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Bump's World - February 2017
February 24, 2017

2017 NEW ENGLAND BOAT SHOW

The 2017 New England Boat Show started will a series of snow storms that made move in and set up a bit of a panic. It was snowing as we moved our boats in so they got really dirty. Then Thursday a major snow storm prevented us from even getting to the show. Somehow, Friday, we got it together and got the boats clean and the booth set up for opening on Saturday.

The first weekend it was slower than normal and again the weather terrorists kept a lot of people at home. The second weekend of this never-ending show, set attendance records with much improved weather.

We displayed a Hanse 415 and the new Dehler 34. They were very well received with all positive comments. We have displayed Hanse for so many years now that everyone recognizes them. People are always impressed with how big the boats are below decks and how well they are finished.

The pricing on these yachts is incredible. We used to sell a Sabre 426, which is smaller than a Hanse 415, for about $625,000.00. A new Hanse 415 can be purchased for $250,000.00, which is far less than half the price!!!

The most asked question at the show was where are all the sailboats? Outside of a few daysailers, there were 8 sailboats over 30 feet displayed. There are approximately 1000 boats in this show.

What happened to the sailboat industry??

95% of all sailboats over 30 feet sold in the world are built by 3 manufacturers. Beneteau, Jeanneau, and Hanse. We represent Hanse Yachts which is the second largest sailboat builder in the world. These 3 builders have built modern factories and invested in robotics and other modern boat building systems. The rest of the boat building world still builds boat the way they did 30 years ago. These 3 builders have a good dealer network and continually come out with new models.

By using robotics and modern 5 axis milling machines, a better boat can be built at a lower price. When boats are built on a production line and a worker does the same job every day the quality control goes way up and the build hours go down.

The French and Germans are fighting for market share in the sailboat building business. Both countries recognize boat building as a real business and they support these companies. Hanses are built in what used to be East Germany which is very different from the Germany we think of, which was West Germany. Today’s German government is working to modernize East Germany to bring it up to the standard of the rest of Germany. That means they are investing in companies like Hanse which employs over 1000 Germans.

This has put American sailboat builders in a really bad place. They are cash poor so they cannot come out with new models and new building techniques. They still are building the same models the same way they did 20 years ago.

The only American built boat displayed at the show was Catalina. The model displayed looked as though it could have been in this show 20 years ago.

New boats are getting better all the time. New systems make boat handling easier. The hull forms are huge creating much more interior space. The pricing has actually gone down.

With the used inventory getting older and older there is no better time than now to buy a new Hanse or Dehler.

Please mail comments to me at Bump@newwaveyachts.com
Bump Wilcox