Discussion in 'Sea Ray Yacht' started by PacBlue, Dec 6, 2017.
In that article, Brunswick mentions sport boats, cruisers, sport yachts, and yachts. What are examples of each of those?
("Yachts" obviously not in the British "anything with sails" sense of the word...)
So now all that's left is 19-40' runabouts and small cruisers and no exports. The timing of this with the tariff was not coincidental. Sea Ray with suddenly 20% less business was worthless and it's survival questionable. Perhaps after Brunswick takes a huge charge this year, it survives as a very small boat builder for Marine Max.
All boats without cabins, 19-29' primarily are sport boats.
Sundancers 26-35' are Cruisers.
All Sundancers 40' and larger are considered Sport Yachts.
The L-Class boats are Yachts.
Those are Sea Ray's definitions.
Now the SR portfolio will look more like Chaparral and Cobalt...
As a small aside, this is the closest they have come to declaring they will no longer be building Meridians. They ceased production on their two remaining models a couple of years ago but never formally announced it.
They only wish their sales were even close to those two brands though.
Comments by MarineMax:
This decision didn't happen overnight and wa sin the making before tariffs became an issue. Brunswick wouldn't be shutting down the larger boat production if it was profitable. And if it was someone would have bought the company.
There is quite simply no basis for any assumption that recent US tariff dialogue or action has anything to do with Sea Ray's profitability and/or viability of their Sport Yacht and Yacht categories. They have been contracting in those markets for years.
Didn't happen overnight. Was under consideration. However, the immediacy of the decision may have been precipitated by the tariffs as it closed other doors.
Picture this. You're talking to them, negotiating. Suddenly, an event takes place reducing their business significantly. All the negotiations to that point are useless, you're starting over. Any possible leads they had died. Also, the tariffs impact the larger boats disproportionately as a larger percentage of them were exports.
So, as Brunswick, you have Plan B all along. Some hope of Plan A. This eliminated any hope of Plan A materializing.
Do you believe Beneteau would have purchased Glastron and Four Winns for the same price they were paying if suddenly this had taken place in the middle of the talks?
For those curious, here's the list of products in this round of tariffs. More expected soon. A lot of people being hurt badly and boat builders are among them.
Pure speculation, the SR sale started months prior to any of today's tariff talk. Brunswick is carving it out to get back to the core of its business model - transoms for outboards and gas inboards/sterndrives. Brunswick has proven that large sport yachts/yachts are out of their comfort zone.
My opinion - the fate of the sportyacht/yacht line was sealed years ago when their largest dealer, MarineMax, started importing Azimut. Maybe as long ago as the 90's. The powers to be at Brunswick and SR did not offer a modern pilothouse yacht in the 45' - 65' range, because they were transfixed on building Sundancers and Sedans/Convertibles that isolated the owner on the Flybridge away from the rest of the crowd below. Their management couldn't see the trend shift while Europe was all over it with Fairline/Princess/Sunseeker/Sealine and others. The boat group was content doing the same old thing with Sundancer models being the profit leader. The boat group had no vision beyond the Sundancer and they developed no in-house expertise on the modern Flybridge/Pilothouse configuration while getting stuck in a design rut. They never got out of this rut until a couple of years ago with the Luxury Line - too little, way too late.
The Euro models took market share, MarineMax was smiling at SR and stabbing them in the back (so to speak) at the same time by building the Azimut and a few other brands in the US while SR was delegated to an observer role in that market and here they are today. I have been watching this develop for a long time, too bad no one (for the moment) gets a chance to re-invent the yacht line the way the should have years ago.
I don't believe this. Searay made sedan bridges all through the late 2000s.....and they were very good boats.....the 52' and the 58'. Problem is, with the new L series they stepped too far out of their core...….very dark cave like interiors.....too much crap going on.....poor performance and plenty of quality and warranty issues.
The Muricans can never manage to compete with the likes of Azimut, Ferretti, Sunseeker, and Princess for a modern motor yacht.
1. Because the Muricans always want a quick buck ASAP to there investment.
2. Boat business and stock market never work well. It is a difficult market and stock investors are not patient. Sea Ray is part of Brunswick and is in the stock market.
3. Integrated practical design which has been the theme introduced by the Italians from the 80s has never work well with the Americans.
The Sea Ray L-series was an ok design but it did came on the market twenty years late. I mean even an Azimut 55 looks more modern from the outside to L 550.
The sale started months ago. The cancellation of the sale plan just happened and the tariff talks didn't just start today. We're already receiving insight into possible July tariffs.
You don’t get the point. The Sedan Bridges did two things - gave MarineMax a traditional American based model while they brought in a more international Euro Pilothouse product and grew that new market independently from SR and this created a giant vacuum of design experience that SR missed out on . That vacuum is exactly what your last comment highlights. The Sedan Bridges were liked to a point but they lost a lot of owners who complained of the isolation at the helm while the family/guests were enjoying themselves down below. SR had nothing to chase after those lost customers until the flawed L series. You can believe that and take it to the bank. I am not saying the Sedan Bridges were poorly executed, they sold a bunch, they just had a limited appeal/ lifespan - where are they now?
Eventually Riviera and Maritimo have taken a hold on that market as today.
Riviera and Maritimo deserve a separate analysis versus the Euro makers and what Sea Ray has done in the last seven eight years.
They did not go head to head against Europeans, and build a yacht on a sportfishing platform design with an enclosed bridge.
They also added more blue water cruising capabilities thanks to bigger fuel tanks and a bit smaller engines to a similar size Euro craft.
Riviera started Euro influencing the interiors at around 2005. Maritimo followed suit.
I am not sure how Riviera and Maritimo sell in the USA, but here in Europe the few they sell are for customers who want a sportfish look but are not really into the sport and do not want to pay the Viking and Hatteras premiums which comes from a wider beam and bigger engines length to length.
Sea Ray could have won the game but they needed to do the Beneteau Group and hire a European (Italian) designer to do the entire L-line from top to bottom.
But that would have meant reducing profits.....
What is it that the European and Australian brands are doing to call it a "modern Flybridge/Pilothouse configuration? What's better?
Out of my league, but even for a "lottery boat" I can't say I'd ever buy a boat that looks like a Fairline, Princess, Sunseeker, Sealine, Azimut, Ferretti, nor likely a newer Riviera or Maritimo.
What is "integrated practical design" in this context? What makes models those brands a "modern motor yacht" -- assuming you don't jut mean new model engines and systems and so forth?
From reading, it seems like Azimut has poisoned the well for Italian boats in the U.S... but that mostly seems to be about build quality, fit and finish, ease of replacement parts, etc... again, not from any first-hand experience on my part.
The reference to the Maritimo success (and previous lineage to Riviera) was intended as a direct contrast to the lack of evolution to the Sedan Bridge model. One exists today the other doesn't (SR) . The incorporation of an enclosed flybridge with interior access was the right design evolution and the enclosed bridge is inviting enough to keep the captain from being isolated underway. SR missed the boat on that next step. The modern euro-inspired pilothouse has been a key missing ingredient at SR since at least the 90's. It took them until 2014 to respond, which shows how difficult its was to be in the Brunswick/SR/MarineMax triangle.
An example of that triangle:
Brunswick - build us more product for our engine products only, not so interested in selling MAN driven yachts
MarineMax - don't worry about developing a nice euro pilothouse model, I got that covered with another brand and am growing them with some of your customers!
SR - victim of their own success, got caught in a lack of design innovation/evolution, they needed to reach out to the design community like Carver did.
I attended three Dealer Expo's at the Sykes Creek Plant and had plenty of chances to hear from the buying base that this was a big issue (Owner/Captain isolation at the helm on Flybridge models) and the result was they were losing long time customers to other brands especially in the MarineMax family. At one time, Azimut and Ferretti were nobodies in US markets, but it was pretty easy for MM to flip a SR buyer and grow another line up in the US.
Essentially SR had the right feedback and was just too late to the game on the yacht side. The errors built into the release of the L-line sealed their fate as we have seen now. It simply came down to a lack of vision at the top, not knowing their own market.
Riviera and Maritimo sold very few yachts here compared to everyone else. They're a postage stamp in U.S. yacht sales and Riviera went out of business due to lack of sales and had to be restructured.
What you're saying at MarineMax pushing the Euro lines over Searay isn't true. MarineMax has a vested interest in pushing Brunswick products considering Brunswick kept MarineMax out of bankruptcy in 2009 by investing $190 Million in cash in them.
Searay simply really missed the mark on the L series.....but they have sold a lot more than everyone believes.....I've run at least 9 different 59' L's myself!!!!!!!!!! They really missed the mark mainly on the interiors.....they're like a cave. Americans don't want a DARK interior that you can't see anything in...…..the euro boats use dark woodwork as of late but then very light fabrics and floor to ceiling windows that let a ton of natural light in. Quality issues are another big issue, and the length of time of warranty repairs (marinemax is mostly to blame for this end of it) that has limited sales. Lackluster performance is another reason. Another large yacht manufacturer in the Brunswick line walked away from Marinemax for this reason. There is one participant in this very thread who would have bought a brand new 65' L, if it weren't for the quality issues and warranty repair issues.