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Old 11-29-2017, 10:34 AM   #1
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American Tug

I approached the builder of American Tugs about this forum. He admitted he might investigate in the future but right now, he is too busy building boats.
I also asked why he doesn't get his boats reviewed in the magazines. He said, he had the feeling, those boats being reviewed are from builders who have boats in stock. I guess all his new boats are spoken for.
I bought my used 34ft AT from a broker in Stuart, FL. I think he has maybe 3 used ATs of different LOA in his stock. I believe he only sells ATs. IF you need his contact information, let me know, I will provide.
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Old 11-29-2017, 02:48 PM   #2
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Old Dan,
I have to admit I'm a bit biased, but we're so impressed with our AT 435 and it certainly seems like they are in short supply. Their main broker up in the PNW at Tomco sold about a half dozen ATs within the last 18 months.
The October issue of Passagemaker magazine had a very nice spread on a new 48' AT, here is the on-line version. Though it is not a real high distribution magazine, its growing and I'm starting to see it in some Barnes & Nobles and some airport newsstands. When you visit Tomco you certainly get the feeling they are busy and don't seem to need more advertising.
I'm curious; do you have any issues finding good service shops to work on your tug in Florida, or just generally finding people that are familiar with them over there?
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:19 PM   #3
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It's so nice to find a right-sized business with no ambition to "go corporate" and get too big.

Top quality work, right niche, make a nice living focusing on doing what you love, no BS marketing efforts required. . .
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:32 PM   #4
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How do you feel this site benefits the builder? What benefit would a magazine review provide?

American Tug is a semi-custom builder. They build to order. It sounds like his pipeline is full based on his current manufacturing capacity. Not everyone wants to be Brunswick.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:37 PM   #5
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Hamrow, finding used ATs on the east coast is not that easy. The length of your AT is ideal because you have two staterooms. I had a 2 SR N46 but, no one wanted to go with me so no need for a 2 SR boat.
There is a AT guru in the NE. Once a year he comes down to FL and I use him for a week. He knows where all the wire go, what works and what wont yet, he tolerates my requests. His name, Mike Pare. If you need his contact number, ask provided you dont try to steal my time. His main reason for the visit is for the AT broker in Stuart.
The everyday stuff, I contract out to the well respected, well known local businesses. I dont want the next owner to cuss out my memory. LOL
I read the on-line Passage Maker article.... was pretty skimpy.
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Old 11-29-2017, 03:51 PM   #6
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He'd be nuts to join a forum like this. It'd be a massive time sponge with odd ball questions based on preferences that have nothing to do with his design, not to mention answering the same questions repeatedly. The people he wants to hear from are ones motivated enough to contact him.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:19 PM   #7
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He'd be nuts to join a forum like this. It'd be a massive time sponge with odd ball questions based on preferences that have nothing to do with his design, not to mention answering the same questions repeatedly. The people he wants to hear from are ones motivated enough to contact him.
Murray you are oh so right. Very few builders want to get their vessels and work product discussed by all too many internet warriors locked in the last century.
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Old 11-29-2017, 04:32 PM   #8
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I have contacted Kurt 4 or 5 times..... Give him your hull number, he gets out the list on that boat and answers your question.

Murray, you are correct. It is more important to build boats than to talk about them.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:23 PM   #9
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When his manufacturing capacity exceeds his sales, He'll come around.....or his marketing director will.
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:42 PM   #10
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When his manufacturing capacity exceeds his sales, He'll come around.....or his marketing director will.
The greatest sales campaign is, positive word of mouth. Any company can achieve this by producing a good product at an acceptable price.
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Old 11-29-2017, 09:24 PM   #11
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The greatest sales campaign is, positive word of mouth. Any company can achieve this by producing a good product at an acceptable price.
....and low production volume.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:36 AM   #12
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My strong assumption is that various builders do have profiles on this forum that don't identify them as being associated with a builder. That way they can get value on their own terms without it being a time suck.

I personally think they'd be crazy not to join. There is so much great (and free) insight into potential buyers to be had on this forum.
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Old 11-30-2017, 02:09 PM   #13
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Many years ago, I heard an observation from a partner in Deloitte Touche. While he was referring to a specific industry, it really applies to all. There are very successful small businesses and they can be up to a certain size. They can operate with relatively modest systems and on the strength of their management. Management can keep a handle on everything going on.

There are also successful large businesses with sophisticated systems and management tools. They can also keep an eye on all going on but do so through the strength of their systems and practices.

It is very difficult to be successful in between those two sizes. The entrepreneurship and hands on management can no longer keep up with everything. Yet the organization hasn't yet developed the systems and can't really afford them yet. Often growing into the middle size range takes away their greatest strength which is a good leader who knows the business intimately. It is then more than that person can handle.

I applaud those like AT who do their jobs very well at a modest level. They're comfortable with who they are and what they do and they are able to manage things well and serve their customers well. They have a business model that is conducive to quality. They resist the dangerous temptations. For instance, they produce four models today. They don't try to expand and produce 8 or 10 or 12. Also if they had a year that business was off by 20% or even more, they're fine, they keep going. They're unlike those who are dependent on every dollar of volume and any drop off (and there will always be ups and downs) is deadly.

I'm happy to see the PNW boat builders thriving.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:10 PM   #14
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Exactly.

In fact operating on a delay with wait lists may mean actual income is well buffered, the wait time just gets shorter, which is also likely to make a difference for the impatient wealthy.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:22 PM   #15
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Exactly.

In fact operating on a delay with wait lists may mean actual income is well buffered, the wait time just gets shorter, which is also likely to make a difference for the impatient wealthy.
John61, unless one is buying an existing boat, there will always be a wait. Doesn't matter how much money a person has, if you want a boat, the bigger the boat, the bigger the wait.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:26 PM   #16
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Yes, I'm talking about where the business doesn't increase throughput capacity in response to increased orders, just forces longer wait times.

If demand for their quality artisinal product is so strong, there will be a pent-up demand factor there, customers who usually would be "forced" by impatience to go elsewhere now able to buy in a downturn.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:43 PM   #17
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John61, if one goes to the factory they may have a new boat of a specific length that the owner changed his mind.
Based upon a picture on the URL, they have some used boats in inventory. I am guessing they were "fill in boat", while waiting for a specific boat or perhaps boats turned in for a bigger boat.
If the company wasn't way way way out on the US west coast, (from FL) it would be a great experience to visit the factory and shake hands with those who gave birth to all their boats.
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Old 11-30-2017, 04:26 PM   #18
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Yep, the outfit is small and ATs are semi-custom so you pay a bit more for them... but again IMHO; you get what you pay for (plus its kind of cool to get one that's still all built in the USA).

Speaking of advertising, I see Boat U.S. latest magazine has an interesting article on the "Rugged boats of the Pacific Northwest". The article touches on American Tug as well as several others from the PNW, good stuff!
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Old 11-30-2017, 07:37 PM   #19
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Okay, back to owning or why I should own an American Tug.

Out of curiosity, the roughest weather you have experienced in your AT, specifying the length of your AT too.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:22 PM   #20
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Okay, back to owning or why I should own an American Tug.

Out of curiosity, the roughest weather you have experienced in your AT, specifying the length of your AT too.
Also, in fairness, why not. What conditions would you say your boat is not a good fit for?
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