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Old 09-07-2014, 01:06 PM   #21
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Trawlers have always been for those with lots of time and/or wanting a cruising liveaboard. And there has been pressure on both groups - completely retired has gotten rarer (and less well funded) and various factors have reduced liveaboards (moorage costs, envirmental, etc). I don't see these trends reversing for many years.
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Old 09-07-2014, 01:07 PM   #22
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This is amazing-a thread where everybody posting is spot on.

I realized I was in the mule business (they probably thought the demand would never end) years ago, the Captains are just the teamsters. Of course you can actually eat a mule in hard times
Exports have been excellent for a decade now. More mules, uh I mean boats were sold during the recession though. I'm selling, but nobody calls me anymore wanting trawlers, since like 1988. They all want the option to get up and outrun the weather, or get to the next marina before the employees go home. There's been many new designs 47'-56' in the past two decades allowing long range with excellent economy, but can go between 18 -50 mph when needed. That's what's selling.
Carry on.
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Old 09-07-2014, 04:09 PM   #23
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I'm selling, but nobody calls me anymore wanting trawlers, since like 1988. They all want the option to get up and outrun the weather, or get to the next marina before the employees go home. There's been many new designs 47'-56' in the past two decades allowing long range with excellent economy, but can go between 18 -50 mph when needed. That's what's selling.
Carry on.
On many items, not just boats people want something that is versatile or multi-purpose. The negative is that when it has two functions it's probably not as good at either as a single function item. So, for lack of a better word and please let's not argue what it means, the semi-displacement boat has become popular. It doesn't run as fast as planing nor is it as economical as a slow trawler. But to many of us the compromise is more than worth it. Personally, we would not be happy with a boat that could only go 6 to 8 knots. That's not to say they aren't great and perfect for many people. Can we then go at displacement speeds economically? Yes. Is it ever as economical as a boat designed only for that speed? No. As to ride a lot has been done over the years and many of these boats rival full displacement models in ride and comfort. Grand Banks was the leader in this market shift, then people wanted it from other builders.

I do think there will continue, however, to be some demand on full displacement boats that only go slow but are extremely economical to own and operate but that is more a niche now than the mainstream.
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Old 09-07-2014, 05:30 PM   #24
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>>>Marin made an interesting comment the other day.<<<

Gee, I thought all of Marin's comments were interesting.

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Old 09-07-2014, 07:18 PM   #25
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There is such a plethora of TERRIBLE stuff out there with delamination, soaked cores, rotten cores and fastener issues that it is well worth fully investigating and passing up the 'deal of the century' when it involves water in the hull.
There are just as many poorly designed and manufactured rv's out there as there boats. So, even if 10% of the new retirees buy rv's and another 10-15% buy boats, there will be at least 50% who won't buy anything motorized.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:21 PM   #26
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On many items, not just boats people want something that is versatile or multi-purpose. The negative is that when it has two functions it's probably not as good at either as a single function item. So, for lack of a better word and please let's not argue what it means, the semi-displacement boat has become popular. It doesn't run as fast as planing nor is it as economical as a slow trawler. But to many of us the compromise is more than worth it. Personally, we would not be happy with a boat that could only go 6 to 8 knots. That's not to say they aren't great and perfect for many people. Can we then go at displacement speeds economically? Yes. Is it ever as economical as a boat designed only for that speed? No. As to ride a lot has been done over the years and many of these boats rival full displacement models in ride and comfort. Grand Banks was the leader in this market shift, then people wanted it from other builders.

I do think there will continue, however, to be some demand on full displacement boats that only go slow but are extremely economical to own and operate but that is more a niche now than the mainstream.
That may well be what's selling now, but as fuel prices continue to rise - more efficient engines will come to dominate the market. Hence the slower boats will take over. Of course there will be some spendthrifts who won't care about the prices and blow thru $200k Euros a year in fuel.
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Old 09-07-2014, 07:39 PM   #27
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That may well be what's selling now, but as fuel prices continue to rise - more efficient engines will come to dominate the market. Hence the slower boats will take over. Of course there will be some spendthrifts who won't care about the prices and blow thru $200k Euros a year in fuel.
Certainly there will be swings in the boat market as fuel prices swing, but right now they are less than they were in the spring of 2008 in the US.
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Old 09-07-2014, 08:02 PM   #28
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I wish I were brave enough to take on an older trawler. By older, I mean a wooden hull.
As someone once said:

"To own a boat that you can't afford the time and money to maintain is misery"

My first boat in the 60s was timber - it died badly.

My last two have also been timber, but I have some money and lots of time now.
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Old 09-07-2014, 09:26 PM   #29
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As someone once said:

"To own a boat that you can't afford the time and money to maintain is misery"

My first boat in the 60s was timber - it died badly.

My last two have also been timber, but I have some money and lots of time now.
Whoever the someone makes a lot of sense. I do think the more recent the boats, the more forgiving they will be. There certainly are some weaknesses though that will still show up.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:25 AM   #30
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As someone once said:

"To own a boat that you can't afford the time and money to maintain is misery"

My first boat in the 60s was timber - it died badly.

My last two have also been timber, but I have some money and lots of time now.
When I left the steel boats on the GL, the first boat I bought had cedar hull. It was 23 yrs old in 1979 and I just saw it last month in the Acores. If I could go back in time, I would have taken better care of her. My next one will be built of coyhaique cypress.
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Old 09-08-2014, 11:39 AM   #31
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I do think the more recent the (timber) boats, the more forgiving they will be. There certainly are some weaknesses though that will still show up.
In general, quite the opposite - the large pieces of the best woods are gone, baby, gone. The skills for working with them, ditto. The tools and fastenings, same.

It's somewhat similar with house construction. "Dimensioned" lumber is smaller, and gets shittier by the year. "Engineering" really means getting by with the cheapest and skimpiest material possible. Yes, there is improved knowledge of (for instance) earthquake and fire protection, but the material quality will make your head hurt.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:35 PM   #32
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I think the "trawler" market in new boats is done and gone forever.

I think the "expedition" boat market is doing pretty well as evidenced by Nordhavn KK and others.

as far as the "large boat" market I think Pilothouse King got it right on. People that can afford large boats want the versatility of speed.

This latest meltdown of 2007 to present has changed the boating industry by eliminating some really good players from the market. This will eventually turn around as people in the demographic that can afford "mid size" and "mid price point" boats start spending money again.
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Old 09-08-2014, 12:44 PM   #33
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Locally I was absent from the boating scene for roughly 30 years before returning a couple years ago. When my dad had his houseboat we had our choice of well over 100 marinas, dozens of service yards, fuel docks everywhere, and tons of fellow active boaters enjoying the waters. Activity everywhere and the camaraderie was great.

Fast forward 30 years and plying these same rivers and sloughs is reminiscent of a John Steinbeck novel. Derelict boats, marinas, service yards, RV parks, the rental fleets are largely gone and very few really well kept marinas left. One entire former thriving boating community with lots of former upscale homes and marinas is largely a ghost town filled with poverty stricken drug addicts. Former proud marinas have weeds growing where the busy docks once where and dead head logs are what's left of launch ramps. River side bars and bistros once packed are no longer.

It can all return someday but it will take decades of investment and development to restore lost infrastructure and that means a thriving economy flush with disposable, recreational income... Where will the trawler market be, not here likely. At least locally to this area.
CPseudonym--You and I share the same experience. My last memories of boating before purchasing Sherpa were Florida boating during the 1980s. Based on the data I've seen, this was the peak of recreational boat ownership and the typical boat owner was far younger then. Trawlers, sailboats, and all sorts of boats populated the ICW. I have photos of popular anchor spots that were teeming with afore. The ICW is now barren compared to years past. The middle class can no longer afford the hobby let alone a trawler. The selection of trawlers (particularly FD hulls) is very, very limited. My father purchased his first trawler at 38, which was not terribly atypical in the late 70s. I purchased my first trawler at the same age and it is nearly unheard of!

I have a feeling "trawler" builders will continue to focus more on the 1% while the market for the serfdom will consist mostly of personal water craft, open fishing boats, and small cuddy cabin cruisers.

I know very few people would want to buy my little trawler: too slow. Like trawlers in general, it appeals to a very small and dwindling group.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:31 PM   #34
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I am 67 now so the baby boomer thing is something I know about. The trawler market never took the hit that the Sea Ray and convertible market took in the last recession, trawler buyers are like their boats , slow and steady and they planned for a purchase for years in advance.
Pensioners were never mid size boat buyers, it is the folks that will be selling their business that they built for most of their lives that will buy a bigger boat to travel on in retirement. Just as after the "luxury tax" that went in effect here in the US in 1990 sales slowed for awhile so there were limited models a few years old in 1995, there will be limited models now that are only a few years old.
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Old 09-08-2014, 01:47 PM   #35
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Where will the trawler market go?

In all fairness houseboats have always been cheaper than mid size cruisers but I wonder this question.

Mom and Dad owned 2 houses and bought/maintained a 3 year old houseboat in 1980 on a combined gross income of $70K/year, how many folks can afford to buy a 3 year old boat with the equivalent income today?

They where roughly 45 years old at the time.
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:01 PM   #36
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In all fairness houseboats have always been cheaper than mid size cruisers but I wonder this question.

Mom and Dad owned 2 houses and bought/maintained a 3 year old houseboat in 1980 on a combined gross income of $70K/year, how many folks can afford to buy a 3 year old boat with the equivalent income today?

They where roughly 45 years old at the time.

You ( and us) should've paid closer attention to Mom and Dad then!!!
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:25 PM   #37
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In all fairness houseboats have always been cheaper than mid size cruisers but I wonder this question.

Mom and Dad owned 2 houses and bought/maintained a 3 year old houseboat in 1980 on a combined gross income of $70K/year, how many folks can afford to buy a 3 year old boat with the equivalent income today?

They where roughly 45 years old at the time.
Wouldn't $70K in 1980 be a little over $200K today? The three year old 80 foot houseboat around $500-550K. Smaller houseboats in the $300K range. I don't know. Certainly would require a lot of debt for most and on top of two houses, I think you're right, can't afford, although seems like many do it and overextend themselves.

Any guess on what an equivalent houseboat cost then?
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:41 PM   #38
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The squeeze of time and $ that someone mentioned earlier is right on the money. My wife and I are in our 40's, a little on the young side for the trawler market, I guess. Our old boat was 30 plus years old, 8 knots and had quite a bit of teak. I enjoyed maintaining it and learned a lot. She is still going strong.

But for our next boat we just couldn't swing the time for an 8 knot cruise, or the constant upkeep that an older boat deserves. We bought a 2005 Mainship 40. Still not the fastest (15 knots) and by no means maintenance free, but it suits our kids/sports/work/aging parents life much better. Also it is a lower to mid quality, less expensive boat that we could pay cash for.

I think we say something about the future of the market.

And, oh by the way, I'm in the midst of a varnishing project. The trim inside the salon door needed recoating. It is 4" wide by 5' long. It's filling my desires for varnish....just enough. :-)
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:48 PM   #39
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Wouldn't $70K in 1980 be a little over $200K today? The three year old 80 foot houseboat around $500-550K. Smaller houseboats in the $300K range. I don't know. Certainly would require a lot of debt for most and on top of two houses, I think you're right, can't afford, although seems like many do it and overextend themselves.

Any guess on what an equivalent houseboat cost then?
I checked an online inflation calculator and your figure is correct. I recall my mother mentioning that they paid around $40,000 in 1980 for a new, well-customized 26' Outer Reef--that's over $115K in today's dollars. Not bad given current prices of Rangers and Nordic Tugs around that size. One most consider though that many of today's "trawlers" would be far more affordable without all the HP. The Nordic has a 110HP standard while the Outer Reef was almost half that. I bought used because a new FD pocket trawler was impossible to find (unless I built one).
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:26 PM   #40
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Wouldn't $70K in 1980 be a little over $200K today?

Any guess on what an equivalent houseboat cost then?
I think that a $200K combined income could buy a house and a nice boat today just like $70K could in 1980, and just like my dads $45K income could buy nice things in the 1960's.

To do it required carrying debt then, and it requires carrying debt now.

In my opinion a big part of the problem affecting people today is that traditionally large purchases were made in peoples older years. That is when the kids were grown, and the house was paid off or was a relatively "small" mortgage because the mortgage stayed the same as income rose.

Now days people don't stay in their home, so they never pay it off, and have a mortgage payment at the edge of their income level their entire adult life.

Back then you didn't have to fund your retirement, you had a pension. Now you have a self funded 401K

Back then your employer paid for your medical insurance. Now most of us have to pay hundreds a month in addition to what our employers pay.

Back then we had trade tech schools. A smaller percentage of kids went to a university. Now every parent thinks its their responsibility to make sure their kids go to the university, on their dime. With our non competitive schooling we fail too realize that not every kid is actually smart enough to be a rocket scientist, and that the plumber down the street makes more money than we do sitting in our cubicle.
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