Topic : Difficult times in the Yachting Industry

There are rumours around that various firms in the Yachting Industry are having a hard time financially, so it would be sensible for all customers to pay by credit card where payment is required before supply of the goods or services takes place. I know its often 2.5% extra but at least you will get a refund if the supplier goes bust.
Sorry to sound like an old fart but that's what 36 years of Chartered Accountancy does to you

Posted: 29/10/2008 16:10:13
By: old fart
"OF" is quite right but standard SBBNF conditions of doing business means you retain title on the goods purchased or your boat. (If your builder ia a member.). Of course if you've paid your deposit all you may get is a pile of glass mat, some resin and in interest in the mould, given the avarice of insolvency practitioners!
Hard times across sailing are indicated by the number of second hand /nearly new, even just collected boats prematurely for sale in lots of differing classes.(Not MR's as far as one can see yet, though the number of 3600+ boats is bigger than for a while.)
Doubtless some will find it tough but hopefully the sort of firms that build our sort of boats are less highly geared than some of the Manufacturer One Design Builders may possibly be. Other vendors sailmakers seem to have smaller order books than usual and the seasonal discounts seem to have appeared earlier than usual. One can only hope and trust all MR Vendors have good order books, and their customers remain in funds too.
Times are hard there's no doubt at all.

Posted: 29/10/2008 16:25:48
By: Old farts supporter
SBBNF ... I think this became BMF quite a while ago.  Those were the days when the Daily Express sponsored the Earls Court Boatshow and there was Yachting & Boating Weekly with fantastic Merlin Rocket design reviews and Silver Tiller coverage

Posted: 29/10/2008 17:38:13
By: David
Plus of course Jack Chippendales' stand allowing the MR class and the Fireballs representation, at zero cost, and those bloody recorded seagulls!

Posted: 29/10/2008 17:58:35
By: Ancient Geek
Have noted that Purple have pulled their Chandlery as it is no longer profitable and reverted to the sail making side only. There are rumours that a couple of others are not doing so well but once you get to the big money like Oyster, they are very busy.
The issue of credit cards is very true and I mainly use them for that reason as I got heavily stung once in the 1980s. However, there are ways to conduct trade and still have a win win for all. Eyes wide open and no blinkers with some shrewd dealing and you could do well. If you look at the shipping industry, which is at the centre of international commerce, the situation is unravelling very fast, as the west is not buying and the power houses of the Far East are not exporting with many going bust, especially in China. The up side is that hopefully it'll bottom out sooner rather than later.

Posted: 30/10/2008 09:13:59
By: Barnsie
And you still can't get a plumber or a builder quickly!

I would have said that customers of the bigger boats Oysters etc., were "recession proof" but the news is reporting that the Russian Aluminium Oligarch (Begins with D ends in K!)is being bailed out by the Russian Government for a mere 7 Billion! Benateau are reported as less than comfortable. Lets hope that Merlin Sailors and the vendors do not get terminally effected. - In fact no one, a healthy marine trade is good for everyone who messes about in boats.

I gather the SB3 & RS order books do not look as good as they did!

Sponsors may be thin on the ground too.

It's being so cheerfull keeps me young!

Posted: 30/10/2008 09:59:51
By: Ancient Geek
I do not think their could be a better time to buy a secondhand competitive merlin! Some lovely boats for sale.

Posted: 30/10/2008 10:16:51
By: .
This has a long way to go yet chaps, a bumpy ride ahead.

Posted: 30/10/2008 10:31:50
By: .
What is happening with Purple Marine?

Posted: 30/10/2008 17:54:14
By: purple
Barnsie, purple are up and running again.

Posted: 30/10/2008 18:20:24
By: Russ
So I see. Great to Jim and Greg.

Posted: 30/10/2008 19:31:10
By: Barnsie
Who wants a builder coz mine's so short of work our house is finally getting done!

Posted: 30/10/2008 20:54:05
By: Pat 2121
The big manufacturers are certainly not recession proof. Sealine recently cut its workforce by 297 (their owners - Brunswick - are closing factories in the States on a daily basis), Fairline by 90. The others are probably trying to keep the workforce by redistributing them and stopping various smaller boat lines. The large boats (70' plus) are fairly stable but we shall see. That said, there is supposed to be a world shortage of build spaces available for the so called gigayachts.

Posted: 30/10/2008 21:42:37
By: Andy Hay - Enchantment 3386
Select Yachts went down today

Posted: 30/10/2008 23:17:14
By: David
This discusion is not helping the Marine industry. Select Yachts may not be down, Purple are back and Benetteau will survive. Everyone is finding it hard but talking companies down is not good. Lets be positive, this happens every 10 years and we will all bounce back.

Posted: 30/10/2008 23:34:16
By: Marine Trade
Interesting to think a discussion on this fourum might bring companies down. If Marine Trade really does represent the Marine Trade, then here is some advice, in my opinion.
The down turn is big, it has only just started, this isn't the bottom.
Consumer confidence and spending levels will continue to reduce.
Big companies will be looking at every opportunity to defer investment and reduce operating expense.
Credit will remain tight.

If you are a business, batten down the hatches:-
Look at your fixed costs, see if you can make them variable.
Look at your debt leverage, see how you can reduce that.
Look at your operinting expense.
Don't count on your current order book too much.
Don't expect your order book to grow
Look for opportunities created by a down turn
Be nimble

Posted: 31/10/2008 08:02:46
By: Alan F
I think that the above, reflects the serious issues in the economy at the moment and should be discussed.  Sometimes 'Positivity' isn't always effective.  It certainly helps to be 'positive'. But lets be honest, the marine industry will suffer significantly, when people look at tightening their finances, 'luxuries' are one of the first things to be chopped from their monthly budget.  Adopting an attitude of sticking our heads in the sand and waiting for it to blow over as this happens every 10 years is like going into a sailing competition and just 'taking-part'.  Our chances of getting through this quickly will be greatly improved by adopting a clear strategy.

Posted: 31/10/2008 08:12:55
By: Mr Liquid
But surely by naming companies is wrong

Posted: 31/10/2008 08:30:25
By: Mark
If they are limited companies they have to make annual reports anyway so it's no secret.

Posted: 31/10/2008 08:49:58
By: Chris
Ref Select Yachts

Anyway Old Fart is right to draw MROA members attention to the precarious nature of the marine business and the need to take care with your hard earnt money. I am sure that the main Merlin suppliers are in good shape, certainly the ones that I know are careful businessmen, however I would be very careful handing over my loot to anyone in the luxury yacht market.

Marine Trade man, if you have been in the business long enough you will know that many business models just don't have the margins to deal with recession, mainly because the businesses are motivated by passion rather than profit.

Posted: 31/10/2008 08:53:24
By: David
The majority of our main Merlin suppliers are pretty small companies with the management hands on involved with the business, which is good for survival, as they have a direct feel for what is going on and can adapt quickly. For instance to a reduction of sales and production and switch into repairs and maintenace (as people defer captial spending).

That doesn't mean that it isn't going to be hard for them though. Take the typical middle class club / circuit sailor
1) a white collar worker - facing redundancy or been made redundant
2) a self employed tradesman - finding he has less kitchens to fit or what ever
3) a small businessman - finding the orders are thinning
What are they going to do?
1) buy a new Merlin today, or hold of for while til things settle?
2) buy a new set of sails, or make the old ones last a season more or buy a newer second hand set?
3) buy a new cover, or get the duct tape out and make it last longer?
4) buy a new dry suit or send it off to get the seal repaired?

I write from my own pesonal experience and thought processes.

Posted: 31/10/2008 09:21:06
By: Alan F
If you want to make a small fortune in the marine trade, start with a large one!!!

Posted: 31/10/2008 10:32:07
By: Barry D
Barry, since the old ones are the best ...

A boatbuilder, a stockbroker and a banker win a tidy sum on the lottery. When asked what they plan to do with their winnings the stock broker says he is going to invest it wisely in equities, the banker says he will invest it wisely in a high interest bank account, the boatbuilder says he will invest it in his boatyard until the money runs out ...

Posted: 31/10/2008 19:36:23
By: David
Barry, I just fell off my chair.
David, I damn near did it again

Posted: 31/10/2008 20:43:49
By: mike fitz
All together now, one, two, three, "Always look on the bright side of life.....!" (Make up your own lyrics as you sing along!)

Posted: 10/12/2008 01:49:41
By: JB 2633


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