Ninja Spider trimaran ceases production tooling on sale

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Corley, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

    I just noted on smalltrimarans.com the other day that the Ninja Spider trimaran has ceased production. They now have the rights to build, tooling and two of the boats up for sale. It makes you reflect on what market segment this boat was attempting to break into. The weta has been quite successful but I believe the key to it's success is the support that the manufacturer gives to events and races and engaging owners in activities and "in the loop". A similar approach saw the hobie 16 achieve great success and is I believe the key to growing a class. It's not really good enough to release a boat onto the market and just expect it to succeed. Often the problem seems to be after the tooling is completed there is not much money left in the bank for anything else.

    http://smalltrimarans.com/blog/?p=11210

    and SMG's last video of the Ninja Spider trimaran:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox_mPc_A7xE
     
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Spider

    Thats a shame for the people involved. I can't help but think if the design had been innovative enough to use ama foils or designed to fly the main hull that it might have been a different story. Your point about marketing a lifestyle and not just a boat was something Hobie taught all of us years ago.
    Seemed like a lot of work to assemble-maybe a folding system that took 2 minutes to be ready would have helped.
    Seems like "just another trimaran" ain't going to cut it.

    This is the kind of quote that I hate to see from a manufacturer who must not realize the role foils play in modern trimarans. Seems like they were trying to make it something it wasn't:

    The Ninja got its sexy design inspired from the big modern Multihulls and it will surely be acclaimed in equal measure.
     

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  3. Blackburn
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    Blackburn Senior Member

    ^^^

    Thanks for posting, Corley!

    I'd not heard of this little design before. It is charming on flat water, but in the video all three hulls are in water, all too much. That's a drawback with little trimarans.

    It's not so easy, repeating something like the Hobie production run. Now that multihulls and beachcat designs have proliferated so much there'll probably never be another class that grows to that size.
     
  4. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ============
    It deoesn't have to be....
     
  5. Blackburn
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    Blackburn Senior Member

    ^^^

    Allow me to state that a little more accurately.

    "That's a drawback with little trimarans,
    until such time as someone unknown
    demonstrates that they can in fact be levitated."


    Better?

    :p
     
  6. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    All I'm getting at is that the perception of the masses is still that small trimarans are slow compared to beach cats. And it's a bad rap for trimaran design when there is such untapped potential...All I know about Levitation is that it is a 13th Floor Elevators song?!
     
  7. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I think the big misconception here is that speed or performance on the water has so much to do with the success or failure of a new, small, one product company. I think they have a good looking product (there may be flaws on close examination) but they recognize the risk/return is not in their favor. The two most likely problems are 1 margin and 2 customer acquisition cost.

    Trimarans are expensive boats for their size and this one does not look like it saved any money. It looks to me like the bill of materials -parts that Ninja must buy not make -are too large a portion of the asking price and the hours to build the rest are greater than performance boats of this size. I am sure they did the math and they make a profit at reasonable volume but the mistake is not knowing what it takes to get to reasonable volume. This brings me to CAC customer acquisition cost. The best marketing for these boats are the boats themselves and until you have a fleet CAC is high. Without a class or one design fleet all those expensive go fast gizmos are a noose around the company neck. What percentage of film square top North sails do you think are sold to non racers? Not many and it is because the cost/performance is only justified in racing and there aren't so many racers that they are adding fleets. Without the race fleet the boat competes for sales with fast but outdated race cats half the price.

    This boat has some desirable features. If someone wants to get into this biz I would say are not going to be better opportunities. Check the margin, if it is or can be OK I think smart marketing could make the company a winner. The convenient storage/fast setup and easy speed are unique to the market. If they need help with the Chicago market, let me know.
     
  8. Corley
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    Corley epoxy coated

  9. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ===================
    Sounds like to me they're selling both sets of tooling. I guess it could be read either way?

    SMG Multihull is interested in selling their 2 approved and brilliant concepts. Regular demands from all over the world are coming in for the SMG 50 and the NINJA.
    Gerhard Schein, the designer of these innovative concepts is going to retire soon and the products are too good to disappear from the market, as the market wants it and is ready for it.
     

  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    =======
    Surely, the fact that performance matters in the market is not a misconception? Especially if it is a small company.
     
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