Yet another efficient powerboat that do NOT sell ...

Discussion in 'Powerboats' started by fcfc, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    See (in french)
    http://long-cours.62.over-blog.com/article-passagemaker-cherchez-l-erreur-77177400.html

    6l/h (1.6 GPH) at 7.2 knots economical cruise on single engine.

    Exerpt "Néanmoins, il apparait clairement que ce concept était une erreur commerciale car, même avec son prix très attractif (les petits frères auraient été construits à Haïphong), aucun intérêt n’a été suscité parmi les plaisanciers...

    Conclusion : Echec total, surtout financier, et pourtant parmi les options envisagées pour créer un « pasagemaker » économique nous avions choisi la solution la plus sage."


    My own translation :
    "Netherless, it clearly appears that the concept was a commercial error because, even with its very attractive price (sister boats would be built at Haïphong), no interest was raised among boaters...

    Conclusion: Total failure, overall financial, albeit among available options for creating an economical passagemaker, we chose the wisest."
     
  2. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    The design of that boat is absolutly obsolete. Don't know what group of buyers was their target, but (around) 8 kts cruise and 12 kts max speed is a speed range which falls in the middle of a market void - in a sense that not many persons want a boat like that. Add to this the fact that many potential buyers are frightened by stories about corrosion of aluminum vessels, and the market shrinks even more. It looks to me that they have started a project without a market research and without a well-defined target, in which case it was a loser enterprise right from the beginning.
    Cheers!
     
  3. fcfc
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    fcfc Senior Member

    Project was started in the mid 90. Customer target was the intermediate between later Dashew FPB 83 on the luxury side, and Buelher Idlewild on the cheap side.

    All 3 do not sell well, at least.
     
  4. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    To be "sucessful" a product needs much more than just being designed and built. Price is currently a big issue, and advertizing presence is another huge issue. Anything advertized as a passagemaker is competing with Dashew and Nordhavn......can you guess what Nordhavn's yearly advertizing budget is.....it's a significant percentage of every boat sold, that's required to sell the next boat and develop the next model. It is almost impossible (unless massively financed) to compete with a heavily entrenched entity....How many startup car companies last?

    While I like very much the design and aim of this boat, with no advertizing that I've seen and no english website, I'm not even sure what it's called, how big it is, what the price is, etc.....

    The Greenline is a slow (7-15 knot in stock form) economical cruiser (very price sensitive) that has been tremendously successful......they have used the green hook to gain huge PR and sales.....

    Aluminum is very well accepted in some parts of the world. Here in the PNW and France are just two of them. Currently in BC fiberglass production has disappeared while small welded aluminum boat production has grown massively.
     
  5. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    That is a very interesting info, Tad. Is it based on number-based facts or is it an opinion based on your experience with local boatyards? And what is the reason for this trend, in your opinion? In Italy the aluminum boats are still struggling to be more widely accepted. Having talked with some people in the metal constructions business, it appears that they are having a hard time in finding aluminum welders of quality required by boatbuilding works. That could be one of several reasons, I guess...
     
  6. Landlubber
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    Landlubber Senior Member

    Interesting observation Tad, I am in Brisbane, and find the same here too....all the jobs are for alloy welders.....
     
  7. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    daiq.....

    While I don't have any numbers easily linked to, the transition is a fact. Twenty years ago the boating industry in BC supported at least 20 relatively small (<100 units per year) production builders. I have issues of the local boating magazine with advertizing to support this. That market was taken over totally by Bayliner and SeaRay....imported low price boats.....

    So local builders moved into a different niche....the higher priced and higher quality aluminum market. This requires different skills (one could argue higher skilled workers) and a slightly different mindset, aluminum allows easy customization to meet customer demand. Currently there are at least a dozen small semi-production aluminum builders in this province, and their demand for workers is such that a couple of post secondary schools offer vocational courses in aluminum boatbuilding.

    http://eaglecraft.bc.ca/

    http://lifetimer.bc.ca/

    http://www.wolfboats.com/

    http://www.silverstreakboats.com/

    http://www.liquidmetalmarine.com/

    http://www.coastalcraft.com/
     
  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    Currently I am on Saturna Island, only 30 miles from Tad

    When I first came here for the summer 6 years ago I was surprised by the number of aluminium boats. Fishing boats that would be steel or wood in Europe are aluminium here. Also surprising to me was the number of large boats powered by outboard engines.

    Fuel is of course still very cheap here - cheaper still in the US, so no one really cares about fuel consumption. Hence fast outboard powered fishing boats

    I understand aluminium sheet is also cheap here (although I haven't personally bought any). Presumably because electricity is cheap (hydro power helps) which is a big cost in making aluminium.

    And there are several major grp boatbuilders in Washington state, so Canadians can drive across the border and back with their new boat in a day. Again the exchange rate helps. The Canadian dollar is 60% stronger than 6 years ago. Hurting all exporters in Canada of course, not just boatbuilders.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  9. longcours62
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    longcours62 Junior Member

    Just some precisions :
    «*absolutely obsolete*» it is always the problem when you are not a designer ,you trust the designer and if he makes obsolete lines you are not able to see that . ..
    Maybe the lines look obsoletes because the hull lines was done in 1993 by Joubert/Nivelt (and in 17 years they are some changes : look for example at the bulb of the Nordhaven 46’in 1993 and the news bulbs on the last SNSM or US coast guards boats).Or also maybe when your target is the low consumption you must come back to the «*origins*» when engines were not so powerful in the 1920/30 era .And the majority of the designer who try this way always design boats with : low profile, small draft, narrow and «*light*» (for the length) for example : Idelwiss of Buehler,Less 83 of Guy Saillard(not exactly light ), Wind Horse and FPB 64’ of Dashew, Range Boat(and his brothers) of Nigel Irens .
    Of course for «*new*» concepts you can built a boat like Ilan Voyager, during a moment we were thinking built a ‘trimaran’ like Ilan Voyager with little more volume for one boat of 20 m you get the volume of a standard 10 m motor boat…but with 7m beam !
    If the concept was obsolete in 1993 , 16 years later Dashew design the FPB 64’ and sold 7 boats (at 2,6 million $)in less than 3 years quite good for old concept.
    When I see that I can’t think the problem was the concept. But for the market research and defined target : you are right as we wrote on «*passagemakers cherchez l’erreur(s)*» the (real)«*passagemakers*» are a very small part of the motor boat market and people who really use their passagemaker as an explorer boat are a very small part of them !!!! I don’t know if I am clear ,? But finally just few people are interested by this type of boat.
    And our first idea was to built a safe, strong, basic (no luxurious, easy to built) boat able to cruise «*everywhere*», and not necessary to fulfill a holiday cruise .
    For this use aluminium is quite good (we save 10,5 t compared with the same steel hull same strength) and if ‘off road*’ boats like : Idelwess(NW passage circumnavigation),Aurora Magnetica(Groenlant, wintering in north Canada), Polard bound(Norths passages and circumnavigation), Antartica (Artic,Antartic few timesnow Tara), Fleur Australe(nw passage) choose aluminium it is not the hazard .
    Now even Italian shipyards (familiars with steel) choose aluminium : Perini Navi (new generation), and the last drawing of Phillipe Briand Vitruvius .
    If ‘obsolete’ is for the roofs and wheelhouse, compare the wheelhouse of the Nordhaven 62’ (or another trawler yacht) and the wheelhouse of Northsea trawlers built 70 years ago … Or the design of Nordic Tugs,Florida Bay Coaster (?!), Don Mclntyre50’,American tugs or the (no)evolution’ between the American Marine 1965 and 1994 …
    The same type of drawing was sold with success by Océa (Ably wheeler).
    @ Tad : you are right we don’t make a good advertising ! But some builder make good advertising (in France) for example for «*Valparaiso*» or «*Less 83*» and do not sold one boat .
    But we stop try to sold sister ships of longcours62 , 8 years ago !
    The price was at this moment below 400.000 E, far (maybe to far) below the market .
    And maybe it was our first mistake, because some people think : why so ‘cheap’ , were is the problem ? For exemple actualy we will be able to built a sister ship of ‘Longcours62’ for around 25% of the sale price of one FPB64(less equipped such Naïad,less luxurious ) if we make an advertising like that we are sure all peoples thinks / were is the problem ?.
    I can confirm I am not a good ‘commercial’ (in reality I am not ’commercial’ at all I am a sailor!!).
    If we win the next ‘euromillion’ I promise our boat will look less 1920 era but something like «*cable&wireless*».
    But now, we are just living on board, traveling and trying to enjoy our ‘mistake’…for the rest of our life (we hope for a longer time possible !!!)
    Sorry for my English but I try my best (for old French guy It’s my maximum!).
     
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  10. Tad
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    Tad Boat Designer

    Longcourse......thank you and welcome, nice to see you here......

    Perhaps Daiq can clarify what he meant by "absolutely obsolete", can't tell if he was commenting on styling, arrangement, or naval architecture. The form is one answer to getting some volume down deep in a simple (Developed sheet material) shape. I think the Longcourse arrangement is smart. You avoided the mistake I (and Valparaiso) made in putting the owner's double in the bow (I did in the PL 46 and 56). Even though the reality is that these boats are coastal cruisers with few (or none) overnight passages made, the passagemaker market says put the owner's cabin midships or aft.....though Dashew gets away with a forward location.

    I think Dashew's marketing effort goes back to 2003-04 when he started publicizing the design/build of Windhorse. She cost millions, and that effort lead to the sales of further boats......but it was not an inexpensive marketing campaign. Also required in the marketing effort is schmoozing magazine editors, appearing at boat shows, and generally playing celebrity, something I fail at.

    I suspect that like you I expect buyers to see and understand the obvious good sense a particular vessel makes. Unfortunately the majority of today's buyers are after other things......
     
  11. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    The above citations contain all the clarifications to my observation about "obsolete" design. Unfortunately, there's this international problem with the english term "design". I have intended it in a sense of "design=styling" (as it is used in Italy, for example), as opposed to "design=engineering", which comprises hydrodynamics, structure, powering and other "technical" aspects of the project.
    So, my comment is to be interpreted as "the styling of that boat is absolutely obsolete". Longcours, please don't misunderstand me, I have no intention to dismiss your work on that boat. Every person who has a courage and determination to start a new boatbuilding business these days deserves a maximum support and admiration. There will surely be a group of people, in the bigger population of boaters, who will find the appeal in these retro lines:
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    But my opinion is - it will be a very restricted group, and your commercial target will shrink even more by the fact that very few of these admirers will eventually buy a boat. However the product styling in both boating and automotive industry have moved on since 60's and 70's. You can't pretend that the time has stopped 40 yrs ago and, at the same time, expect to have a commercial success (by the way, how do you measure it?). I'm not talking about the technical aspects (hydro etc.), just styling - which is (obviously) the most visible characteristics in the eyes of a potential buyer.
    However, your words are telling how fond you are of your boat, which is more than legitimate (who wouldn't be?) and I hope that you and personally are enjoying it. If you have made it to suit your personal taste, then it is not a mistake. There's simply a good probability that your taste doesn't coincide with the taste of todays' market.
    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2011
  12. longcours62
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    longcours62 Junior Member

    Design

    For the 'look' it could be worst !
    For example racked windows in the front of wellhouse it is more 'logic' and usefull : no rain on it, less spray an at night absolutly no 'reflexion' of the panels control light (this morning I have more problems with my english !!)
    But for 'design' on the majority of the power boat you get the exact contrary just for get the nicest lines ...and poor visibility.
    When we contact Naîad on their answer the 'title' was : "for patrol boat" !!
    :eek:
    And for us it was not a bad thingh, but for the sale ...
    It is always the problem when your first target is the seakeeping(safe,strong,usefull) and not the market.
    We discuss with some captain of nice power boats,(in the range of 80') the captains (not the owner it is some time difficult to an owner who paid millions to say the problems of his boat )
    And the problems was : visibility in wheelhouse, no watertight (windows doors and some time worst!),seakeeping (one of them in Med Captain on nice sleek 90' ,said " I never try a crossing biger than the half of my range, because if for the last 50nm the weather became bad I cant heading I must turn back" at this moment the nice design can't help.
    We can said the best way it's make a good mix betwen design and seakeeping it could be the best way ,I don't know if Buehler,Seaton, Neville,Krogen,Tad, sold lot of design but the advantage(and the problem !?) with old fashioned boats they look always retro now and 40 years ago like ...Grand banks !
    I don't ask for our boat because we know our mains mistakes like we wrotte on our blog , we trying to make the list of our mistakes.The first one is : not keept the 'normal' look for a 'trawler' like Alaskan or similarand our first design was more retro : wide body( like one old 21 m woden boat saw in England),front of whzzlhouse vertical like the big circular chimney paint in 'mustard color and black topped ...
    We are not particulary proud of Long cours 62 because of our mistakes !
    But for the main dimension this two photos will explain better than my poor english :
    http://long-cours.62.over-blog.com/photo-1917001-26-07-2011-19-03-28_JPG.html
    http://long-cours.62.over-blog.com/photo-1917001-26-07-2011-19-03-28_JPG.html
    And also in the design (if you are not rich !) you must thinking : this curve will be costly in man/hour, witch 'compromis' I can find for get acceptable look (for us of course !) and cost for made it.
    And finaly the look of Longcours is not perfect but the cost of the boat is 1/4 of boat in same material and same potential of cruise.
    But as we wrotte before we stopt advertizing 8 years ago.
    Just if we sold our actual boat we will going back to shipyards for the nexts one, if you have some news ideas they are wellcome

    Jacqueline Yannick and the mascot Dryade
    and again sorry for my english :D
     
  13. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    I'll be very honest... I like the underwater part of your boat and wouldn't change it too much. But the top sides, the superstructure and the interior design appear very outdated and have to be addressed with much more care in your next boat, if your goal is to build and sell them to the public. Your Longcours indeed recalls the looks of some post-WWII patrol boats, which is definitely not a feature which sells outside of a very, very restricted group of nostalgic oldtimer-lovers.

    I understand what you're saying about sea-worthiness and that is, of course, a must. But the very first impact a potential buyer has with a new boat is visual and tactile. I have experience with boatshows, have taken part of them as expositor, and I can assure that 90% of visitors' comments and questions are styling-related. They would walk around the boat, look at the construction details, materials used, level and quality of finishings, the feeling (mostly emotional) behind the helm. The technical issues were of secondary importance.

    A non-professional (means: leisure-oriented) boat-owner wants to be identified with his boat, wants to proudly show it around and to be seen on board. Captains or skippers, unfortunately, seldom take part in the choice of the boat, as far as I could witness. So, while you have to take good advices from the captains in order to create a good practical and seaworthy boat, you also have to put a lots of work into exterior and interior styling in order to win the heart of the buyer.

    This is the era of design (styling), people are nowadays used to see sexy-looking cars, buildings and appliances all around, so you can't dismiss anymore the visual aspect of the product design if you want to sell.

    Cheers
     
  14. Tanton
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    Tanton Senior Member

    Nm.

    Ugly boat.
     

  15. longcours62
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    longcours62 Junior Member

    Thanks Mr Tanton

    Your answer is a typical French answer !
    May be you can develope ?Personaly I don't find a big difference with your drawing. Exept our boat is lower,less angles on the roof and no flying bridge, and no paint.may be could you explain to a no/designer?
    May be we will keept the name for the next one !?
    http://www.westlawn.edu/news/PassageMakerCompetitionResults_files/image005.jpg
     
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