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Sunseeker Sold to Chinese Investor

Discussion in 'Sunseeker Yacht' started by Fishtigua, Jun 19, 2013.

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  1. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Ah, but you're talking custom. Care to name a few 30'-50' production boat builders who are still building as good as they were and offering boats at a reasonable price? Not everybody can afford $2M-$5M for their toys.
    Do you remember when a 46' Bertram was considered king of the docks? Many of their owners knew Richard personally or at least had taked with him. Sounds to me like the boating industry has given up trying to attract people to the lifestyle. Seems to me that the industry is catering to those who want to own so they can show off, but have no time to use. In that case quality won't matter at all as long as they're glitzy and expensive since they'll never be tested.
    I just prefer dealing with companies whose owners are down on the production floor getting their hands dirty.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    There are a lot if you really look. It's just that here on the forums we mostly hear about the big builders and not the really small volume ones, Most are smaller builders though. Bonadeo is one that comes to mind. Some of the center console ones.....Midnight Express got started that way with Tom Mason always wandering around the shop.......Everglades is another I think......That is how Cabo got started in the early 90's with the 2 owners getting their hands dirty. It seems that the fishing market and race boat market (if there still is much of one) takes to the specialized, small volume, owner/builder boats, and not so much the small yacht crowd those buyers would rather hear a name they associate with Searay, etc etc.....
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Just afraid that one day we'll be looking in the WSJ instead of YF to find out what's happening in our industry.:(
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    No, but they have gotten a lot better over the years compared to when I started working on them in the late 90s. I currently manage and maintain a 2007 and compared to say a 2001 I was involved with many years ago, they tend to have gotten a lot better in many aspects. Are they top quality, no. But I can honestly say that many things they do are of quality. For example, most everything is fairly easy to access and fairly well laid out. The routing of plumbing and electrical is pretty good. The fiberglass layup and stringer system and gelcoating of interior of the hull is pretty darn good.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The problem is, the amount of capital needed to build A boat is a heck of a lot more than the days of Don Aronow, Richard Bertram, Reggie Fountain, Merritt Brothers, and whoever getting started. The boats are a lot bigger, take longer to build, the engines a lot costlier, building supplies are a lot more, and even the building and labor to build them. It used to be when all those greats got started, a big boat was under 30' and it cost them the price of a cadillac to build one. It used to be anyone who had a passion for boats could beg, borrow, or steal enough money from their family and friends to build a boat. Nowadays, it costs them the price of a waterfront house in Fort Lauderdale to even build current center consoles, small motoryachts or sportfish. I see $120,000 in motors alone just hanging on the back of a lot of center consoles. So now, you need not only someone who has a passion for the boats and building boats, but also someone who was a successful businessman doing something else, to have enough capital to get started, let alone stay in business.

    Think about it, nowadays a top quality 60' SF or MY is several million dollars. Back in the day a 31' Bertram or 28' cigarette or magnum, which was the top dog, was a little more than the price of a new cadillac. Look at Merritt's, there 42's and 46's put them on the map and made them famous. Not only was it cheaper to build them, the engines and systems were less complex and cheaper. Now, they have 4 builds going at the same time and the smallest is a 72' SF..... Think of the millions and millions tied up in those 4 boats being built. Granted typically the owners pay ahead in stages. But, most owners would be afraid to plunk down a million or two on an unknown and say start building my custom boat. Look how many times know builders were in and out of banckruptcy like Buddy Davis back in the day or even Bertram back in the day.
  6. AffrayedKnot

    AffrayedKnot Senior Member

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    I have been waiting quietly for the news to pop on this thread, as the discussion migrates to American Icons and comparative quality.

    On the same day the Sunseeker news became official... Hatteras laid-off another 80 workers or about 25% of their current workforce. In total that's 225 pink-slips at Hatteras in 2013.

    The company (Hatteras-CABO) remains for sale, although its relevance has diminished. Sunseeker on the other hand; returned 320mil on 25mil in 36 months.

    I'm not sure how this speaks to the future of quality... or its investment value.
  7. colintraveller

    colintraveller Senior Member

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    Be interesting if the Owner will look to build bigger Yachts ? or he's just another wanting something flashy for his portfolio .


    SS yachts always use the same body shell it gets kinda boring and repetitive then again as do others ..
  8. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

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    Hi,

    It may have escaped your attention but Sunseeker is a Production Boat builder.

    This means that they run a Production Line and as such are able to lower costs and increase output. They might look similar on the outside but there can be some differences on the inside.
  9. Liam

    Liam Senior Member

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    To much big boats for Sunseeker in the last years...
    Is 40 meters plus really is there target client, I think that's the problem with most of these builders, they all want to do to a certain extent what Azimut managed to do when they bought the ready to build super yacht Benetti stable in the eighties (a different period back then)....

    I honestly say the US is giving some lessons in this area with its custom sportfish builders, with most of them being quite healthy and having a good order book even in medium 50 - 80 feet sizes.

    If the market will keep to shrink they will be the majority of survivors
  10. Fredex

    Fredex New Member

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    I agree I live in Stuart Florida …..there are a few smaller custom yards and seem to do very well like Jim Smith , American Yacht , etc….small yard high quality and attention to service, customer rules…..yes they might build only 2,3,4 yachts a year with small crews but they are solid and always busy…….Sunseeker , Benetti has massive overhead …. I believe that is the down fall…….
  11. Kafue

    Kafue Senior Member

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    Until the Investor/Financial Imperialist destroys the country they invest in.
    Africa is literally running out of wildlife to feed the new "investors" barbaric tastes and "medicine".
    Forget who won the Cold War! They have not had to do much to take whatever they want from the corrupted locals.
    And in case this sounds anti Asian, I have to add, it was the Europeans, Arabs and fellow locals who started the rot many centuries ago, it's just the newcomers have not learnt or care.
  12. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    You guys entirely miss one important thing, and it's my duty as an "insider" to explain it:

    wealthy Russians, Chinese and Indians buy businesses in EU/US in no small part not for the profit margin (the average profit margin of operating in RIC - no idea about brasilia so won't say - it much higher then those in eu/us, hence by a raw business logic you would better invest 1$ there and get 1.1$ in a year rather then invest it in the West and get 1.05).
    The reason they do is instead much higher property rights. Well anything's higher then zero, right?

    In Russia and China, you can be confiscated and jailed "at will", at any time - examples abound. You will likely be swiftly (or not so swiftly but much more painfully) killed behind bars if you "keep on fighting" for what's yours. (or "yours", whether "stealing from the stealers" argument holds any validity is not in my scope). In India it's slightly more complicated (since it's justice system is not pure 100% corrupt and gov-controlled) but still could happen.

    Hence, "exporting" capital from these countries to the West is simply a matter of retaining it for one's children, because those "political/criminal" risks far outweight pure business/economical ones.

    (Reasons why "business marvels" from RIC often reveal themselves not very good businessmen in a western sense are much the same, different priority risks to manage :) )