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Old 08-29-2015, 12:45 PM   #21
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Can't say I agree with that. A recognised brand name is always worth a premium over xyz. All you have to do is look at establish European brands like Feadship or Lurssen.
People with money will always spend extra for pedigree.
The reason those brands carry a premium is that the build quality is first rate. Built using best quality and design, premium machinery.

Grand Banks are nowhere near that quality. In fact the quality over the years has been spotty. Typical Asian yard stuff, some good, some bad.

If you builtd a boat to same quality standards as a Feadship, it will be valued similarly.

I do agree that a name carries some value, just not as much as the actual build quality. I was kind of in rant mode....
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:49 PM   #22
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Boatbuilding is nothing like the auto industry. I don't think there is much value in a boat brand name. In autos, it requires a huge investment in design and plant before one car can come off the line, then thousands need to be sold to recoup the investment. For that to happen, branding makes some sense.

In boatbuilding, the market in comparison is miniscule. And get three guys, some tools, a shed, give them a year and a budget and you can build an absolutely world class vessel. Call it any brand you want, if it is a good vessel, it will sell.

Not nearly the economies of scale in the boat world compared to the car world. In fact, I think trying to scale up production in boatbuilding often is a mistake. For that to work, the design needs to be locked in, which removes customization options, discouraging many buyers.

I'm involved with the Carolina boatbuilders and as a group they tend to weather the economic storms. Little debt, they can make a profit building one boat in two years or two boats in one year. And can hibernate when there are no orders. That's when they go fishing!!! Sure, some fail, but really they just move to another shed and name it something else.

Try to run a boatbuilding company like any other corporation, and it will implode. You can sort of predict the demise by when they hire their first MBA. Company will last a few more years past that, then poof.

Someone will buy the Grand Banks tooling and build a boat if anyone wants one. I doubt whatever name is tacked on will add much value.
I think there was value in the name, Grand Banks. I wouldn't compare that to Carolina boatbuilders. And speaking of Carolina, are you saying there is no value in Hatteras as a name? Now, I think the value in the Grand Banks name has completely eroded and the tooling and molds have pretty much lost their value as well. I think three years or so ago the name did still have value. In evaluating the value as it's fallen, a couple of years ago I felt the name and the molds could be used to build a new company from. Over the last two years, my opinion has changed and now I'd think it would be easier and less costly to start a new company from scratch than to try to relocate the brand and molds and build something from them.

I also think you can run a boatbuilding company like other corporations. The most successful builders in the US do exactly that. Like a well run corporation, not a poorly run one. But Brunswick seems to do pretty well with Sea Ray and Bayliner and others. Westport does well and Hatteras has rebounded. Marine Products Corporation is very successful. Beneteau is run like other corporations. Companies like Sunseeker and Ferretti were not but are being run more that way under new ownership seeking to save them from themselves.

Now, I think the best combination is to have the passion for boat building, have the necessary capital and have the business skills.

As to your comment on scaling up. One thing I've found in nearly every industry. Be small or be large, but don't be in between. There is a level of in between sales that is like a black hole and no one is generally profitable in. Here's the reasoning. As a small company or in this case small business, you can run things like you always have, by your own knowledge, overseeing everything, and making decisions based on experience. As a very large company you can have great systems in place and you can afford them and build a volume successful business. In between you need the systems and management expertise you can't afford. The small builder manager's skills aren't made for the larger volume. So, you've removed yourself from the comfort zone and profitable low volume and are nowhere close to an upper volume you would require.

Grand Banks has one other challenge and that is their commitment to Malaysia and what has to this point been a very inefficient operation there. Can it be turned around? Perhaps. However, to this point it hasn't shown itself to be an ideal place to build. When 2/3 of their sales were to the US, then the US could have made sense. China could have made sense from a cost viewpoint. I know their hope is that they'll be able to build Palm Beach less expensively there than in Australia and while that seems very basic, they aren't there yet.

Which brings back to their name and it's value. I don't think the Grand Banks name has any value to them today. It represents a business they are not in. The new 60' would probably make more sense as a Palm Beach offshoot. It's definitely not what a Grand Banks aficionado would seek and the Grand Banks name might actually deter the person who would find it interesting.
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Old 08-29-2015, 12:51 PM   #23
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I do agree that a name carries some value, just not as much as the actual build quality. I was kind of in rant mode....
Rant mode is fine. I do agree they have eroded the value of the name. I sure wouldn't pay much for it at this point. I think of Grand Banks as something that once was. Not anything current.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:02 PM   #24
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I like your "black hole" concept. I think that fits the industry well. Be small or be big. Hard to grow from small to big without getting sucked into the black hole. Many examples of that littering the ditch.

Regarding Hatteras, the name to me only has value if the builds are "wins". I put that name in the same category as Grand Banks. Good heritage, recent builds iffy.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:39 PM   #25
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......................The names Mercedes, Cadillac, Bentley, etc. stand for time tested quality and have a heritage you can't just create out of thin air...............
Evolution..
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:39 PM   #26
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I think the automotive market shows there is value in an old established brand name. And that you can remarket, re-establish yourself as a modern brand without throwing out your heritage.

The names Mercedes, Cadillac, Bentley, etc. stand for time tested quality and have a heritage you can't just create out of thin air.

I believe those companies and others like them would disagree with a strategy of renaming or eliminating the brand name Grand Banks entirely. And they certainly have shown that you can keep your historical heritage while keeping up with the times as far as style and technology are concerned.
When American Marine, years ago, renamed their Eastbay line to Grand Banks Eastbay, the company enjoyed a significant jump in sales. So I believe that a respected brand name has value. Before the name change, there were people that didn't know that Eastbays were built by the same folks as the Grand Banks.
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:57 PM   #27
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I think the automotive market shows there is value in an old established brand name. And that you can remarket, re-establish yourself as a modern brand without throwing out your heritage.

The names Mercedes, Cadillac, Bentley, etc. stand for time tested quality and have a heritage you can't just create out of thin air.

I believe those companies and others like them would disagree with a strategy of renaming or eliminating the brand name Grand Banks entirely. And they certainly have shown that you can keep your historical heritage while keeping up with the times as far as style and technology are concerned.

I was just reading an article by Bob Lutz, maybe the ultimate car guy, about cars today. It is his contention that there are no really bad cars today. What drives the market is design and performance. In fact he thinks maybe GM or some other company should hire KIA's director of design, and pay whatever he asks.

New CAD/CAM methods of design and manufacture have significantly brought down the time and cost to bring a new model on line. Only a little of that is transferable to the marine industry. It is still low volume and labor intensive.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:14 PM   #28
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New CAD/CAM methods of design and manufacture have significantly brought down the time and cost to bring a new model on line. Only a little of that is transferable to the marine industry. It is still low volume and labor intensive.
That's one of the problems with the industry, not understanding that those methods are transferable. There are boat builders using them all very successfully. Coming with that is scheduling production and ordering raw materials. Waste in terms of both materials and indirect labor man hours can be drastically reduced.
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:24 PM   #29
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Evolution..
Yes, I have driven M-Bs continually since 1970. The 1955 300 SL gull wing or convertible is what I lust after. Meanwhile, I will have to be satisfied with my present ride. It is the best M-B I have driven.

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Old 08-29-2015, 02:36 PM   #30
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.............. The 1955 300 SL gull wing or convertible is what I lust after ...............

know one for sale.....
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:45 PM   #31
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Evolution..
IMHO that's more Devolution after the R107...
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:45 PM   #32
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know one for sale.....
Where is it, and how much? Has it been burned?
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:29 PM   #33
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Who are the profitable boat builders? Why? A quick look at trawlers from Nordhavn and KK will provide an answer. Surprisingly DeFever still keeps cranking them out.

Maybe avoiding going public is a partial answer. The Eastbay line remains a nice but not outstanding vessel, resale prices are well below expectations. This allows the East Coast builders Ski refers to a good niche with strong demand in the used market.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:38 PM   #34
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Well, first the easy part. Losses for the year US$3.4 million on sales of under $28 million.

60 Grand Banks - New Model | Bluewater Yacht Sales
B - Did I miss something in the link?? - I wonder, what are the projected speed / fuel consumption / distance capability specs...

Good looking boat. Hope it works for GB, to pull them back up.

In 1990's Tollycraft went through a market down turn while experiencing a simultaneous financial debacle; that is, soon as the high-quality-conscious and very low-debt-ratio Tolly originator sold to some MBA mucky mucks. A very different downfall path than GB is experiencing; however, even with a then still popular boat brand, an unfortunately conclusively downfall... none the less.
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:45 PM   #35
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Yes, I have driven M-Bs continually since 1970. The 1955 300 SL gull wing or convertible is what I lust after. Meanwhile, I will have to be satisfied with my present ride. It is the best M-B I have driven.

Don... "lust"... a real no, no!!
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Old 08-29-2015, 03:55 PM   #36
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Well, first the easy part. Losses for the year US$3.4 million on sales of under $28 million.

Now the boat lines. It's all Eastbay and Palm Beach attitude. The existing lines have been drastically cut back. Only 2 Heritage models and 2 Aleutian left and I'm not holding my breath expecting more of them to be built. You see it all in their new 60' model, the one they're calling a Grand Banks. If you want to look at the design (none finished yet) then here's a link.

60 Grand Banks - New Model | Bluewater Yacht Sales

Interesting that it's not even on their web pages. You have to find it at a dealer's site.

Twin 725 hp Volvo's.

The hull and superstructure will be built using the latest technology in composite boat construction using E-Class Corcell and Airex foam, Duflex paneling, stitched multi-axial fabric, vinylester and epoxy resins to produce an extremely strong and lightweight hull.


65' overall and weighing only 51,500 lbs. The Aleutian 55, about the same size, weighed 75,000 lbs. Draft 3'6". And not deep enough for a real main deck and a lower deck. Just a small salon up and 2 1/2 staterooms forward and down. More an Eastbay or Palm Beach design than any Grand Banks ever built. So, rather than updating the line they've basically thrown the line out and built a new boat calling it Grand Banks. In my mind it sure isn't.

Oh as I knew would happen, they held the earnings release until the markets were all closed for the weekend. Bury that bad news.

Total market cap was down to US$27.5 million, before the release. We'll see where it is next week.
Sad indeed. I just took a look at the newly proposed 60. Absolutely plain vanilla. Nothing at all new, in fact it looks dated, in the design sense. It has the look of every Euro/sedan model from 34'up since the late 70s

It must be a cost to produce thing. I also noticed that the engines are located on the extreme outboard sides, and look like straight drives. I am afraid that they are not on the road of a premium boat builder.

Back in the 90s I came up with a home plan that was very cost efficient. I put just enough pizazz on it that I thought would interest buyers. We put one in each of two of our developments. Boy, did I ever pay for that turkey design flop. No one wanted it. So, we took a huge loss on both to dump them. Those plans went into the trash. The market is never wrong. If you don't believe it, try to buck it sometime.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:04 PM   #37
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B - Did I miss something in the link?? - I wonder, what are the projected speed / fuel consumption / distance capability specs...

Good looking boat. Hope it works for GB, to pull them back up.

In 1990's Tollycraft went through a market down turn while experiencing a simultaneous financial debacle; that is, soon as the high-quality-conscious and very low-debt-ratio Tolly originator sold to some MBA mucky mucks. A very different downfall path than GB is experiencing; however, even with a then still popular boat brand, an unfortunately conclusively downfall... none the less.
No, you didn't miss anything. Grand Banks doesn't even have the boat on their web site.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:18 PM   #38
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That's one of the problems with the industry, not understanding that those methods are transferable. There are boat builders using them all very successfully. Coming with that is scheduling production and ordering raw materials. Waste in terms of both materials and indirect labor man hours can be drastically reduced.
I agree with that to a certain extent. Volume is key to allow for the capital expenditures. Brands like SeaRay have built brand loyalty, and have a solid move up market. They are high volume builders, that may have the depth for such capital expenditures. Luhrs/Mainship had carved out a large market share. They got spread too thinly, and look at the result.

It is very difficult to get to the volume level to justify capital intensive costs. It's almost necessary to go public to obtain the equity financing. That creates it own problem of having to answer to the quarterly report to stockholders. Much pressure there. I would not buy stock in a boat company as it is a very risky venture. Labor costs go down as volume decreases. Capital costs remain the same. It's the middle volume companies that suffer. They are squeezed by the equity financed large companies and the more flexible smaller companies. The middle volume builders find it harder to adjust to market conditions. That is true in more than just boat building.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:21 PM   #39
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Don... "lust"... a real no, no!!

I confess. I am not perfect. Art, standing beside a pristine Silver over red leather 1955 300 SL may even put a little lust in your heart.

This one was owned by Clark Gable. He must have needed a little help getting girls.

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Old 08-29-2015, 04:32 PM   #40
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I confess. I am not perfect. Art, standing beside a pristine Silver over red leather 1955 300 SL may even put a little lust in your heart.
Forgiveness is one of many gifts.

Truthfully ask... and ...ye shall receive!

Steps thereafter should be kick ass!
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