is a Sea Ray. They control the market in this segment.

    Here is a listing for a new Sea Ray:

    24' 2011 Sea Ray

    This one is about twice the price of a pickup truck, new. I'm not sure you could buy all the glass, paint, accessories, get a CE certs, engine, pay a designer and pay the labor to put one of these together for much less than the price of this Sea Ray, even in mass production.

    Could you break down your projected costs? What do you expect to pay for each of those items in the above paragraph for a single boat?

    Also, you probably need to add a trailer to the package because if you can only afford the same price as a pickup truck for your boat, you will never be able to afford dock space for it.

    Sorry, I am not sure how the Sea Rays are put together. I do know they are glass and either vinylester or (more likely) polyester.
     
  5. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    Sea rays are mostly chopped glass with polyester resin, inexpensive, fast to make and heavy. To reduce assembly cost you have to reduce the total part count, fewer parts means less assembly time (that would be difficult on a sailboat).

    To make them attractive to middle income buyers they need to be trailerable, easy to rig and launch, and easy to maintain. In addition to a modest price.

    Go with a single cat rig sail (Tyvek sail cloth?), simple rigging, minimal equipment...it seems to me it would have to cost in the $30,000 range at least, including a very simple trailer no outboard.

    One way to gauge cost is the weight of the item, the less the weight the less materials into it. So use a light fiberglass hull with something cheap, like concrete, for balast.

    And there also may not be that large of a market for a low cost entry level sailboat.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    All costs are dependant on the number of boats being produced.

    A modern diesel 200 hp diesel engine is only 900€ (1200$) if you buy them in large enough numbers. I don't have any figurers for petrol engines but that price should be even lower.

    All hardware, design and certification costs will be really low when divided by a 10000 units per year production run.


    The main problem I see is how to truly industrialize the manufacturing of the hull. As far as I know no one has done that yet?


    How do you build 30 hulls per day? I don't think that is possible with traditional boat building techniques?

    Ok, you can use traditional methods like a hand lay up and use a really large work force but that will not be efficient.

    Maybe it isn't even possible to do with composites? Perhaps aluminium is the way to go?
     
  7. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    I think you are on the right track there, Petros. I was thinking of a powerboat but the same principles apply to sailboats.

    To reduce cost I will need to reduce the amount of material being used.
    To do that I will need to remove material where it is not needed. And in order to do that the boat needs to be properly engineered.


    Engineering and product development is very expensive. But again, in true mass production the cost per unit will be small.


    For an example, product development is only around 5% of the price when you build luxury cars. An those companies have tenth of thousands of engineers, scientists etc.
     
  8. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

  9. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I don't know about one thing, guys. I see everyone saying that the lighter a boat is, the less it costs.

    I know the opposite to be true.

    It takes a very long time and a lot of careful construction, sometimes with exotic materials, to make a light boat.

    Making them heavy is the cheap way to do it. That's why Sea Rays (chopper gun and polyester) are so heavy. It's way cheaper than having a light boat (corecell and carbon fiber).
     
  10. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    @michael pierzga: Very interesting reading!

    @CatBuilder: You are right, offcourse. Building light can be very expensive. There needs to be a compromise between weight/cost.

    But with new production methods, things change.

    I was recently on a very interesting carbon fibre seminar. I learned that the production cost of a Lamborghini Murciélago monocoque was 90000$ using pre preg carban fibre and autoclave curing.

    For the Lamborghini Aventador the will use "forged" carbon fibre and the price is 5000$ per monocoque. It is also lighter and stronger.

    Sorry for all the automotive examples...
     
  11. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    if you can get a 200 hp marine diesel for $1200, can you get me one too.
     
  12. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    I think you have misunderstood, whitepointer23. It is not possible to get ONE engine for 1200$. Please read my post again.
     
  13. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    i read your post , but how could a company even build an engine for that.
     
  14. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    I guess the big question is...Why would I want to spend my hard earned money on a new, cheap, efficient ,mass produced yacht ?

    Its possible that I may purchase a mass produced, cheap , efficient utilitarian plastic bottle small craft like a tender or rib, but never a real boat.

    Real boats, drawn by prestige designers and built by fine shipyards can be bought at 25 cents on the dollar, ten years down stream , on the brokerage market.

    Who will your customers be ?
     

  15. Gripenland
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    Gripenland Junior Member

    @whitepointer23: Amazing isn't it :) I was surprised to when I first heard about it. But when a manufacturer like PSA (for an example) produces close to one million engines per year the price will drop.

    @michael pierzga: A very relevant question but not really the subject of this thread.
    But to sell a 25 ft daycruiser in large numbers will not be a walk in the park. I guess you have to attract new customers/first time boaters like Bayliner did in the eighties.

    If you can buy a brand new modern boat a the same price as a 10 year old used boat, I think a lot of people will buy a new boat.

    My original question was not about mass-producing big luxury yachts. I don't think that is possible.
     
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