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Old 08-05-2015, 05:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by hmason View Post
A better GB improvement would be to use a composite instead of teak like the Fleming is using. That might sell more boats than pods! If they ever do that, I hope they offer a retrofit package.
GB shows little interest now in their Heritage line. They've reduced it now to 4 models and 5 in the Aleutian line, but their push seems to be downeast with their Eastbay and Palm Beach lines which counting the flybridge models have a total of 13 offerings. That's also where their sales are. They talk about orders but their shipments continue to decline and they report losses again. Their stock value has dropped considerably. They released information on May 15 and talked about the orders they took the quarter ending March 31 and the success of the Palm Beach show and taking orders during the quarter for five boats-one GB and 4 PB. They lost S$1.1 million that quarter. All they've said regarding the quarter ending June 30 is issuing a profit warning and indicating they will expect to report a loss for the year ending June 30 during the week of August 24.

This is the final and most telling sentence, from their Chief Financial Officer.
Shareholders of the Company and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.
I'm very sad to see the continued problems. I wish I could predict some development and improvements of the Grand Banks boats. There is so much wonderful tradition just dying away. Who knows what pods might have done for them at the right time.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:07 PM   #22
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They talk about orders but their shipments continue to decline and they report losses again. Their stock value has dropped considerably..........

This is the final and most telling sentence, from their Chief Financial Officer.
Shareholders of the Company and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.
I've followed the GB line quite closely the last 10 years and have watched the decline. Once, a beautiful boat (I loved the 41 Heritage when it first came out) they have been living on their name for the past few years. Other manufacturers have surfaced and are offering boats of equal quality for a much lower cost. If you have a GB that was built in the 70's or 80's (even some 90's) that is in great shape or can be put in great shape without breaking the bank, you have the "GB of old" which is a great boat! GB's in the last 10 years, not so much. (As far as "value" for the dollar is concerned.)
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:28 PM   #23
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Quote from a pod owner in Sea Magazine: If I knew all the maintenance had to be done (on the pods) with the boat out of the water, I would not have purchased them."
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:30 PM   #24
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GB shows little interest now in their Heritage line. They've reduced it now to 4 models and 5 in the Aleutian line, but their push seems to be downeast with their Eastbay and Palm Beach lines which counting the flybridge models have a total of 13 offerings. That's also where their sales are. They talk about orders but their shipments continue to decline and they report losses again. Their stock value has dropped considerably. They released information on May 15 and talked about the orders they took the quarter ending March 31 and the success of the Palm Beach show and taking orders during the quarter for five boats-one GB and 4 PB. They lost S$1.1 million that quarter. All they've said regarding the quarter ending June 30 is issuing a profit warning and indicating they will expect to report a loss for the year ending June 30 during the week of August 24.

This is the final and most telling sentence, from their Chief Financial Officer.
Shareholders of the Company and potential investors are advised to exercise caution when dealing in the shares of the Company.
I'm very sad to see the continued problems. I wish I could predict some development and improvements of the Grand Banks boats. There is so much wonderful tradition just dying away. Who knows what pods might have done for them at the right time.
So, Grand Banks is a penny stock. Sounds like they are long for this world.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:13 PM   #25
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So, Grand Banks is a penny stock. Sounds like they are long for this world.
No, I think the largest shareholder will keep them going somewhat as they have too many resorts in Malaysia and Singapore to let the company die. I do think it's very possible though that they'll become almost if not entirely a downeast type boat builder.

The former largest shareholder had the company basically sold in 2011 for far more than stock prices then or now. However, the sale was rejected and he was fired as CEO.

I don't think they'll consider selling to anyone who won't guarantee keeping the manufacturing in Malaysia. I think based on where their sales are the US would have made sense. However, if that wasn't your choice, then China would have.

I do look to see their stock back on the watch list of the Singapore exchange which it was for the previous two years before coming off for this last year.

I very much share Codger's feelings toward the decline. They had the most loyal and active owner's groups in the US and they threw all that away. I still like the boats, even the current designs.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:17 PM   #26
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Pods are a bad idea if one boats in shallow waters or believes they might run aground. If one stays in waters occupied by large ships or always travels in shipping lanes, it shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 08-05-2015, 09:52 PM   #27
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HM-I have always had that concern about pods. Other than maneuverability, which I have never thought large, twin engine, thruster equipped boats needed anyway, I have never seen the advantage of them. I realize there may some advantages in that the total length of the drive train is a bit shorter, but is it worth it? We have twins with twin keels, fully protected shafts. props and rudders. Much prefer that over pods. I have also been curious about the energy transfer of the prop thrust from the props, through two right angles to the hull. Seems like it could be stressful on the hull to me as opposed to stringer mounted engines, or Aquadrive systems.
Gave some thought to pods:

Advantages:

​ Maneuverability during docking, mooring, locking
​ Efficiency (maybe not so much in a 10kph displacement boat)
​Eliminates rudders, steering wheel, linkages, auto pilot linkages
​ Eliminates bow thruster (?)
​ Exhaust through the foot reduces noise and fumes
​ Raw water intake through foot
​Joystick driving from anywhere on boat
​ Station keeping at locks and bridges
​Reduced vibration, no alignment hassles

Disadvantages:

​ Initial cost (How much? And how much offset by the bits eliminated, above)
​More frequent and expensive routine maintenance, boat may have to be hauled more often
​Expensive if damaged
​ Potential big hole in boat
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:16 AM   #28
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They had the most loyal and active owner's groups in the US and they threw all that away
Times and tastes change. From what I hear in our harbor--- and we have the Puget Sound GB dealer here now--- the majority of people who buy GBs today are former GB owners. To new or younger boaters, GBs are seen as old fashioned, stodgy, ridiculously overpriced designs and they want no part of them.

The looky-loos who come down our dock when we happen to be working on our boat and stop and remark what a lovely boat it is all have one foot in the grave. The young folks who come down the dock looking at the boats don't give our boat or the other GB in the next slip a second glance. They ooh and ahh over the modern Euro-swoop boats on the dock.

The Eastbay is seen as modern and cool so it's no surprise that whatever success GB is having is in that line of boats.

Personally, I have thought for many years it's been long past time to put a bullet in the head of the traditional GB design and do something different and new. I think it was really dumb of them to try to "modernize" the GB by putting a faster hull and more power and/or pod drives under what is now a 49 year old house design. You can gussy a barn up with modern doo-dads but it still looks like a barn. Same thing with GB.

I think the company deserves what it's getting for being blind to the market changes. It's as though we were still trying to flog the 707 to our customers. Great plane in its day but its day is long, long gone.

It will not surprise me--- and from what I hear from acquaintances at the dealer it won't surprise them, either--- to see the GB brand disappear altogether and fairly soon. It's been interesting to see the recent evolution of what is passing through this particular dealer--- fewer and fewer GBs and more and more other brands. I'm talking used boats here. There have not been any new GBs come through for a long time. I think the last one was a GB47 that was part of a bank sale from the failed GB dealer in Seattle. The folks who bought it got if for half price. The bank didn't want to be in the boat business and just wanted it to go away. The dealership/brokerage in our harbor is doing very, very well from what our friends there tell us. But more and more of their sales are not GBs.

Brand loyalty is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The old folks still cling to it but the new crowd buys what grabs them on the spur of the moment and then changes it out as soon as something cooler comes along regardless of who makes it.

Car manufacturers are having a hell of a time with this and have been for years. Twenty, thirty years ago a car brand consisted of just a few models. Maybe three or four. Today, a brand has to have a ton of models if they expect to survive. I read an interview with one of the car CEOs--- it might have been Alan Mulally--- who was talking about how a company could once get away with just a few basic models per brand but today they need eight or ten or even more. It makes it hellaciously expensive, he said, hence the sharing of platforms as much as possible, the moving offshore of as much production as possible, and the rapidly increasing use of manufacturing automation so they can get rid of their expensive humans as quickly as possible (the aerospace industry is doing exactly the same thing).

So I think the Grand Banks line is all but officially dead. And that's okay. It's their fault they couldn't keep up with the market--- actually I don't think they even recognized the market anymore and were still clinging to a market that is dying off at an accelerating rate--- so they are joining the growing list of failed or failing companies who's glory years were long ago.

There's nothing new in this. History is comprised of companies led by people who saw an opportunity, jumped on it, were wildly successful, then failed to recognize the continuing changes around them, and faded away. My gut feel is that this is what's happening now to Microsoft although they've got a long, long way to fall so the crash is a ways off.
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:48 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
Gave some thought to pods:

Advantages:

​ Maneuverability during docking, mooring, locking
​ Efficiency (maybe not so much in a 10kph displacement boat)
​Eliminates rudders, steering wheel, linkages, auto pilot linkages
​ Eliminates bow thruster (?)
​ Exhaust through the foot reduces noise and fumes
​ Raw water intake through foot
​Joystick driving from anywhere on boat
​ Station keeping at locks and bridges
​Reduced vibration, no alignment hassles

Disadvantages:

​ Initial cost (How much? And how much offset by the bits eliminated, above)
​More frequent and expensive routine maintenance, boat may have to be hauled more often
​Expensive if damaged
​ Potential big hole in boat

I think another advantage -- by locating engines further aft -- is the potential to free up forward space inside the boat, for systems access or living quarters or whatever.

I wonder about the efficiency hit often cited against pods for slow boats. Seems to me that where current new twin engine installations might use 2x 300-hp (or whatever) engines... they could instead reduce installed HP for each engine by maybe 30%.

I also wonder why a single-engine pod drive might not work for a "trawler" (sic). Somebody did a single-pod installation on a planning hull (might have been a center console, can't remember) and it appeared successful. I think Volvo says something about adverse water flow (from a keel?) becomes an issue, so maybe that one I'm half-remembering was a Zeus installation... Anyway, a single pod protected by decent keel wouldn't maybe suffer so much from the concern about damage.

I suspect I'd be all over a single-pod with bow thruster... assuming I were to win the lottery and therefore need a new boat.

-Chris
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Old 08-06-2015, 08:19 AM   #30
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We have 2 boats with Pods on our dock one is a new Belize (the July 4th dock smasher) the other is a Italian boat both very expensive and beautiful boats not my style

Both owners are very green and normally hire captains

So one day husband and wife past a group on the dock all working on a friends boat. They had a set of extra props in a cart Volvo on the box. One of the men said oh parts for my boat thanks. the pod owner said ( in the best Thurston Howell 3rd voice I have ever heard) "these are for my IPS very expensive in case you are not aware"

so now the 2 boat owners have the nic name the Pod Squad
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:10 AM   #31
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This link is to a chart posted by a vendor that shows Volvo engine pricing, including the IPS variant.

It's a couple of years old, but at least indicate how much more the IPS is.

http://www.marine-services.co.me/vol...st-2013_14.pdf
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:29 AM   #32
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Update from the OP. Yesterday a diver tried to locate the parted pod with no success. He is trying again today. Stay tuned.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:48 AM   #33
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As expensive as they are, they should be equipped with some sort of tracking device.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:03 PM   #34
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This link is to a chart posted by a vendor that shows Volvo engine pricing, including the IPS variant.

It's a couple of years old, but at least indicate how much more the IPS is.

http://www.marine-services.co.me/vol...st-2013_14.pdf
The number I've generally heard is about $60,000 each and your chart supports something in that range.

Sea Ray offers Zeus as an option starting on their 41' Sundancer. Also, only on twins. So, this reflects where Brunswick feels in-house they have a potential place.

Now, you'll see them sold primarily to very inexperienced and somewhat less knowledgeable boaters a lot of times. The sales person will talk about fuel usage. Well, there we're talking about using 40,000 fewer gallons to recover the initial cost. This is on boats that generally are used 100 to a maximum of 200 hours a year.

Then they'll also talk about the ease of the joystick. This is without mentioning that any boat can be rigged with a joystick. Now, recognize there is a cost in rigging that and the performance of the pod joysticks is excellent.

I think pods definitely have their place and there are some boats out there to which they've been well matched and they're a good choice. However, the early prediction/hope that Volvo and others made that they'd take huge market shares from both I/O's and from straight drives just hasn't materialized.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:07 PM   #35
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The number I've generally heard is about $60,000 each and your chart supports something in that range.

Sea Ray offers Zeus as an option starting on their 41' Sundancer. Also, only on twins. So, this reflects where Brunswick feels in-house they have a potential place.

Now, you'll see them sold primarily to very inexperienced and somewhat less knowledgeable boaters a lot of times. The sales person will talk about fuel usage. Well, there we're talking about using 40,000 fewer gallons to recover the initial cost. This is on boats that generally are used 100 to a maximum of 200 hours a year.

Then they'll also talk about the ease of the joystick. This is without mentioning that any boat can be rigged with a joystick. Now, recognize there is a cost in rigging that and the performance of the pod joysticks is excellent.

I think pods definitely have their place and there are some boats out there to which they've been well matched and they're a good choice. However, the early prediction/hope that Volvo and others made that they'd take huge market shares from both I/O's and from straight drives just hasn't materialized.
Well, don't forget there are a lot of offsets to the cost, including one or more thrusters if you want anything like the manueverability of pods.

In a big boat with a lot of windage, on a windy day, waiting at a crowded lock, or trying to get into a skinny berth, you don't have to be inexperienced to start thinking pods might be nice.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:45 PM   #36
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Well, don't forget there are a lot of offsets to the cost, including one or more thrusters if you want anything like the manueverability of pods.

In a big boat with a lot of windage, on a windy day, waiting at a crowded lock, or trying to get into a skinny berth, you don't have to be inexperienced to start thinking pods might be nice.
Most of the boats I've seen with Pods, also have bow thrusters. On a 50'+ boat, they're still needed.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:09 AM   #37
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The number I've generally heard is about $60,000 each and your chart supports something in that range.

Is that engine + pod? Or just pod? If former, what's the delta for pod vs. shaft?

-Chris
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:04 AM   #38
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Is that engine + pod? Or just pod? If former, what's the delta for pod vs. shaft?

-Chris
See the chart in post 31.
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:17 AM   #39
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Will a pod drive rotate a full 360 degrees?
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Old 08-07-2015, 10:43 AM   #40
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Is that engine + pod? Or just pod? If former, what's the delta for pod vs. shaft?

-Chris
That is the additional cost of pod over straight at msrp on the same boat with the same speed. However, it's probably not that far off from what replacement would cost for the pod drive. I'm guessing that would be in the $40,000+ range.

When comparing to a straight drive, let's not forget there is cost there to if you hit something hard enough that it would knock a pod off. Typically that could run $20,000. And on the straight drive the risk of ingress in the event of hitting an object that hard is higher than on the pod. Now if you lightly hit an object, pod or straight drive will have similar damage. These are all ballpark estimates so do not take them to the bank.

There is also a difference in various pods. The most popular on recreational boats are IPS and Zeus. IPS is forward facing and vertical. Zeus is rear facing, in a tunnel and slanted. IPS requires hauling to change the gear oil, Zeus doesn't. IPS is with Volvo, Zeus is with Cummins.

The information I'm giving is not based on any actual experience with pods, but conversations with those who have driven them and information I've gathered in considering them. I have one captain friend who loves them (prefers Zeus) for the economy and the lesser space requirements.

Talking their joystick's vs. joystick's for regular drives, the pod has some advantage especially in things like dynamic positioning, but the other joystick's have made significant progress and rapidly catching up.

Personally, in the US or most of Europe I would not say no to pods if that's the only way the boat I wanted came, but I wouldn't buy a boat simply because it had them. For Central and South America and the Caribbean, I would not consider pods.

For boats traveling at low speeds, I wouldn't choose pods nor do you see them used in those applications often.

However, there are boats where pods are your only choice but the builder has done an incredible job of developing good boat and drive combinations and performance. The first example that comes to my mind is Delta Powerboats, from Sweden.

DELTA POWERBOATS

They are IPS experts, early adopters. (See Sweden.....Volvo...). They're not by any means a price boat so the added cost of pods means nothing to their customer. They just want the best performance and handling and get that with pods.

Now, if I was considering a Sea Ray 410 Sundancer I can't see why I'd pay the extra for pods vs. conventional. Perhaps if I drove two, one after another, there would be something to change my mind. I'm a bit of the mindset "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Pods really found a place in the market as fuel prices skyrocketed and as an advantage one boat builder could have over another. For instance, Marquis trying to compete against Sea Ray. Delta vs. Wajer. Sessa and Monte Carlo and even Lazzara trying to get sales. I think they do have a place in the market, but that their percentage of market has leveled off and not reached the levels they hoped for. Other than for economy and efficiency, they were somewhat fixing a problem most of us don't seem to have.

Now, one use of pods I've not mentioned to this point. Azipod's from Azimuth. There are used quite often on ships and may be gaining popularity for major cargo and other commercial boats. Think of them as just being gondola's under the ships with propellers. They can turn 360 degrees so can back almost as fast as forward. Generally the props face forward to reduce water disturbance. Estimates of fuel savings is anywhere from 5-15% but I think most say 8-10%. They are widely used on cruise ships too. Now you're talking applications where 10% savings in fuel is huge dollars and fuel is a very significant part of operating costs.
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