Click for Lurssen Click for Llebroc Click for Mag Bay Click for Walker Click for Nordhavn

Watersport Boats

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by JWY, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,259
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    I discovered this market niche at IBEX and thought I would present a few interesting statistics. Firstly, I should say re-discovered because aside from my early boating experiences being in fishing boats that tied on top of the family station wagon, I was introduced to “real” boating on a neighbor’s ski boat. I owned my first boat at age 23 and it was a ski boat on Roosevelt Lake in Arizona. I moved into yachting a few years after and left the lake boat mentality in my wake.

    In 2014 recreational boating has brought 36.7 BILLION in to the US economy. 220,000 recreational boats have been sold so far this year. The recreational boating industry employs 340,000! This information is according to Thom Dammrich, President of the National Marine Manufacturers Assoc. and includes figures for the United States only. Stern drives had a 12.3% increase in sales in 2013 leading growth by 3.7% ahead of outboards. Malibu Boats reported a 9% increase in 4th quarter net sales with an adjusted net income of $5.5million. Unit volume increased 5.8% to 799 boats for the 2nd quarter and net sales per unit increased 3% to $66,834. Yea! Upward swing in the marine industry!

    So excuse me while I drop my yachting snobbery and give a salute to a segment of the boating market that contributes towards our industry’s employment, building innovations, but also offers entry level and move-up stages of boating for those without ocean access or the generation Xers and Yers (Millennial) whom I tended to stereotype as being interested in little more than Facebook. This is affordable boating that not only gets families on the water, but hopefully will help them expand their horizons, literally.

    Judy
  2. K1W1

    K1W1 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    7,393
    Location:
    My Office
    There is nothing wrong with the small end of the boating business. I have said previously and elsewhere on here that should I end up buying a boat myself it will be approx 5m (16ft) long made of aluminium and have a Fish Finder and the required nav lights, it will be transferred between launch places on its own trailer and be powered by a single Yamaha outboard motor. It will spend its out of the water time in my man cave with some other man cave toys.
  3. AMG

    AMG YF Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Messages:
    5,258
    Location:
    Sweden
    Six of my boats are between 17 and 21 feet, and here is the one I have used most this summer, from 1960 with a Honda 30 hp 4-stroke. It just takes 0,4 l per NM at 18 knots... :)

    Campingboat.jpg
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    6,042
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    For most of us that is where it starts, Judy. My boating started on the lake. My father had 14-16' fishing boats when I was young, with 40 hp motors. My first boat was a 19' Sea Ray bowrider. All our boating until two years ago was lake boating. There are still many people getting their start in family boating for under $20,000 and they're having a tremendous amount of fun. Without that start, I would have never developed the interest that has led to the boats we own now.
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,938
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    I agree. My first boat was a 12' fibrglass v sears gamefisher my dad bought for a $100 with a 1956 6hp Evinrude given to me by my dad's uncle when I was 5. This was in 1981. I was regulated to canal cruising with a lifejacket on and him or his GF in the boat.
  6. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,040
    Location:
    In The Bilge
    How times have changed. 21 ft. Supra wake / Ski boat $ 98,000 for the spoiled kids down the block.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    12,938
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Lololol.....I see kids here that are younger than 17. Running 34' seavee's and big midnight expresses around.....LOLOL.....a $98k ski boat, thats nothing......
  8. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,040
    Location:
    In The Bilge
    I hear ya! I see the little whipper snappers or Grommets @ Peanut Island with dads 34 Venture with 700 HP hanging off the back. Plum crazyif you ask me! Huge liability to let a underage kid operate a boat like that. As far as the Supra ski boat is concerned, I was making a statement aimed at the smaller end of the boating market for the price tag of a 21 ft ski boat @ $98,000
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  9. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Texas, landlocked for a bit longer...
    The wakeboard boat has become a status symbol, and the manufacturers and taking advantage of it. I used to spend a lot of time with a pro wakeboarder, and we would put 500+ hours on a boat in one summer, and yet you see 5 year old boats getting traded in with less than 20hours. Most buyers don't even use them, they tie up and drink somewhere, try to show off the 20k in speakers hanging off their "blinged out" tower. In my area, it's hard to get a wakeboard boat for msrp, but runabouts can easily be had 20% under msrp. Slap a $1000 tower and some speakers on it and you can add 10k+ to the price. People will buy things they don't want, and doesn't work for their intended use, just because they are the cool item at the time.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    6,042
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    That's the other thing happening. A lot of traditional boats adding an arch or tower and making a multi use boat. I knew a couple of people who put their Mastercrafts through the paces on the lake, lots of serious use. But you're right, the majority use them as they would any other runabout. I will say though, the couple (A Nautique and a Centurion) that I've ridden in did ride very well.
  11. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    1,259
    Location:
    Ft. Lauderdale
    So what's wrong with a cool boat for a status symbol? I would rather see somebody struttin their stuff on the water than zooming the road or flashing bling or just sitting on their butts watching sports rather than doing sports. If somebody is on the water, they get a thumbs up regardless of their motivation.
    gr8trn likes this.
  12. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    6,042
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    They are certainly not the only boats getting minimum use. One thing I think they really show when used on a lake is the advantages a straight inboard has over inboard/outboard. While there are also disadvantages, there are things I very much like about them. As far as blinging and extras, we're all guilty on something. If we didn't do that, all the cars would be about as fancy as a Yugo was.
  13. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Texas, landlocked for a bit longer...
    Olderboater, one of the problems with a conversion is that people think that tower makes it a ski boat. Then they try wakesurfing behind it not understanding the difference in I/O vs direct/v-drive. I've seen quite a few close calls, and the aftermath of a fatality from this.

    I had an 08 x1 Mastercraft, I chose it because of its wake, both at board and surf speed. I will admit that it rode horrible at speed, reminded me of an old 15' tri-hull I had as a kid, every wave was jarring. Some of their hulls are a better compromise between ride and wake, mine was fairly single use. Drank fuel and rode like a tank, but she had a beautiful wake, great pop without being brutal. And she would rip your arms off if you weren't ready.

    Judy, it's not entirely a bad thing, but "that" crowd is the one you see reckless disregard for safety and rules coming from. Sure, a lot of people are drawn to boating from the fad, then learn to love it, but you also get a lot of people who only care about showing off their bling. The guys getting trashed at party cove then running people down trying to drive back to the marina, as an example. Sometime drawing in the wrong crowd only hurts boating as a whole. When the boat is a status symbol to someone, it is about showing off what they have, rather than learning about and perfecting their hobby/interest/life. I am all for spending money on the things you love or enjoy. My wakeboard tower had thousands of dollars worth of stuff hanging off of it. I used it all too. Many times I bought stuff that didnt look as cool because it was a better or safer design. I remember a guy getting careflite'ed from the lake because he tripped into a board rack that was all machined, sharp edges. Looked cool, had a flame design and awesome machined finish, sure didnt help him any. Owner left it on the boat too.

    I wonder how many potential boaters are lost every year because they went with a fad item rather than something that suited their needs? Someone who bought a wakeboard boat rather than the deck boat or small cabin runabout that would have suited family outing needs better? Dad never want to go out because he keeps bashing his head on the speakers, dealing with a layout that is less than ideal, not having the option to trim up and get into secluded areas, stuff like that.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Messages:
    6,042
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale
    Boaters make decisions to purchase the wrong boats at all levels, from canoe to megayacht. I'm sure that does lead some to leave boating. As to Mom and Dad and Son and Daughter, that's very complicated. At a certain time kids and parents generally have different boating interests. With a yacht, it's water toys for the teens. When the parents want to cruise the lake slow, it's often something different for the kids. Of the families that lived on the lake and had teenage kids, I'd say 60% had more than one boat.

    I got started in boating when I started telling my father he needed a new fishing boat. So we went boat shopping. We ended up with a runabout for me and he kept his fishing boat. He even put the runabout in my name so when clients asked if they could borrow it (yes, they actually would), he could say it was mine, not his. I was 13 at the time. And, yes, I was already experienced in handling a boat and I always used it responsibly. When I traded it in years later it looked like new and the dealer sold it the following day.

    You're right talking about the behavior of some kids with boats, but toss some adults in too. As far as buying glitter, glam and bling, that's not the problem. Really you see more problems wherever you are with the faster boats, simply because things happen quicker. No boat out there though with as much risk and as many accidents as PWC's and they are on the low end of cost.
  15. captholli

    captholli Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,040
    Location:
    In The Bilge
    This new breed of wake / ski boat has some pretty high tech stuff like high speed water Transfer ballast tanks fore & aft to make the stern squat for a bigger wake to ride and variable geometry after bustle tab that runs the full beam of the stern chine to adjust the amount of wake etc. Besides all the tower, board rack, speaker launchers. Major manufacturers outside of the Ski Nautiques & Malibu have jumped aboard for their slice
    Of the pie. Never thought I'd see a Cobalt ski boat but they make the Mercedes of the ski fleet and they're selling quite a few of them.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  16. SomeTexan

    SomeTexan Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2013
    Messages:
    190
    Location:
    Texas, landlocked for a bit longer...
    Olderboater, I understand and agree. It happens at all levels, but I think the "fad" factor has almost gotten out of hand in the wakeboard boat market. Maybe I just notice it because it affected me?

    My family had a summer lake house on what was (at the time) a semi-private lake. My dad hated boats, but told me if I had the money, he would get it for me. Well, to make sure we knew where we came from, my cousins, my brother and myself all grew up working out butts off at the family ranch. Work like a man, get paid like one, so money wasn't an issue for a kids wants. But, I was expected to pass written, verbal and physical tests of my knowledge before I got to use my new stuff. My dad was a safety coordinator in a corporate machine shop, so safety and the rules were always his primary concern. That being said, I had raced jet ski's and drag boats by 15 years old, so read that as you will.

    Captholli, I've seen factory computer controlled 7 tank ballast systems. Crazy tech on the competition level. Optical sensors to help the computer craft the perfect wake, as preferred by the individual boarder. If you want it, and don't care about the cost, someone makes it.
  17. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    292
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    So Judy,
    With your observation and stats, are pontoon boats included? I see these even on the Columbia River of all places. Of course, aluminium fishing sleds are the most popular boat on the Columbia.
  18. Fishtigua

    Fishtigua Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    2,699
    Location:
    Guernsey/Antigua
    About 35/40% of the boats for sale on E-bay in the UK at the moment are wakeboard boats. I think that little craze is over now.