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Old 08-29-2015, 04:32 PM   #41
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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

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.
The Market Speaks and you better listen. Most industries, but not this one, use focus groups. I've seen managers take products before focus groups and get bad reaction and still proceed. They always regretted it. I had products that merchandisers presented to me and I thought were great, but the focus group said not. That was the end of it.

I've done enough research to form the opinion that the new GB 60 will not be well received by the US market. Now I think Europe and the Far East may like it, but I don't know that market well enough to say. The look is too austere and the boat too lacking in space. Even if the performance turns out to be very good, people don't buy performance if they don't find the aesthetics appealing. Perhaps the real boat will look different but in the photo shown it just looks unfinished, not like something one would brag about having purchased. Maybe the final finished boat will be much better. But the looks and the usable space for it's size are far more appealing on the Eastbay 50 FB. And the Palm Beach 65' is a nicer looking boat. I find it interesting that they weigh about the same so would appear similar materials and construction methods. The Palm Beach is powered by IPS though.

The GB Aleutian 55 which weighs 75,000 lbs vs. 50,000 for the new 60 has a WOT of 24 knots and cruise of 20 knots with the same engines. The 65 Palm Beach with IPS 900's gets a WOT of 30 knots and a cruise of 24 knots. This boat should get a WOT of 28 or so and a cruise of 22-24. We'll see. Maybe a little more than that.

I also wonder if Volvo is going to be the only engine choice. In the past in that size boat they've offered Cummins, MAN's and CAT's. Volvo wouldn't be the first choice of the US market.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #42
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know one for sale.....
I think Don said lust not rust!
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:52 PM   #43
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. 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.
Well, the venture and equity financing is an issue. Really don't buy a boat company if you need financing. The largest shareholder of Grand Banks could, but won't, throw another $20-30 million in without blinking. Well, they could put many times that. But instead Grand Banks has had to do several public offerings to get more funds when short. Grand Banks is a public company. Grand Banks has has a lot of discord the past few years between it's two largest shareholders. Grand Banks is much too small to be a public company in my opinion.
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Old 08-29-2015, 04:53 PM   #44
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What's the projected cost[s] of the "new" 60' GB?


Boat looks too much like 1970's/80's Tollycraft 37' sedan. Dated visuals to be sure. However, a proven model for continued appreciation by owners/buyers. The basic running-shoe/white sneaker visuals of many new boats leave me dry... however... that "modern" look/design sure seems popular to the younger crowd. Photo-shop picts on the link needs some color and excitement at the very least.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:03 PM   #45
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What's the projected cost[s] of the "new" 60' GB?


Boat looks too much like 1970's/80's Tollycraft 37' sedan. Dated visuals to be sure. However, a proven model for continued appreciation by owners/buyers. The basic running-shoe/white sneaker visuals of many new boats leave me dry... however... that "modern" look/design sure seems popular to the younger crowd. Photo-shop picts on the link needs some color and excitement at the very least.
That's why I said it might appeal to the European market rather than US. Delta is a top end premium priced boat and has the minimalist look.

I've not heard anything about the cost. My guess is in the range of the Palm Beach 65, which is $3.4 to $3.6 million. Might be slightly less since it doesn't have pods. Maybe $3.3.
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Old 08-29-2015, 05:43 PM   #46
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With Washington being 14th* in the top 20 markets and having annual sales at less than 175 million, compared to Florida at over 1 billion, followed by Texas and the Great Lake states, I don't think Grand Banks is looking at a group of 40 year olds in Seattle as their savior.

Marin gets it.

*2011 stats.
You are absolutely right. Grand Banks would be CRAZY to create a relationship with a consumer like me and move me along a nurture/upgrade cycle into new and improved editions of their product. That I have shown financial commitment to their brand and core product is meaningless. Hell, I live in Washington for Christ sakes.

Just ask Audi who has moved me from a A4 to an A7 to an A8 over the last 8 years - all of that well planned and executed relationship marketing yielded a paltry $180k in cars. What a waste.

And yes, those of us in our 40's in Seattle are regularly removed from statistical samplings because we are obviously so very different from our piers across the country. Especially in Florida and certainly in Texas.

I'm glad you could straighten me out on the market and how out of touch I am win my generation (other than those within a 180 mile radius of my home of course). No one wants boats like this. Ask Tony Fleming.
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Old 08-29-2015, 06:02 PM   #47
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I'm glad you could straighten me out on the market and how out of touch I am win my generation (other than those within a 180 mile radius of my home of course). No one wants boats like this. Ask Tony Fleming.

Don't you just HATE auto- correct??


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Old 08-29-2015, 10:25 PM   #48
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If you want a traditional Grand Banks in the future, it wont be a problem. Most of the ones built are still floating and the hulls are sound, so just pick one up and refit with fabrics/finish/engines/electronics of your desires. Probably at less cost than buying a new one anyway, which I suspect is part of the reason their sales dried up.

The new 60? I'd take a Palm Beach or even an Eastbay over that. Very vanilla.
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Old 08-29-2015, 11:26 PM   #49
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Keep in mind the illustrations of GB's proposed 60' boat are very basic CGI graphics. As such they're meant to show the overall appearance of the boat, nothing more. I very much doubt the actual boat will be that sterile.

Comparing boat markets to car markets is apples and artichokes. Cars are fairly cheap, are used almost daily, and there is an inherent pressure on most car owners to want the latest model or a better model. Cars are also very cheap to make in the overall scheme of things, and the industry has perfected the art of using the same platform for a variety of very different looking models, which makes them even cheaper to make. So you can get a fellow to buy the bottom end Audi model secure in the knowledge that even as he's signing the papers, what he really wants is the top end model. So it's a pretty safe bet that, assuming he likes Audis, he'll eventually buy one.

The new boat market is quite different, particulary in the more expensive cruising boat market. People tend to research and then buy a boat and then keep it for a long time. They might outgrow a boat as children or grandchildren come along, they might want a boat with more comfort, but the pressure to buy the newest model isn't there for the most part. In that regard, it's more like buying a house.

So in my opinion the whole "starter-boat then move them up" philosophy doesnt really apply to makes like Grand Banks. They need to create models that appeal to their target market right from the outset because there's a good chance that's the only new boat a customer will ever buy.

The target market for the classic line of Grand Banks as far as new boats are concerned is, to put it bluntly, dying off or well on the way to it.

So if the company wants to keep going they need to think about the new market for new cruising boats and design for them, not their loyal but disappearing old market. Their proposed 60-footer, whatever they ultimately call it, is much more in line with what the younger buyers of new boats want in terms of aesthetics and speed than the GB classics.

Making allowances for the Plain Jane CGI work, I think the boat looks pretty nice for that style of boat. It's not a style my wife or I would choose, but we're not their market.
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Old 08-30-2015, 07:30 AM   #50
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To me the problem is there is no Starter System.

Years ago yacht clubs got folks into sailing at young ages with 8 ft sailing dinks

Today there is no similar way for folks to learn to enjoy the water , so we get wannabees looking for 65 ft stater boats , because they feel like their dirt house.

Twits tweat , they dont seem to know what a boat is.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:24 AM   #51
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Years ago yacht clubs got folks into sailing at young ages with 8 ft sailing dinks...
Yacht clubs still do this. Ours is part of the city's Parks and Rec program and well attended - I think there are 40 kids this year.
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Old 08-30-2015, 12:44 PM   #52
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Several yacht clubs in the Bay Area do that.
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:49 PM   #53
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It's a bit of a tangent, but what builders of boats in the 55'-65' range do you think are doing well from a business perspective? What about builders other than Grand Banks? Who are they and how do you think they are doing both in terms of addressing their target market, and as a business?

Builders who come to mind are:

- Seline
- Fleming
- Kadey Krogen
- Krogen Express
- Nordhavn

I've probably missed a bunch.....
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:34 PM   #54
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It's a bit of a tangent, but what builders of boats in the 55'-65' range do you think are doing well from a business perspective? What about builders other than Grand Banks? Who are they and how do you think they are doing both in terms of addressing their target market, and as a business?

Builders who come to mind are:

- Seline
- Fleming
- Kadey Krogen
- Krogen Express
- Nordhavn

I've probably missed a bunch.....
I'd toss in American and Nordic Tugs. Now I don't really know how any of these companies are doing financially. However, I think they have stayed true to their customer and market and are selling at a pace they can live with.

What all the above have done though is build upon their heritage, making improvements along the way but not deserting what got them to where they are.

Sea Ray has introduced two very nice boats in the range you mention and they're selling very well. They are the L series and they're Sea Ray's but with a lot of added features and a great redesign. Up to that range, Sea Ray has continued to sell express boats. Meridian is just staying as they were. Not getting much attention from Brunswick. They are targeting the Sea Ray customer, not the Meridian/Bayliner type.

Marquis/Carver is not selling great and fairly regional. Their line has been cut back considerably. I do think they did well in separating the two type boats into different brands. They've just done other things poorly and never really recovered from the debacle of the bankruptcy.

People like Hinckley (and Hunt...same company) staying with what they've always done.

Marlow in many ways was an updated version of Grand Banks but still true to the spirit. I don't think they've done as well recently as his time has been devoted to Hunter and Mainship. Marlow's intent was a lighter, better performing, more up to date Grand Banks at a lower price. Actually some of the things they did might have been smart for GB.

Hatteras has done very well with their 60'. While I disagree with some things Versa has done since buying Hatteras (such as dumping the Cabo brand), they've done a great job in revitalizing Hatteras, including putting a Hatteras label on what was to be a Cabo. Their business is better than I would have expected. They have gradually updated the line.

Princess is doing ok in that size range. They have updated and taken advantage of pods.

Viking, although SF, is doing well in that size range.

In sport boats, Riva and Sunseeker are doing well in that range and very true to their tradition.

I think the Beneteau Swift Trawler is doing remarkably well. This was all new to them and targeted what they felt was an underserved market. They've been proved to be correct.

Oh, as to Nordhavn, doing well with their traditional boats but their Coastal Pilot has done nothing that I'm aware of. I think they would have been far better with different branding, still letting people know it was built by Nordhavn. It's not of interest though to a true Nordy.

Fleming has continued with his tried and true models with very slight upgrades. However, he also introduced a 58 that is an incredible new boat which addresses things some didn't like on the 55. And for those who said CAD and CAM didn't have a big role in this type and size boat, Fleming did a lot of 3D modeling and even tested a scale model. They used the Australian Maritime College facilities for that.

Now, others have deserted this size market for larger boats. OA now builds nothing under 70'. It was rumored that they might come back with some smaller boats but I've seen no signs of it.

Westport has discontinued the Pacific Mariner brand. They dropped the 65 first and then the 85. They both sold very well, but they needed and found it more profitable to use their facilities for larger boats. They also discontinued their 98' so 112' is their smallest boat now. Although the Pacific Mariner 65' styling is very dated, I don't think there is a boat in that range today to compare to it.

Cheoy Lee has a very nice 61'. While their emphasis is larger boats, the 61' is one that merits attention from anyone looking for a new boat in that size but with long range cruising capabilities.

Horizon has stayed in tune with a lot of markets and they offer a very nice 56' and 62'. They also have catamarans in 52' and 60' models. Horizon builds very nice boats.

Azimut introduced their Magellano line of boats a few years ago. This line has done very well and is very different from other boats they build. They go from 43' to 76'. They are an updated Grand Banks type with the 43 cruising at 17 knots and WOT of 22 knots and the other models about the same or slightly slower. They're also less expensive than Grand Banks had become although some of Grand Banks sales recently have been far off retail from what I've heard and read. In many ways these are modernized boats which provide the utility of Grand Banks in a new styling.

That's a few that come off the top of my head. I'm sure there are many more.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:47 PM   #55
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The existence of this lively discussion about Grand Banks sort of proves that the name still has value. The company behind the name has dented its brand equity, which saddens anyone (like me) who has ever held GBs up as the ne plus ultra of motor cruisers. But then I also used to insist that there was no better marine diesel than Caterpillar, a claim that's been hard to defend for quite some years now. Lots of companies have squandered their brand equity.

Anyway, the semiotics of a boat called a "Grand Banks" has been a moving target for decades. It was the late 1970s when I developed my first crush on the marque. Twenty years later, a new GB was already a different product than it had been back when Jimmy Carter was president. If anything, by the late 1990s GBs were even more financially unobtainable than ever, to me at least. They kept moving in that direction, which was admittedly where they saw the market going. So did most builders, until the Great Recession began to unfold in 2007.

Meanwhile, the build quality of the late '70s / early '80s examples, that I had spent so many hours stoutly asserting or defending, has over time turned out to have a few glitches here and there. I still venerate old GBs, but I've sobered up a bit, and gotten a little more clear eyed about what an owner is getting into with a vintage GB.

I stand by my assertion, made a while back in another thread, to the effect that when you spot a well-maintained Grand Banks, brightwork gleaming, canvas crisp and fresh, decks fair and smooth, gel-coat shining and all the rest, you are looking at what practically defines the idea of a proper motor yacht in Bristol condition. It says that its owner is someone who cares enough (and can afford the time, or money or both) to do it right.

High-end yacht builders today must be peering into the future wondering who their customers are going to be in five or ten years. The generation of baby-boomers, of which I am one, no longer drives a seemingly endless consumer market for big-ticket "active lifestyle" purchases. Homeownership rates have flattened, especially among younger age groups. Americans possess less equity in their principal residences. Those with home equity are cautious about deploying it. They face the same question about their houses that yacht builders already face about their products, and it's the same question that many of us on this board will eventually face - who's going to buy our boats when we're ready to sell, and where will they get the money?

The company that owns the GB name is thankfully someone else's responsibility. Even if its managers had never put a foot wrong, their future would still be uncertain, and I'd still be bearish on their stock. But Grand Banks is to me at least still a name to conjure with, and when I talk to someone outside of boating I do my best to explain why.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:02 AM   #56
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I still like the traditional GBs-- I think the 42 is great! But this just proves the point of the whole thread. I will be 62 in about a week and I guess young folks have given up on the Grandbanks Classics.


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Old 09-03-2015, 11:26 AM   #57
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I guess young folks have given up on the Grandbanks Classics.
Perhaps and according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 77% of boating participants are males under 50. Only 8% of boaters are over 65. It will be interesting to see what happens to the resale market of the traditional GBs.
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Old 09-03-2015, 11:32 AM   #58
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I still like the traditional GBs-- I think the 42 is great! But this just proves the point of the whole thread. I will be 62 in about a week and I guess young folks have given up on the Grandbanks Classics.


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I started in coastal boating with DR plots, and worked up through all the electronic innovations. I started in computers with CPM OS and then DOS. Windowing was a big thing. It meant GUI instead of typed commands. Young folks know of none of that. Most are into instant gratification. We are not even teaching history in our schools. Our traditions mean nothing to them. The guard has changed, and they see us as irrelevant.

As an old banker I started out getting land and development loans would say, "Son, it's obvious to me that you were born after the depression". He said that every time I came in for a loan. However, he never turned me down, and I owe (not money) him a great deal for his faith in me. He could tell the guard had changed then.

I had a thought on the thread about twin screw straight drives with no rudders. Oh no, we can't be going back to side wheelers.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:46 PM   #59
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" It will be interesting to see what happens to the resale market of the traditional GBs."

Very Interesting Indeed. My wife and I both think the GB42 is a great boat for a couple. It would be a big upgrade for us in terms of space and storage from our IslandGypsy 32.

The Admiral feels the GB Classic market is about to tumble. The people in their 60s now who may be able to handle the rigors of boatownership will be out of the market in 10years leaving GB sellers holding the bag.

If I were to buy one now I would need a great deal in order to handle the about to come depreciation, lack or interested buyers will hurt resale in the future.

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Old 09-03-2015, 01:32 PM   #60
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About the market for classic GBs, JohnP wrote: "If I were to buy one now I would need a great deal in order to handle the about to come depreciation, lack or interested buyers will hurt resale in the future."

Agree, regretfully. The best it can get is that prices stay flat, but with a commodity whose cost of ownership never stops, even that is unrealistic. Upside potential = zero. The downside is only limited by how much you lay out in capital and expenses. If there was a way to short-sell vintage GBs on a five to seven year window, I'd be on it, although it would feel disloyal to a beloved friend.

That said, a well-cared for example will always be easier / faster to sell than the other kind.
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