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Old 08-29-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Bayliner Founder has passed away...

https://www.tradeonlytoday.com/manuf..._hsmi=76233465
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:31 PM   #2
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What an innovator!!!

Both for Bayliner, and for Westport
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Old 08-29-2019, 01:47 PM   #3
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I really enjoy reading stories that outline the successes of a self-made man. What an innovator. He created Bayliner and made it into a boat line that could get a LOT of people on the water for a small investment.


I chartered a Bayliner 4588 Motoryacht many years ago and loved the boat. Quiet, smooth in a choppy sea, easy to handle, lots of room, all at a very reasonable selling price.


His legacy will last for many decades to come.
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Old 08-29-2019, 02:58 PM   #4
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Yeah, whatever one’s opinion may be about the low end of the Bayliner line, many of us (including me) found our boating passion by skimming around in Sub-25 ft. Bayliners. The value of the bigger vessels speak for themselves, and the Bayliner model range philosophy was always there to move you up to the next level.
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:17 PM   #5
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Yes what a wonderfully effective strategy.

Build a product people want, at a pice they can afford, and build brand loyalty for the upsell path.

Lower the price point of the product through assembly line style production methods, volume buying, and the buying of manufacturers of expensive components to control the price.

Use demographic based engineering and design teams to build a product based on the target customers demographics, tayloring the product to what that target customer wants in a product.
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:52 PM   #6
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Bayliner has always struck me as a funny brand. My parents bought several Bayliners new throughout the years. I grew up on them. My parents swore you couldn't find a better $/ft boat on the market. My mother swore that nobody maximized usable/livable space and storage like a Bayliner.

Their brand loyalty was tremendous and they were one of the largest volume boat brands for many years.

Yet.......you'd swear they were the marine equivalent of a Yugo if you talk to just about anyone on the dock. Yet, ask them if they owned one.

I honestly feel like the problem with Bayliners wasn't unique to the brand, but rather common in the runabout market. New, entry-level owners, would store them improperly (It's a boat, it's made to get wet) and soon follows rotten decks, transoms, stringers...) However, being so common all people saw was 'just another Bayliner rotting in someone's backyard'.

I honestly don't recall there being major issues with the cruisers. It's hard to have such fan loyalty if it were otherwise.

I say the same thing to friends who take digs at Bayliner and even sometimes its cousins Searay.."When is the last time you heard of one falling apart while underway due to structural, material, or building deficiencies?"
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Old 08-29-2019, 04:26 PM   #7
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Bayliner has always struck me as a funny brand. My parents bought several Bayliners new throughout the years. I grew up on them. My parents swore you couldn't find a better $/ft boat on the market. My mother swore that nobody maximized usable/livable space and storage like a Bayliner.

Their brand loyalty was tremendous and they were one of the largest volume boat brands for many years.

Yet.......you'd swear they were the marine equivalent of a Yugo if you talk to just about anyone on the dock. Yet, ask them if they owned one.

I honestly feel like the problem with Bayliners wasn't unique to the brand, but rather common in the runabout market. New, entry-level owners, would store them improperly (It's a boat, it's made to get wet) and soon follows rotten decks, transoms, stringers...) However, being so common all people saw was 'just another Bayliner rotting in someone's backyard'.

I honestly don't recall there being major issues with the cruisers. It's hard to have such fan loyalty if it were otherwise.

I say the same thing to friends who take digs at Bayliner and even sometimes its cousins Searay.."When is the last time you heard of one falling apart while underway due to structural, material, or building deficiencies?"
I heard the same stories, thin hulls, cheapo hardware, things like that.

The fact is that if a hull does not fall apart is is thick enough. On a planing hull boat you actually want to reduce weight.

As far as cheapo parts, Bayliner bought the same brands you see on any boat. The hardware they preferred seemed to be Perko. They saved money by buying in volume, and when it made sense actually buying manufacturers.

Imagine if you were a small boat builder and approached Cummins and needed 20 engines a year, how much would you pay.? How much does Dodge pay for Cummins engines buying thousands? If you cannot strike a good enough deal, then buy the manufacturer. Bayliner did just that and bought Mercruiser through it’s parent company.

Engineering costs are a real cost. Think if you had to divide the costs to engineer a boat by 20 or 30 examples. Now think about those same costs divided by a thousand, or 10 thousand.

Now think of this...

EVERY Bayliner boat was built by Americans, yes your neighbors. Good jobs right next door.

Yes, the world will miss Orin. A self made American raggs to riches story of success if there ever was one.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:08 PM   #8
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I wonder what Orin thought the average life expectancy of his <25' boats was supposed to be. I've never been a fan of the smaller Bayliners, but then my experience with them was with a friend or father in law buying a 10+ year old boat that started falling apart. In all fairness, most cars back then didn't seem to last 10 years either. I guess if you were buying and upgrading in 5 to 7 years, they seemed a great value. My parents did the same thing when I was a kid, never keeping the station wagon more than 7 years so that there would be some trade in value.

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Old 08-29-2019, 05:10 PM   #9
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My first was a '86 19' Cuddy with a 125hp Force outboard. It was a bit different since most smaller boats like that had a sterndrive.

Sold it in '91 to buy a '91 27' Ciera with a 460 sterndrive.

The guy that bought my cuddy asked if it was ever in saltwater because it was so clean. I said all the time. (in the Puget Sound) I just take care of my stuff. The boat was kept on the trailer and the outboard was flushed after every trip.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:10 PM   #10
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We can't express adequately our admiration of him as a businessman or as a person. He revolutionized the small boat industry, opening it to so many thousands of people who otherwise could never had owned a boat. We often think there should be a better way, but he thought that and figured out what it was. He built incredible long term relationships and treated people right. We didn't know him well, but you didn't need to speak to him long to understand the brilliance you were in the presence of and the decency. I look at businessmen differently than many do and feel so lucky occasionally to know one I can truly admire for their business knowledge and skills and for how they go about things and I did admire him and considered myself so fortunate to know him in any way.

Well into his 80's he was cruising the world's waters, wanting to do so as long as possible. Although his health had limited that he did fulfill his goal of dying aboard his boat.

If anyone wants to know how to run a business, just do it as Orin Edson did. If you want to know how to live life, I give the same answer.
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Old 08-29-2019, 09:21 PM   #11
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Imagine if you were a small boat builder and approached Cummins and needed 20 engines a year, how much would you pay.? How much does Dodge pay for Cummins engines buying thousands? If you cannot strike a good enough deal, then buy the manufacturer. Bayliner did just that and bought Mercruiser through it’s parent company.

.
Actually Bayliner bought Chrysler's outboards when they were forced to divest and turned them into Force. They also built their own trailers. They brought Sea Ray to their knees and Mercury was really hurt by all the engines they weren't selling, so Brunswick bought Bayliner. They then found out that their production methods were more advanced than Sea Ray.

A lot of people talk negatively about Bayliner but not owners even today and other boats have delamination but not Bayliner. I've never owned a Bayliner but I know Edson's pride decades later and so I still feel a personal obligation to step up. Then Pacific Mariner and Westport. We have owned one of each, built and purchased while Edson still was owner. We chartered many of them prior to that. The consistent quality is unmatched and yet they were still priced less than competition and built in the US. The way they treat customers is so far beyond the industry norms.

Even the final move did the industry and boater a huge favor in selling to someone who has lived his life as a boater, loves boats, and loves Westport, in Gary Chouest. Not to a venture capitalist, not to a foreign industrialist.
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:30 AM   #12
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Started with a 2000 Bayliner Ciera 2252 and still miss HER. No issues with it (except the ones I created myself). Nothing fancy about HER at all so I did not have to worry about the kids damaging some fragile features. SHE is still up and running around just fine, was sold to a neighbors nephew. I would hear people taking shots at the Bayliner brand but most had never owned one. I think some complaints were the result of some not willing to admit that they did not care for their boat properly and the neglect caused the issue. It seemed the the people that trashed Bayliners the most were Searay owners. Someone once told me the reason was because most Searay owners were disgruntled, they found out they paid way to much money for their boats
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Old 08-31-2019, 11:02 AM   #13
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It seemed the the people that trashed Bayliners the most were Searay owners. Someone once told me the reason was because most Searay owners were disgruntled, they found out they paid way to much money for their boats
Actually it was Sea Ray dealers who were being overwhelmed by Bayliner sales. The irony was then when Brunswick made the acquisition, they saw how good some of the Bayliner manufacturing methods were and adapted them quickly for Sea Ray.

There was a dealer near me in NC. A guy had a small showroom and sold a few boats here and there. When all the major dealers in the Charlotte area had no interest in Bayliner, he agreed to try them and see what they were about. He was soon the largest boat dealer in the area by far. I remember as a kid talking to him and hearing his stories of how ridiculed they were and how he cried all the way to the bank.
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:02 PM   #14
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We toured the motoryacht facility years ago. I think it was in Bellingham, maybe. The work we saw going into the bigger Bayliners was pretty good. I agree that Bayliner found ways to fit more into a boat than any other boat manufacturer.
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:26 PM   #15
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We toured the motoryacht facility years ago. I think it was in Bellingham, maybe. The work we saw going into the bigger Bayliners was pretty good. I agree that Bayliner found ways to fit more into a boat than any other boat manufacturer.
It was in Arlington.
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Old 08-31-2019, 01:35 PM   #16
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The work we saw going into the bigger Bayliners was pretty good. I agree that Bayliner found ways to fit more into a boat than any other boat manufacturer.
Maybe it's because they were among the very first manufacturers to use CAD in designing their boats.IIRC, the 4588 was completely CAD designed from the keel up. I never owned one but I did have the opportunity to experience my friend's boat and it was one hell of a lot of bang for the buck. I really like the 45 & 47 Bayliners!
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:29 PM   #17
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Maybe it's because they were among the very first manufacturers to use CAD in designing their boats.IIRC, the 4588 was completely CAD designed from the keel up. I never owned one but I did have the opportunity to experience my friend's boat and it was one hell of a lot of bang for the buck. I really like the 45 & 47 Bayliners!
Here’s what I have found “different” between the 4788 Bayliner and some more expensive boats.

Woodwork fit and finish.

The woodwork in a 4788 Bayliner is like you would find in a pretty high end house. The trim all comes together nicely, but it’s just nice. The finish is nice, but just nice.

Some of the more expensive boats that I have been aboard have a far superior level of woodwork. You can see where the price difference comes in, it’s in the massive labor hours necessary to get that level of perfection.

Sadly (because the fleet is aging) some of the jointery on the Taiwan Trawlers was also fantastic in quality, probably due to the lower labor rates in that part of the world.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:38 PM   #18
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It was in Arlington.
Yes, you are correct. CRS disease kicking in.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:49 PM   #19
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Maybe it's because they were among the very first manufacturers to use CAD in designing their boats.IIRC, the 4588 was completely CAD designed from the keel up. I never owned one but I did have the opportunity to experience my friend's boat and it was one hell of a lot of bang for the buck. I really like the 45 & 47 Bayliners!
They were and today you see Westport with the most advanced technology available. I don't know how far Bayliner went but WP's includes all design, production planning and tracking, materials acquisition. Boats are finished ready to be used and on schedule. Their use of technology and efficiency of their facility has been compared to Boeing (although at this moment that's not good). For someone who started building with his hands, he had a great appreciation for improved methods.

His last boat was a 164' Westport, his second 164. However, long ago, when Daryl Wakefield, current President of Westport, was running another PNW builder, Admiral, he had a 164 built for him by them. So, that boat is what led him when he took ownership of Westport to have to have Daryl build him one there.

He loved boatbuilding, he was a good friend of Bill Garden and admired his work. However, even more, he loved boats and in his retirement got tremendous pleasure cruising on his boat, built by his company. Not many years ago he sat out on a cruise to Alaska and then from there to Japan and after Asia to the South Pacific including Fiji, before heading back toward home.

His last business move was selling Westport. Again, he was interested in their future, not just the money. As such, he didn't sell to a Chinese Industrialist or a Venture Capitalist but to someone he knew loved boating as much as hid did, in Gary Chouest, also an owner of a Westport. The Chouest family owns Edison Chouest, so a huge boat builder, although a different kind, and American Custom Yachts. They grew up in a boating family and several are avid sportfishermen. He left things in good hands.
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:59 PM   #20
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Yes, you are correct. CRS disease kicking in.
I was sorry to learn that Arlington facility had been converted for other use as there was talk of moving a foreign boat builder or starting one potentially in the PNW and that facility and those workers would have been incredible. Brunswick had closed it earlier than I was aware and the workers were long since gone to other places. It had 830 employees in early 2008 and Brunswick shut it down in late 2008 at the same time they shut down Ripestone, Minn, Rosesburg, Oregon, and Navassa, NC and furloughed all their TN workers for the final three months of the year. Sales were already down 40% and got worse.
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