Skiff is a good start for a small boat manufacturer?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by GersonPerezbr, Oct 27, 2023.

  1. GersonPerezbr
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    Location: Brasil

    GersonPerezbr Junior Member

    Hello, I'm a marina owner in my country and I like to start a boat business, I don't have much money to start but I want to start, I have a lot of space in the marina... You guys have some companies, do you guys think that micro skiff or normal-size skiff is a good start for a new boat builder? I have experience in boat repair. Our marina is like a boatyard we do a lot of repair and maintenance. But I want to start this new business! what do you guys think? Is It easier to build?
  2. messabout
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    Location: Lakeland Fl USA

    messabout Senior Member

    Gerson, that depends on your market and you national economy. It also depends on whether there is a need for whatever boat you begin with.

    There are far more failures in the boat building business than there are successes. Here's wishing you the best of luck.
    bajansailor likes this.
  3. DogCavalry
    Joined: Sep 2019
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    Location: Vancouver bc

    DogCavalry Senior Member

    How much space? Where? Boat building is a good way to make a small fortune. But you have to start with a large one.

    The marina I built my boat in made good money renting out space to unrealistic dreamers like me, who wanted to make their own boats. I suggest you take a step back, and be more creative. Maybe helping hobbyists make boats in your yard would be more profitable.
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  4. bajansailor
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Barbados

    bajansailor Marine Surveyor

    This has been conclusively proven so often. :)

    You have to do some market research to see if there is a demand for this type of boat where you live.
    Have you assessed how much you can build a skiff for?
    Re a selling price that includes a reasonable profit margin, what other types of boats are available locally for a similar amount of investment?
    Is there a large and vibrant second hand boat market?
    If there is, then folk might not be too keen on buying a 'new' skiff from you, if they can easily buy a boat on the secondhand market that can 'do the job' for perhaps half the cost.
    BlueBell likes this.
  5. wet feet
    Joined: Nov 2004
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    Location: East Anglia,England

    wet feet Senior Member

    The first thing to consider is whether you have enough skilled people to make a business work.A small boat like a skiff won't require a lot of investment as a one off.but can it be sold for a profit?One thing that may help is talking to a broker about what types of boat people ask about.Many marinas have a broker's business somewhere on the premises and asking there may give some ideas.I am with the posters who have observed numerous failures in the business;it often goes along the lines of success with a small boat and then developing a bigger boat,then another and another until it goes one step too far and the business fails.Proceed carefully.
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  6. kapnD
    Joined: Jan 2003
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    Location: hawaii, usa

    kapnD Senior Member

    When I was actively building boats, skiffs were always a sideline, a way to make some money fast to keep the bigger projects rolling. As were fish boxes, truck fenders, dune buggy bodies, VW body parts, and whatever various stuff that would sell. Always kept a flat mold table active to absorb scrap material for shop use and surfboard fins.
    Good advice above to figure out your market before investing.
    Fiberglass, gelcoat and resin are extremely expensive these days, I don’t know how builders get by.
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