Structure for a small Boat Building business

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by dick stave, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. dick stave
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: MISSION B.C. CANADA

    dick stave Senior Member

    I would be interested to hear the advise and experience of those involved in building and selling boats. Notwithstanding building to the governing standards, the inherent liability and protections one needs to run a small shop.
     
  2. Ike
    Joined: Apr 2006
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    Ike Senior Member

    Take a look at my web site. New Boat Builders Home Page http://newboatbuilders.com. It will answer a lot of your questions. Although it was written primarily for US builders much of it is the same in Canada. The Canadian standards are derived from the ABYC standards and much of the business models are the same.
     
  3. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Dick you could do a lot worse than listen to Ike, the guy really knows his onions!! he's pretty good, especially as he's a Septic (now that's rare as rocking horse poo! mind you there is a few others, funny how mosty of the decent ones use this site, and small boats!!)
     
  4. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    a Septic? Huh. Explain please. Am I being insulted of complimented? or did you mean Skeptic?
     
  5. dick stave
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    dick stave Senior Member

    Thanks very much Ike. Your site is very informative. I just picked up the new WoodenBoat and read the article profiling Dick Pulsifer and other small builders. I would be interested to know whether these fellows operate as proprietors or as corporate entities. I imagine in this day and age Tn Simmons would have been forced to retain attorneys and operate a numbered corporation. What happened to the good old days?
     
  6. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    The good old days no longer exist. Today you have to protect yourself while still trying to run a profitable business and make a good product.

    Anyway I suggest you look him up on the web and ask him. http://www.pulsiferhampton.com/
     
  7. tinhorn
    Joined: Jan 2008
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    Location: Massachusetts South Shore.

    tinhorn Senior Member

    Am I reading the site right? There are 4000 boatbuilders?!

    Terrific resource. It kinda tempts me to order a drum of vinyl ester and some 'glass and get back into light manufacturing. If my sweetie raises her eyebrows, I'll just blame you.
     
  8. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Actually probably more. and that is just the US. There are about 700 in Canada as well. It goes up and down with the economy. Boat building is the last bastion of free enterprise. You don't need a degree, a license (unless you sell retail) or any qualifications. Anyone can hang out a sign and say I'm a boat builder.

    Most of the boat builders are little guys making a few boats a year. There are thosands of Mom and Pop companies building everyhting from canoes and dinghys, to some pretty sophisticated boats.

    Ever heard of the 20/80 rule. 20% of the boatbuilders are volume manufacturers that make 80% of the boats. 80% of the builders only make 20% of the boats.

    One of my many jobs at CG HQ was to keep track of boat manufacturers. There is a copy of the database on-line at http://www.uscgboating.org/recalls/mic_database.htm

    The database includes the US and Canada. When things are normal aboot 400 mfgs go into business each year. But about 400 go out of business too. So the level stays about the same. However when the economy tanks, like now, a lot more go out of business. Back in 90 when we were going into a short recession, 900 mfgs went out of business, and they weren't all little guys. At the time US Marine had 23 plants. By 1991 they were down to 13. The boatbuilding biz is very sensitive to the economy. A couple of days ago Sea Ray announced it was laying off over 300 employees and moving their plant that is in Florida. I have a page for boat building news at http://newboatbuilders.com/pages/news_daily.html.

    So go buy that vinyl ester and have at it.
     
  9. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    Hell Ike it's been belaboured (belabored) enough on this forum before so a quicky - for Septic read "Septic Tank" rhyming (?) slang for "Yank"


    Insulting - depends on your outlook, but hell I'm a "Honky Limey" so call it how you like, your still a Septic, but a nice one!!:rolleyes:
     
  10. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    Is that a left handed way of saying we're full of sh**? LOL

    Geez I'll have to stop going to Vancouver.

    Thanks for the explanation.
     
  11. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    As you wish Ike. Me I'm just using the rhymin slang ('cause it would be better if'n I could spell it but beggers can't be choosers!)
     
  12. fleetwing
    Joined: Mar 2008
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    Location: Kuwait, via D.C, Rhode island

    fleetwing sea salt

    in reality, a septic tank means a *uckin yank , or the colony, meaning Americans, were more worried about where the **** goes not where it is From,

    grew up around British navy, and Aussies, ...

    i noticed thant when they talk like that they are just Winging pommies.....
    crying all the time about American Innovations
     
  13. lazeyjack

    lazeyjack Guest

    I started on my own in 1985 when the company was formed
    To get a foot in I had to build a spec boat first, just to show what i could do, that was tough
    I then took a couple of small boats to a boat show
    From there I got orders which gave 15 years of continous work
    I stayed small 10 men max and had long term employees
    I gave them a bonus when things were good, and bought them things like vhf at Christmas
    I never got rich but made lifelong friends Boats are like that
    I dont think I could have made it if I had'nt built on my own property Rents are killers
    Building in Alloy it cost abt 100,00o to set up, with machines from grunter migs to lathes, saw, drill presses, bandsaw, large and small and on and on
    But hey it is a wonderful way to earn a quid
    before you sell a boat you must sell youirself, and my method was to listen and give the client what he wanted and tell him where he was out of whack
    But the most important thing in boatbuilding , is honesty
    You must guarantee your product and this can mean 5 years on hulls
    Go get it!!
     
  14. safewalrus
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    safewalrus Ancient Marriner

    fleetwing the ******* ain't invented anything yet - normally something is invented elsewhere, the septic says wow we gotta have that, 'say buddy bring your invention over here we'll pay you more than anyone else, and yeah you too CAN BE an Americun!!' People do thinking they are onto a good thing, generally they are - short term - but suddenly find their invention has become American and they are stuck in the system. To be fir most accept this and settle into a medioca life in the backwoods never to be heard from again! OK until you realise your a nonentity! But 5h1t ain't we all after we've had our fifteen minutes of fame?
     

  15. Ike
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    Ike Senior Member

    15 min? geez that's more Than I got!
     
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