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Is the big SF market dead?

Discussion in 'General Sportfish Discussion' started by SHAZAM, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    I need an island like that :) does a thousand get me started?
  2. SHAZAM

    SHAZAM Senior Member

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    Cap, do you think the owner of that boat would be more likely to buy a large cc today rather than the express?
  3. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Not at all. The island he owned had a dive resort on it and the owner also owned half of another island with a dive resort on it. And a house on San Pedro. Glover's was 72NM away, then Turneffe was about 40nm North, and then San Pedro was another 45NM or so North of that. For several reasons, no.

    He had a Captain and Mate (full time) to maintain and run the boat, he enjoyed BS'ing with his buddies in the a/c ed helm deck, and not hanging on for dear life to a steering wheel, we cruised 31 knots all of the time and didn't have to hold on for dear life, and not having to try to hide under a t-top nor frying in the 106F Belizian sun.

    The express also was much more preferable in the freezer and refrigerator carrying capacity, we had the cockpit freezer and additional galley deep freezer, so we could carry plenty of bait and also plenty of specialty food items the employees on the islands would cook for us. But at times we went to all 3 islands on 1 trip......

    Also dry interior room was important, keep in mind we carried suitcases for all of those people we brought......we'd usually do 4 day weekends, sometimes a week.......

    Also, down there trolling was the ticket, for both wahoo and Marlin, and they utilized the fighting chair extensively, very few of the guests, I think only 2 caught a fish stand-up fishing. The 45' cabo with it's 16' beam and weight was a lot more stable than your typical big CC on the troll. The owner liked having the tower, if nothing more to sit in and veg out while we were trolling....... rarely did I go up there for fishing purposes, you didn't do that kind of fishing down there really......sometimes I'd go to run the boat and just hang out......

    He would fly down to Panama for a month a year to Marlin fish and this and that as well as other places internationally. However on the Cabo, he never once picked up a rod. He liked letting everyone else fish, his kids, friends, ministers, and BS'ing with me at the helm and sipping on his Johnny walker gold.........LOL

    The big CC are great as a guy's boat, or a local day trip only fishing boat for the family, or for a young energetic family......but between having to hang on all of the time, the lack of dry space, the lack of interior space when the weather turns nasty, and everything else.......I don't forsee a family with kids or older couples doing anything more than here to Bimini and Back.......All it takes is one big rainstorm that you get stuck in, and the majority of the wives are going to be heading to the hills......or boatshow.....

    Another owner- I have one that has a 27' whaler I maintain as well as other toys, and about twice a year he does a night-time swordfishing trip with his kids and he has Me and a Mate (so I don't have to work hard, so he says.....LOL) run the boat. Well it turns out his son invited too many people so he called me and asked if his buddies 43' Tiara or another buddies 38' Fountain CC with 3-300 verado's would be better......I told him the 38' Fountain.....so we chose the Fountain......well the next day it was off and on raining, and he switched his mind to the 43' Tiara. Well there were 10 of us and on our way out the HEAVENS opened up for about 30 minutes and then it was clear the entire night. EVERYONE was happy we tooked the slower Tiara and weren't standing out there in soaking wet clothes the entire night.......plus the tiara was very comfortable with the express style seating......even though we had to keep clutching it the entire night to keep the lines behind the boat.
  4. ArielM

    ArielM Senior Member

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    SF boats are not out at all in my opinion. You are simply seeing the results of a depressed economy. And it will probably get worse before it gets better until our nations debt is addressed.

    A big SF has MANY advantages over a CC some of which were addressed by CaptJ.

    a CC is great for day runs to the local canyons/banks but simply can't replace all facets that a large SF can handle. how do you go on weekend trips, parties on the boat with family/friends, travel long range (500+ miles) etc etc.

    A SF also appeals to many owners who dont even fish. They are fast and built very tough. They can outperform most MY in their same size.

    it might be different on the east coast, but from the brokers i have spoken to here on the west side the only thing really moving are sail boats and live aboard MYs.
  5. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    The boating market has also been affected by perception: How others see you.
    As a business man I am very aware how potential clients view me. Having an expensive shiny toy parked at the back of my waterfront home is not conducive to business. On the one hand you want your clients to know you are a smart, successful business person, while at the same time you want to appear astute and cautious in this very depressed market. Hence even those who can afford it, are probably thinking twice about flashing it out there. The potential client is hard enough to find as it is. I don’t want them left with an impression that my profit is so much larger than the competition.
  6. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    Amen. Crabs too.

    "The boating market has also been affected by perception"..."On the one hand you want your clients to know you are a smart, successful business person, while at the same time you want to appear astute and cautious in this very depressed market..."

    Man you must have pretty decent clients.
    I guard my private life like a top secret porfolio.
    If they new I had a boat, a YACHT ( in their eyes ) for petes sake, they'd immediately think our rates are too high. Or, WORSE YET want me to take them and their families out for the week end. :eek:

    Sorry, back to the thread... In my mind the hard core fishermen like the CC's for all the reasons above. Speed, economical fuel and it's an all around utilitarian boat, swimming skiing diving...

    I love my SF for the area I cruise because it is solid and seaworthy.
    My wife wants comfort ( so do I ) and security.
    A CC wouldn't be right for our kind of cruising.
    We have limited time off and a MY is too slow to make the best of a week end.

    In addition, the 46 SF made the bay a little smaller because the seaworthy-ness. The Chesapeake Bay is surely no ocean but if you get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, which can happen no matter how vigilant you are, a good quality SF is a good boat to be in.

    Style..... Some people just like the style. A MY is more practical for living on and maybe the baby boomers are headed in that direction but my opinion is the SF is way better looking.

    Finally, alot of my friends with all kinds of boats are buying CC's in the 18 to 27 foot range and leaving the big boats at the dock like a floating camp ground. They don't even fish.
    They never went far in the big boats anyway and it is less hassel and less fuel cost for them to untie the CC and go down river to a beach and party.
    Additional plus is they can get on the beach and their kids take the boat and go skiing etc.

    This is not my kind of baoting but it is more & more popular.
  7. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Having an expensive shiny toy parked at the back of my waterfront home is not conducive to business.

    My clients feel sorry for me for having such a tiny SF compared to their's. Maybe I can up my rates?:)
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    Not a bad idea, keep the real one somewhere away from home :)
  9. ArielM

    ArielM Senior Member

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    It all depends who your clients are and what you do. If you are a sub contractor then you are 100% right. You dont want your clients thinking you make too much. if you are a hedge fund manager, banker, land developer then you better have the biggest boat in the marina if you want to impress your clients.

    This thread got slightly off topic :).
  10. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    If my banker had a new Hatteras SF I would be checking my bank balance daily!
    As I said it's a perception. If the guy who is quoting works for you, be it as a fund manager or builder, then you as a client want to know he is not throwing his own money around, which is in fact his clients money.
    As for off topic, maybe a little, but I think the demographics of SF buyers would be people with money, lots of it, to spare on a toy for the boys, not a family cruiser etc.
    IMHO, it's a cyclical situation. We have seen this before.
  11. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    customers views

    Hi,

    We mostly work for factories and answer to factory, facilities or production mangers who intern work for the bigger corporation.

    One day I was in a meeting with a FM discussing an ongoing project when out of the blue he asked why he hadn't and when would he, see my boat !
    I was totally caught off guard.
    I replied something like " don't feel bad, most of my family has never seen my boat either"

    Our relationship was never the same.......
  12. MSviking

    MSviking New Member

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    In my business my boat plays a large and beneficial role. I do a lot of entertaining with customers and suppliers. It's a great way to get to know someone without needing golf clubs! It is a huge asset to my business. We have never had a bad experience on boat (relative to business). Everyone always wants go again!

    FYI, my banker (small community bank) has a 60 Hat right next to my boat, I have never thought less of him for having a nice boat.
  13. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    If your rates are comparable to the competition, but you have more revenue for that SF, that's almost always due to better service bringing in a higher volume. I'm always proud to sell our higher service level

    As to customer perception, in the same manner your clients don't want to see you wearing frayed collars and scuffed shoes, if you own a black smoke belcher of a tub, it's gonna raise some questions in your clients mind.

    Back to the SF. Access to the bridge IMO is something that many new boaters see as a negative of th SF. At our docks, a lot of families with multiple interests are buying the Azimuts rather than the single purpose user of years ago.
  14. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Yes, a step ladder to the bridge is a huge negative for many women, elderly, and young kids.....compared to a stairway like on the Searay's or Azimuts......
  15. NewSouthSailor

    NewSouthSailor New Member

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    Excellent point! I am still in the market for an SF in the 50' to 60' range and probably it will be a Hatteras, Viking or maybe a Bertram. I think the market is still very slow and there will be good deals around for some time.

    Two things that regularly make me wonder are: Why only a few SF builder make molded stairs (e.g. Mikelson) ... and why it took builders so long to start building their boats with mezzanines ???

    In my humble and inexperienced opinion both add a great deal of comfort to a boat! I am not sure if the mezzanines are unpopular with avid sport fishers, but I find it hard to believe that molded stairs would be considered a minus by these "core clients".

    Please enlighten me if you can ... ;-)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012
  16. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Having been aboard SF with molded stairways, there is no doubt that other areas of the boat, eg equipment storage lockers and cabin area, are reduced. And for a true SF that much bigger hole in the bridge deck makes it more difficult for the captain to do his job. But, I think sooner or later the market is going to force SF producers to rethink access to the bridge, as more SF cruise their boats, and fish their cc's
  17. chesapeake46

    chesapeake46 Senior Member

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    stairs to the bridge

    Not only the big hole in the bridge deck to contend with but the stairs will take up too much space in the cockpit until you get 50 or 60 feet, I think.
  18. NewSouthSailor

    NewSouthSailor New Member

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    Correct. Under 50' probably the space that is sacrificed in the cockpit and/or up on the fly bridge might be too much. Above 50' it is my guess that a molded stair (it may well be a rather steep one) can be done nicely. E.g. 50' or 57' Mikelsons.
  19. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Steep is a compromise that doesn't get the ladyfolk all that thrilled. IMO the Mikelsons aren't a true SF, don't hear of many on the circuit - on the 57 the helm is all the way forward on the bridge like a convertible. Fishers need to be able to look right down at that cockpit and transom. But they do have that auxilliary helm. None the less, that may be the way SF design goes.
  20. Ormond Bert54

    Ormond Bert54 Senior Member

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    After having spent the summer with my Bertram 54, I can say it's a very nice place to spend time.

    My boat was used constantly this summer ... largely because it's about as comfortable as a nice condo ... and goes places.

    For my cruise back from Maine to Maryland, I have 3 friends joining me for the journey because they asked to be included.

    I think the only thing stopping people from buying large SF boats is money. We have a country stifled by high tax, massive regulation, big government and massive debt. Since the voters seem to want more of all of this, nothing is going to change, I don't expect the large SF market to come back in the USA EVER.