Bump's World - January 2023
January 18, 2024
NEW ENGLAND BOAT SHOW
Covid eliminated this show in 2021. In 2022 and 2023 the show came back but smaller than it had been. The venue was also reduced from a 9 day show to a 5 day show. ( Thank God) I did not do the show during those years. In general I'm not a big boat show guy and I look at it as a necessary evil. 2024 I returned to the show.
I displayed the Ryck 280 which is a powerboat. I would have liked to display a sailboat also, since I would have been the only one there, but this year I did not have a sailboat to put it. Next year I hope I can get a sailboat to put in the show.
For those of you who have not attended this show, it is in the Massachusetts Convention Center which is a new huge building with 125 foot ceilings and designed to handle a crowd. Perfect for a boat show. It has the usual crazy government rules and union costs like $1,000.00 to hang a sign and $1,400.00 for electricity, but you can work around that.
They also moved the dates from the February vacation week, 3rd week of February, to second week of January. I do not miss all the kids from the vacation week. Kids at these shows always reminds me of the terrible parenting in our world. Parents stand there watching their beautiful offsprings wreck an expensive yacht.
So what are my thoughts after this show?
First I was amazed at the number of 20 to 30 foot powerboat builders. I know this now is the meat and potatoes of the industry, but there were many builders I had never heard of. I live the boat world so if I have not heard of the builder who has???
I know you are all familiar with the huge wave of buying caused by COVID. But behind every wave is a trough. The trough is created by the water being pushed into the wave leaving less water behind it.
A big selling wave leaves a void of selling behind it.
The toon boats (pontoon) which represent about 25% of the boat business, remained about the same. Same with ski and wake boats etc. Again the 20 to 30 foot center consul and small cabin boat exploded.
Second I noticed the prices have gone way up. Like 25%. A well known brand of 25 foot center consul is like $245,000.00. If you want 2 engines even more. The low end 25s are $150,000.00 with single engine. A typical second engine up charge, like a Yamaha 250, is about $32,000.00. Yes about the same as a basic new car.
The third thing I noticed, unlike past 3 years, the dealers have lots of boats in stock. Dealers had boards with their inventory displayed and some dealers had up to 6 million dollars worth of boats in stock. You want a white boat, blue, green, yellow they got it.
Lets see, I did attend economics 101 at U Mass, when I was not racing my motorcycle. The teacher said something about supply and demand. I'm not really sure what he was getting at? But I think he said something about more supply with less demand drives prices down. But prices can not go down because inflation makes the boats more expensive to build.
So how do we make the prices go down?? When prices went up in cars and household goods what happened. The suppliers went to countries with way less costs of manufacturing. At first built in Japan was a huge negative. Now it's a positive.
Maybe we can build boats in countries that can build a good boat for way less??? That way the consumer does not have to suffer. General Motors used to be the largest company in the world.
I can not imagine a more confusing way to try and buy a boat than going to that show. Boats as far as the eye can see that don't look all that different.
I'm sure when the industry reports traffic and sales at the show, they will all be record numbers.
Is it a good time to buy a boat?? It is always a good time to buy a boat. Life is short and the ocean is calling you.
Please mail comments to me at Bump@newwaveyachts.com