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Old 01-17-2014, 01:27 PM   #1
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2015 New Willard Trawler 36

Who wants one? And who is willing to pay $500k, full displacement, round stern, pilothouse/bridge, two stateroom, salty, sea worthy, long range, 7-8 Knots, less than a gal/hr, designed for Alaska, cruising yacht? Im just looking for some feedback on this, as we have been talking about the possibility of building this boat. The hull is a Bill Garden design, which has beautiful, timeless lines. The size gets you in and out of harbors easy while giving you room to stay aboard for long periods of cruising bliss. The plan is to redesign the cabin structure to meet the demands of today's modern boater. Think Ranger Tug interior design efficiency and conveniences combined with a classic heavy duty sea going vessel! Built here in the PNW. Any opinions on this venture?
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Old 01-17-2014, 01:46 PM   #2
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Randy

I personally think its a great idea, but I question the economic feasability of the venture.

I'm no expert on the economics though. You might look at the sales figures of the other 36' boats in that market segment.

Someone is going to say, well this is FD and there is no other FD 36' boats. The challenge there is that FD is really only all that appealing to passagemaking and extreme fuel economy.

I would suggest that a half million dollar 36' boat wont appeal to either the passagemaking crowd or the fuel economy crowd. I didn't work for nordhavn either in the 36' size.

The reason FD boats have fallen out of favor for anything but passagemaking is simple, and to ignore it willl not turn out well. People that have money at the demographic youre going to target get it by working long hours. They are busy and they need to get out on the water, enjoy their weekend and get back to work. FD boats do not offer that. SD boats do, hence the popularity of the Nordic and ranger tugs.

The Reason the smaller FD boats such as the Nordhavns and the Krogens have succeded is that they are selling the dream of passagemaking. Thats something that will be a tough sell in even the best 36' boat, again look to Nordhavns 36' as your guide.

Now, if you were goiing to start building 40' willards you'd have a larger market. The challenge you'd have to face there is again the Krogens and Nordhavns. Both of these manufacturers have entrenched themselves so deep in the passagemaking market as to make market entrance difficult unless you offered a significantly reduced price point for the same dream of passagemaking.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:25 PM   #3
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Can't you wait until a used Willard 36 comes on the market, buy it for what, maybe $150,000. Put $200,000 into a total cosmetic, mechanical and electrical refit and come out way ahead.

Awlgrip the topsides, refinish every square inch of interior teak, new appliances, new cushions, replace any steel tanks, new engine maybe but maybe not, new electronics, new or rebedded windows. Sounds like you can do that for $200,000.

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Old 01-17-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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I agree with Kevin on all counts, particularly on his suggestion that if you want to enter into this venture, go with the 40' Willard. A 36' double stateroom vessel will get small very quickly, aft cabin (not Willard) vessels perhaps excepted.

Besides the interior space issue, the 40 will give you just a little bit better handling in the nasty stuff, which an FD hull doesn't allow you to escape from in as quickly a manner as an SD hull would. The slight improvement in hull speed the 40 would allow would mostly be irrelevant though.

The Willard 40 would put you up against a Krogen 39 and perhaps others that don't come to mind at the moment. Can't think of any current new 36' FD vessels on the market, and there is probably a reason for that.

You should contact Patrick Gerety if he is still around; he oversaw the last "trawler" offerings that Willard produced before they switched over to full time military/commercial vessels.

You didn't mention the model you were contemplating. Sedan? Aft cabin pilothouse?
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:36 PM   #5
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Can't you wait until a used Willard 36 comes on the market, buy it for what, maybe $150,000. Put $200,000 into a total cosmetic, mechanical and electrical refit and come out way ahead.

Awlgrip the topsides, refinish every square inch of interior teak, new appliances, new cushions, replace any steel tanks, new engine maybe but maybe not, new electronics, new or rebedded windows. Sounds like you can do that for $200,000.

David
It sounds like he is looking to see if there is a business venture opportunity. If one vessel is the goal, there is a 2001 Willard 40 sedan for sale on Yachtworld for $249K which would be a reasonable deal I would think, not knowing its actual condition.
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Old 01-17-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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More negative thoughts;

Look on YW, e=bay, Craig's list and the brokers nationally at least. The FD boats for sale there don't command a higher price than otherwise similar boats. We've had a beautiful W40 for sale for awhile here on TF and the check books don't seem to be popping out of pockets. People don't seem to want FD trawlers anymore than SD trawlers ... even in the used market. People that can afford a $500K boat have so much money they don't care how much fuel it burns. And when was the last time you heard of a SD trawler sinking because it wasn't a seaworthy FD design?

How many people that buy these boats grew up during the days when 300hp V8 cars were driven by average Joe's? They think a little more power (actually a lot more power) can save them from a storm or navigate swift rapids and generally have enough power for anything that comes along. People of trawler age have a power mindset. How else would 95% of boats become grossly overpowered? Power gives people comfort. Look at Willard. The W30 and W36 were close to being propperly powered but the W40s were overpowered. So even Willard thought they needed to install bigger engines to sell the boats.

Your chance at success lies IMO to market a boat that has lots of cutesy appeal. NT26, W30s, Ranger Tug, and others come to mind. The Victory Tug was cute but failed in the market and knowing why may be good knowledge to have in your shoes. If you're going to sell something you need to offer something they want .. really want and then they'll buy. Offer them an excellent 36' FD trawler and probably their buying motivation will fall way short of the buying level.

Your dream is producing the boat ... your dreamboat. So build one for yourself and make money some other way.

But I agree the Garden W36 hull is too good a hull to let pass.
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:34 PM   #7
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Replacement value from my survey for my 30' Willard is $265,000, with no amenities (generator, propane system, heat or air). Building new boats prices them out of the reach of the kind of people who desires small FD boats
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Old 01-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #8
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There is an economic reason that Krogen and Nordhavn have discontinued the building of 35-40' boats.
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Old 01-17-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
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Randal B,

I love the Willard's and best of all the 36 hull. But I could do w/o them and buy a 32 NT or a 32 GB. But soon I'd be modifying them to be more like my Willard. And 32 to 36 is the perfect pleasure boat size to own. But to build It may not be so.

How are the sales of the 26 and 32 NT doing? NT did what others were not doing and entered the small trawler market. Wonder how it worked for them? Don't see new GB 32s or others either. And I'd like to see more offerings in the 23 to 28' size.

The new car I bought is made in Mexico and it's manual transmission is made in Argentina. It's a world market out there. Where would you build the new W36? Being a labor intensive product that would need to be carefully evaluated.

I'll go over to the WBO site and see what Willardites have to say. I assume you posted there. I see you're not there.

What cabin configuration are you considering? Engine?
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:05 PM   #10
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Interesting discussion ...

I am researching our next boat, "our perfect" trawler, and while scavenging throughout the builders sites for information I have noticed what some of you are saying.

The traditional FD boat builders had moved to larger LOA boats over last decade or so. The smaller LOA of 20+ to 40' market was filled by some SD and many many planing boats, most of them express cruisers.

In the last few years there is another shift. The SD boats are seemingly taking over the LOA 30-40' market from planning boat builders who in turn are getting a bigger foothold in LOA 20-30' market including jetboats.

In the LOA 30-40' market today, there is a range of very seaworthy boats from Nord Star, Minor, and costal boats from MJM, Mainship, Benetau, and some comeback and renewed effort from tug/trawler builders like Cutwater owned and operated by Fluid Motion aka Ranger Tugs to get into even sub LOA 30' market.

The Willard move seems to follow that trend …

BTW, the Cutwater hull is very interesting … planing deep-v hull with keel pad and skeg keel, and air step like Benatau's Swift: Hull Design | cutwaterboats.com
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Old 01-17-2014, 11:15 PM   #11
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Nordhavn 35 - Not a FD

Now, if you were goiing to start building 40' willards you'd have a larger market. The challenge you'd have to face there is again the Krogens and Nordhavns. Both of these manufacturers have entrenched themselves so deep in the passagemaking market as to make market entrance difficult unless you offered a significantly reduced price point for the same dream of passagemaking.[/QUOTE]

While I agree with most of your post I need to correct your reference to the Nordhavn. The Nordhavn 35 is not and was not intended to be a full displacement hull boat but rather PAE's attempt to enter the semi-displacement hull market. Two things limited this market entry - performance and price. Since the yards were only familiar with building heavy full displacement boats the first few N35's were over weight and never hit the desired speed. Starting around hull number eight or eleven they incorporated hull changes along with other improvements and started to build a boat that still cruises along at 7 knots (1700 RPM) and can top out around 11-12 knots at 3200 RPM. Like other SD boats it all comes down to fuel burn. The boats are still around 30K lbs half load.

Price was the eventual downfall of the N35. By 2004 the last few hulls boats sold for over $500K and close the N40 full displacement hull. The boat appealed to a limited market (deep pockets that didn't want to cross and ocean). The boats are over built including many of the same systems found on the larger Nordhavn's. Examples include the AC controls and all hardware.

I'm not aware of another 35'-40' SD boat that can compare when it comes down to quality and ruggedness. The boats are just amazing and if built today would cost well over $700K

Regarding a FD boat under 40', I personally think it is too small and will not sell. 40' is about the smallest FD boat that makes sense for serious off shore voyages.

Just my opinion!

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Old 01-17-2014, 11:51 PM   #12
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N4061 wrote,

"Regarding a FD boat under 40', I personally think it is too small and will not sell. 40' is about the smallest FD boat that makes sense for serious off shore voyages."

Too small for what? "serious offshore voyages"? This is TRAWLER forum. We are coastal cruisers and don't do serious off shore work.

I agree though that it's commonly said that it's hard to make a profit in that length range and don't really understand it. I would think if you had a 25', 35' and 45' boat priced out for labor and materials it should be proportional. A 40,000lb boat costing X amount and a 20,000lb boat costing 1/2 X. Engines, gen sets, props, layup per sq ft, amount of glass, and most all else should be proportional.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:26 AM   #13
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What do you call long distance cruising, and what makes you think you have to go slow to do it is the question? The hottest (as in best selling success stories) boats on the market for the past 8 years have been triple outboard boats in the 35'-45' size range like Intrepids. These boats are averaging $700k, and they're selling like hot cakes. People run them all through the Caribbean FROM the States (like direct from SC to Bahamas), and back. Nothing unusual to run from Miami to Bahamas and back home after a day of fishing, then they sleep in their McMansions. People don't anchor out like they used to. I know they run the West Coast. I've read about trips to Alaska and back. They cruise over 40 mph, and those big 4 stroke OBs are relatively fuel efficient. Even the Fountain 48' triple diesel express cruises 50 mph burning a gallon per mile. The Mare's 54' with the 800hp MANS that cruised 30 knots went to California. 2 others to the PNW. All fast boats. Distances are short when traveling fast.

Of all the power boats I've sold that have made the longest trips, none were displacement boats, nor even what we could consider a passagemaker. 43' Wellcraft Portifino from Miami to Curacao, 45' Bayliner from Ft. Lauderdale to Venezuela and back. 47' Bayliner from Miami to Nova Scotia, 490 Meridian from Nova Scotia to Florida (both offshore coming in only for fuel), Bayliner 57' from Mexico to Alaska. Meridian 580 from Seattle to Alaska to Costa Rica.
Meridian 459 from Brisbane to Tasmania. Magnum 50' from Pensacola to Key West and back-many times (one stop for fuel in Venice Florida). Fountain 47' (ex-Bayliner 45' owner) from Miami to Abaco's then to Georgetown Bahamas and BACK all in 4 days. I Just re-listed a 1969 Chris Craft 68' CPMY (10 cyl MANS) that's now in Grenada after cruising the Caribbean starting from Destin in 2008. Oh, just remembered that the last two 08 490 Meridians built are now in Alaska- both came from factory in Washington. Kevin Sanders ran his retored 4788 up there too. That's 3 Alaskan's I know who didn't need to go slow.

BUT "back in the day" 56' Carri-craft Houseboats were running from Columbia to Miami non-stop loaded with pot. Not one of these people have mentioned the price of fuel. TIME was ALL their motivations. None were passagemakers either, but make passage they do. Price range on these boats? From $56k -$800k
Sailboats? Sent a Cal 46' on a circumnavigation from Ft. Lauderdale. A Soverel 48' used to commute from Cartagena to Miami (and not a doper either) and back regularly. I witnessed a Irwin 32' center cockpit sailboat (not a quality build!) that arrived in Miami direct from Poland! He didn't even have charts- just dead-reckoned by compass and airplane contrails. So much for Polish jokes-he made it.
So the question is: Is there any demand for a slow expensive boat? The sailboat market took the biggest hit. The market say's no.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:27 AM   #14
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I would think if you had a 25', 35' and 45' boat priced out for labor and materials it should be proportional. A 40,000lb boat costing X amount and a 20,000lb boat costing 1/2 X. Engines, gen sets, props, layup per sq ft, amount of glass, and most all else should be proportional.
This is not true when it comes to boat structure (hull and superstructure), and most likely not true when it comes to machinery and finish.

The bigger the structure the higher the cost per "foot". Bigger structure is not only longer and wider (more square footage) but also its support elements need to be bigger and skin needs to be thicker as the forces applied by the environment on the entire structure are much stronger.

The bigger (and disproportionally heavier) structure not only requires bigger stronger machinery, but also more zoning and redundancy, bigger diameter piping and wiring, etc.

When it comes to recreational boats, the bigger boats aka luxury yachts need to be also designed better, and finished with better materials, upscale brands, etc.

All this adds up, plus the higher operational cost of extra space and infrastructure, specialized equipment, and better skills needed to build bigger boats results in exponential relation of size (length) and cost. This is true in other industries ... from civil engineering to aviation.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:37 AM   #15
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So the question is: Is there any demand for a slow expensive boat? The sailboat market took the biggest hit. The market says no.
This is what I am learning too ... SD and planing boats overlap and cover 20 to 40+ market. Not much room for the old faithful FD. There are real innovations in hull design and propulsion systems.
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Old 01-18-2014, 12:56 AM   #16
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Randy, the idea of a "modern" Willard 36 built on the Garden hull is intriguing, but also impractical. Most folks who have full displacement hull boats are in no hurry; many are retired or have time on their hands and probably spend lots of time cruising and living aboard. My experience on our Willard 40 sedan is that forty feet is the absolute minimum LOA for extended cruising. Many times I've thought that with the addition of a pilot house we'd have the perfect boat! But that would increase the overall length to about 46'. This would provide for generous accommodations plus a walk-in engine room. Regrettably, if you built it I couldn't afford it!
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:00 AM   #17
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Randy-I spent 4 years looking a similar proposition although a bit larger boat-58-65'. We spent four years working on it including having preliminary designs and engineering done by Bill Crealock before he passed away. We spent many, many hours meeting with a lot of people in order to judge the market. We spent many, many hours with the folks at Port Townsend Marine to cost out production. We had the money in hand to start the venture without having to resort to financing or venture capital type investment. Without going on for a lot longer, we came to the conclusion that it simply was not a venture that stood much chance of success. And this was just before the market fall in 2008-09. On the boat you are proposing, up-front tooling costs alone will probably be in the $200-$300K range. If you think you throw money in a hole in the water with just one boat, try building them! As several have noted, if the boat you are considering is not on the market now, there is a reason no one is building it.

Sorry for being a bit of a downer, but hopefully I can save you the several hundred K we spent exploring the idea.
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Old 01-18-2014, 01:04 AM   #18
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Two foot idis.

We spent 68 days aboard our 25' Albin and weren't complaining. But we bought the 30' Willard and I have made noises about not halving enough space for a diesel stove. To me 40' is BIG. Don't want it. I like a boat that is handy.
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Old 01-18-2014, 07:18 AM   #19
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I think the displacement crowd, even the majority of the "trawler" mentality market is very small. Most are boat owners with enough experience to know that stretching from 36 to 40 feet will make cruising more enjoyable. They know a 5 year old 40-45 footer that costs less than the new 36 footer probably has more equipment and more bugs worked out of it and overall operating costs won't be that much for that "desireable" added space.

Look at the "items" most cruisers complain about not having when they think they have bought too small...thinks like washer/dryer, room for bicycles, onboard dingy/outboard storage and equipment, room for fishing/diving equipment...etc..etc...

Even my 40 (which in reality is a small 39 based on it's less than 36 waterline and overall shape) lacks the interior space for many things I have described unless you buy ALL your stuff made to specialty fit in unusual storage areas.

Unless that new 36 has something very special to offer...and/or can fit into the space all the "goodies" that serious cruisers like (at least most...not the minimalists who aren't gonna pay $500,000 anyway)....not many experienced cruisers are gonna look seriously.
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:05 AM   #20
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Who wants one? Any opinions on this venture?
Thanks,
Randy
The subject has been pretty well covered by previous posters. To add, if one is in the boat building business to make a profit, look no further than Willard. They assessed the yacht market and deemed it a bust as few personal use FD boats were being sold. But there is one customer who will pay, appreciates and demands quality - the US military.

List one company who currently builds and sells FD vessels in any volume - Nordhavn and possibly North Pacific. Dashew refuses to call his vessels trawlers or FD design. DeFever is not a company, it is a set of plans. Selene has fallen on tough times due to quality issues and the small FD market with big boats now their target. OA is in strictly a $$1M+ market and no FD vessels. NT struggles with their planing hulls. Yada yada.

The reality is as Pilothouse King noted, go fasts and planing vessels are the boat market. Building pure FD vessels is a very centered and small market and certainly not a place for success on the new venture side. The consensus for a FD design seems not positive.
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