Pardon me for talking about $

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by Sawdust, Feb 26, 2012.

  1. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    Actually, it's not designed to match my desires, but is the result of talking with half a dozen owners of original Simmons boats....it's called market research, and I did it long before I bought a stick or put pencil to paper. The Simmons shop put out thousands of these boats in the 1950s to early '70s, and quite a few are still in service, despite being "old designs."

    At $100 a pop, most of those farmers were ex-friends.

    Stu
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    Location: Eustis, FL

    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The Simmons is a well respected boat and still well loved by those that know it. Unfortunately, this is a very small percentage of the fishing boat market. It's likely less then 5% of this market, even know what a Simmons is. That's a 95% hit, right from jump street. Of that 5%, considerably less then half will want a heavy, brightly finished, sparsely equipped Simmons. The 2% that remain standing will quibble over the price, leaving you with a fraction of the market. Expect to wait quite a while, as the market grabs up all the leftover 2010 Bass Trackers with 90 HP Evinrudes on their butts that scream along at 50 MPH, for half the price.
     
  3. Yobarnacle
    Joined: Nov 2011
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    Location: Mexico, Florida

    Yobarnacle Senior Member holding true course

    Do what some charities do. Auction the boat with proceeds going to some charity. Of course, 95% ends up in your pocket as salary and costs. But you donate the 5% to a good cause. Check out big charities and see how they operate. Not all are crooked.
    The Salvation Army is one charity I do support and believe in. :)
     
  4. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    In for a dime... in for a dollar

    Marketing update:

    Bit the bullet and got the boat registered and insured so she's ready to hit the water. Planning a trip to Cape Cod for the first week of April; will be staying with my sister in East Orleans on Meetinghouse Pond. Probably a little early for the striped bass to be in, but her dock is 100 yards off Nauset Marine's fuel dock and marina, so the "fishing" might be good. I'd happy to show her off even if you leave your checkbook home, so give a call if you'll be in the neighborhood 607-434-3586

    Statistics for the month of March so far:

    YouTube views: total 491, of which USA=244, Canada=48, UK=22, Australia=19, Turkey=18, and 46 other countries;
    the USA breakdown FL=31, WA=18, NC/MI/CA=17 each, and 29 other states

    Website page views: 683 (31 per day)

    Google Adwords: 33,715 impressions getting 359 clicks (1.06%)
    Top keywords--simmons sea skiff for sale (25% click thru rate)
    simmons sea skiff 18 (17.65%)
    simmons sea skiff (9.68%)
    wood fishing skiff (6.45%)
    Cost in March so far $144 (averaging 40 cents per click)

    Stu
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  5. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: New York, USA

    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    Trailed 325 miles to Cape Cod without incident, for sale sign on the stern chummed in two callers en route. 98% of the boats here are still wrapped in plactic, and cold and windy weather is keeping would-be boaters on the hard, which is OK because the dock needs a little work before we float it to the end of the pier (on this afternoon's high tide, hopefully). My "fishing season" is about to begin!

    Stu
     
  6. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: New York, USA

    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    Marketing Report

    Two months since my last report....have driven to Cape Cod (and back) three times, spending about 5 days on site each time. Made a good contact with a local realtor whose fish taco shack is not yet open for the season, in the Village of Orleans on route 6A just off the traffic circle to Provincetown (north) and Boston (west). Parked the boat in the taco stand parking lot, near the shoulder of the road, with FOR SALE signs facing both ways. Unhooked the van and parked it a couple of spaces back.

    Chatted up everyone that stopped and passed out business cards. Most were aware that they were out of their league, and the few who had the necessary funds were people who had worked to accumulate that wealth--doctors, engineers, etc.--and were not interested in investing in floating art. I set a high asking price for those who asked, and no one used words like "dreaming" or "good luck with that." They recognized the boat as unique and admired the craftsmanship and design, and many encouraged me with phrases like "you've just to catch the eye of the right guy--at that point, the price will not really matter."

    The closest thing I had to a real bite was a woman from Nantucket who did a 180 to come back for a closer look, and gave me the name and number of her nephew on Nantucket who is a boat broker/dealer. "This boat belongs on Nantucket," she said. Her enthusiasm was palpable, as was her nephew's skepticism when I called him. He said he'd look at the website and get back to me. A week later, I'm still waiting.

    Besides the taco shack, I also did some trolling. I trailered the boat on route 28 through Chatham and Hyannis (ferry to Martha's Vineyard) and down to Woods Hole (ferry to Nantucket). I cruised the tourist business districts as slowly as possible with my FOR SALE sign and cell phone number on the stern. I repeatedly trolled the areas around the ferry docks (where people hang around waiting for the island ferries) and the ice cream shops and the light houses and the scenic overlooks. For a six hour effort on a day when the streets were crammed with people I got....well, I should have dropped the boat off at the ramp and gone trolling for bluefish. Nada. Which was somewhat surprising. At the taco shack, I'm pulling in 15 to 20 cars per day off a busy highway. Trolling, I could see their heads turn, but no one could reach for the phone on such short notice; I guess they need to think about it. Several of my taco stand chatters have said they'd driven by several times before stopping.

    I finally reached my limit with Google Adwords. I shelled out $1229.49 for ads that brought 2734 visitors to my website, not ONE of which expressed any interest in purchasing the boat. Of those who visited the site, there were 2110 views of the photos and specifications pages--lots of gawkers, very few serious contenders. I shut off Adwords at the end of May; traffic to my website dried up to just a few a day, but my wallet stopped bleeding $12 per day, and the traffic to my email box is unchanged.

    The bright spot of my efforts is the YouTube video. Cutting off Adwords has had no effect on traffic there. The video has been up since 11/12/2011 and has been viewed 4949 times. Views per day have been climbing slowly, now around 70 per day. It has been played in 107 countries (USA 2583, CA 300, UK 230, AU 178, Turkey 117, Netherlands 86, DE 82, Brazil 65, Spain 56, Ireland 52). In the USA, it has played in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (FL 231, CA 210, NC 187, NY 173, TX 142, WA 129, OH 97, VA 89, MI 88, GA 87). Of course the vast majority of YouTube viewers are probably looking for "how to build" not "where to buy", but any exposure is good and free is good too.

    "Insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different outcome." So now what? Sitting by the side of the road like a lemonade stand attracts the curious but not the affluent. Trolling the docks and ice cream shoppes turns heads but nothing else. I should call the guy on Nantucket and see if I can talk him into selling the boat on commission, something he'll not agree to without seeing the boat himself. The ferry fare to Nantucket for trailer and tow vehicle will be close to $400, and there are only 2 other dealers on the island. I guess I should call them in advance too, and see if I can stop in at all three establishments on the same day.

    I already know I'm pissing upwind in a hurricane, so don't bother telling me this is a lost cause. Someone out there needs this bauble to make his existence complete, and I've got to find him.
     
  7. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    Well, no-one can say that you haven't given it a fair go. I daresay the experience is a great learning experience as to why so many people on this thread were so pessimistic.

    I cant prove anything, but I suspect that many 'click' visitors somehow are paid by Google. I base that on years of computer industry experience and a lot of cynicism. Its a bit like those girls who are dying to meet you if you signed up, but didn't pay the fee, on those internet 'dating' sites.

    That's fair enough - there are a lot of people who think they can build stuff cheaper, and make money, - which leads me to my next point

    You have already found your answer ... do what Sam Devlin, Vidal Sassoon and dozens of other experts (especially boatbuilders) have done - sell the info. Your Youtube site should be selling a video and/or book about how to do it, and the boat is just your 'qualifications'. Don't forget workshops and personal tutorials. Heck, put the boat up the front of the classroom, and run 4x 3 hour evening classes for 6 people at $150 and just get them to epoxy, sand and varnish some bits of plywood as a learning experience.

    You can sell a $10,000 boat once, and have to start building again, or 500 ten dollar books/videos - every year.
     
  8. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    Thanks for your sage advice, RW. The idea of classes coupled with a shop where a few guys can work on individual or group projects had crossed my mind. Another angle might be to strike a deal with some local Bed-and-Breakfast operators to have a weekend class every 4 to 6 weeks, so learners could get instruction and hand-on experience that they take home to their own shops. I'm a 3-1/2 hour drive from NYC and near Cooperstown (lots of tourist activities for the rest of the family while Dad does his boat thing.) I'll think more on this.

    Thanks!
    Stu
     
  9. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    In for a penny...

    Home from the Cape; still own a boat. Decided to just go fishing at all the region's hotspots and let my customer find me. Can't fish unknown waters without sonar and a chartplotter, so I've upgraded the dashboard. Also bought a nice pair of trolling rods. No reason to suffer while I continue my marketing efforts.
     

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  10. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    thats the best way to retrieve your money, in enjoyment for you and your family, then when you sell it one day for a lower price you won't be losing because you already got your moneys worth out of it. a boat like that in australia would be almost impossible to sell with that silly engine well taking up half the cockpit.
     
  11. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    Silly engine well

    That silly engine well does not take up half the cockpit! The cockpit was lengthened to accommodate the silly engine well:D The point of the well and high transom are to add flotation around the engine so that, when a breaker rolls up behind you as you enter the channel returning from a day on the ocean, the water will provide both lift and forward thrust (rather than coming aboard and ruining an otherwise pleasant day of fishing.) Silly? Maybe, but functional. There are numerous river mouths along the Great Lakes where such a silly well could be useful too....but you're right, it's not a great design for places where you're unlikely to get pooped.
     
  12. whitepointer23

    whitepointer23 Previous Member

    every outboard boat in australia has a transom or pod mounted outboard. they cross bars every day. the only advantage i can see for your set up is a clean transom for handling nets and pots which is probably where the idea came from. that said, it is a nice looking boat.
     
  13. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    haha - he is going to have to run it into the ground to get ~ $20,000 of use for it.

    If someone wanted to go fishing they could get a much bigger, aluminium boat for the same price, with a lot less maintenance.

    That 'silly engine well' is .... silly. How does it stop you getting 'pooped' ?

    The wave would run right up the tube onto your ***. Waves also don't have the habit of being just the right height of any transom - they just go over usually.
     
  14. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: New York, USA

    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    Overheard

    Twice yesterday my fishing reverie was interrupted by voices carrying over the calm waters from boats about a quarter mile away. The funny thing is, they both said exactly the same thing: "Wow, look at that old boat!"

    Had a fun outing at mid-day, flycasting poppers for large mouth bass along the edge of weed beds while advancing at idle speed. From the helm, casting alternately port and starboard, I scouted some long stretches and paused when I found cooperative fish.

    I'm still tweaking the trim tab adjustment options, and with GPS now onboard, I'm able to actually quantify performance. Stability was excellent up to 22.5 MPH at 4400 RPM. There's still plenty of throttle left, but at higher speeds there was a tendency to chine-walk in an 8 MPH crosswind. At 20 MPH there was no hint of walking and maneuverability was fine.

    Hope the drought here breaks before the lakes dry up....no significant rain since May, and this is normally our wet season. Oh well, the oceans are rising so I'll always have water to get around on.

    Stu
     

  15. Sawdust
    Joined: Aug 2011
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    Location: New York, USA

    Sawdust CEO & sweeper

    No sale

    It's hard to concentrate on marketing when you're having so much fun fishing! Where did the summer go? Before I knew it, I needed a shed to store my Simmons in for the winter. Came out OK. 12 feet by 24 feet 3/4 inch OSB deck, poplar double frames covered with 12 ounce cotton canvas painted with house paint....and yes, it is very well anchored (survived 60 mph winds from Hurricane Sandy.)
     

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