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Brunswick to sell Sea Ray brand

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  • LakeTravis
    replied
    I joined this forum (well, one of it's previous versions) back in 1999 when I bought my brand new 2355. If I remember correctly I paid around $36K for it. In retrospect, it was a lot of boat for the money. And at the time it seemed everyone I knew either had a boat or wanted one.

    This past year I decided I wanted another boat. I was literally shocked at the prices for new boats, I couldn't believe that even a small single engine cruiser without a genny was well over $100K. The used boats that I was looking at were not well kept or maintained and the owners were asking (in my opinion) premium prices. And there didn't seem to be a lot of used boats for sale, either. Brokers were telling me how it was difficult for them to get listings because a major source in the past were owners moving up and that had slowed to a crawl. Those who already have a boat are keeping their boat.

    I eventually ended up with an older 35' Mainship in really good shape for what was probably less than one years worth of depreciation on a new cruiser. I was lucky to get an end slip at a marina for less than half the cost of a covered slip anywhere else on this lake. I'll probably never put more than 60-70 gallons in the 250 gallon gas tank because I just putt around the lake at 10 knots and keep the fuel burn low. Heck, this weekend I changed out the old fluorescent cockpit lighting with blue LED's for a whopping $30 and it looks just as good as some of the new ones I've seen lately. (pic attached).

    The entire experience was a bit eerie in contrast to my last major purchase a couple of years ago, a travel trailer. The RV industry is seeing record sales the past couple of years, cranking them out as fast as they can. Many popular RV parks are booked a year in advance. We've spent almost 90 nights in ours over the last couple of years, primarily down at the coast, saving a small fortune in hotel stays. It's not as expensive as boating yet the experience is highly mobile and it's easy to justify the cost of sleeping in your own bed every night while traveling.

    Frankly, I'm not surprised by the SR news. New boats priced themselves out of the market and the recurring costs of ownership (dock, fuel, maintenance, etc) have reached absurd levels. It's a much smaller market that can afford $150K - $400K for a decent cruiser and continue to pay $1K a month or more on slip rental, fuel, maintenance, etc.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20171209_183604.jpg Views:	1 Size:	169.2 KB ID:	397691
    Last edited by LakeTravis; 12-11-2017, 12:03 AM.

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  • riplash
    replied
    I think Sea Ray isn't doing well for the following reasons.

    1. Sea Ray focuses on Cruisers and Larger Yachts. The Baby Boomer generation is retiring and downsizing and have probably already bought there "forever boat" or they will probably buy smaller boats that are easier to handle. The Generations that replace the Baby boomers (Gen X, Gen Y haven't gotten the purchasing power or interest to buy as many Sea Ray Size yachts yet. I think in the future they will. Also the boat lifespan is really long. Some boats sink and disintegrate and die of old age but a good percentage of boats are still out there and they can be refurbished, remanufactured, or whatever, but they are still in service. So some of the younger people are getting the older used boats rather than a brand spanking new boat.

    2. The designs are kind of dated. A lot of the 30 to 45 foot cruisers like the Sundancers and the Fly look really similiar to how they looked in 1986. They all have high freeboard, the cockpits are all way aft, and they all have a big deck in front. The new models have a lot of blingy stuff, but the overall layout seems to not have changed for decades. I think the future cruiser models that are popular will combine elements from Center consoles, Sportfishers, and Dual Consoles and saltwater boats. They will still be cruisers, but not look like an obese bowrider with a closed off bow.


    3. Their midsize models have a lot of Sterndrive models. I think this is bad for this size boat. The boats are too big to trailer regularly so they sit on a lift or in the water, and the bellows are a weak spot where the boat can sink if they are compromised. There is also the possibility of a crapload of maintenance issues with the outdrive. With outboards, or Inboards the amount of Maintenace is alot less. I think sterndrive days are limited, and sterndrive boats that are not easily trailered will die out quicker than the trailerable boats.

    Of course these are just my opinions.

    -Rip

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  • captharv
    replied
    In my opinion, this may be the way Sea Ray is alluding to screwing up royally in the decision to stop Bayliner cruisers. In their words: " The Bayliner cruisers are taking sales away from Sea ray." Morons! Why is sales being taken away? The boating public saw the Bays as being a better buy over the SRs. When I bought my 2452 in 2001, my boat had all the options you could get (advantage pack, 5.7 BII, and factory air conditioning, list priced at $46K. The Sega Ray 240 which was the closest SR was over #60K optioned out like my 2452. The SR did have a lot better interior upholstery, but the Bay and SRs both used the same stove, fridge, water heater, engines, etc. The published weight on my boat was 5500 empty and about 5600 loaded. The SR published weight was about 600# lower than mine, so, more hull glass, maybe?For a difference of $14K, I could do a lot of boating.

    Many other buyers obviously thought the same thing, because the Bayliner cruisers outsold the SRs in this area. I hope the new owners of SR sit down and figure out they need to compete with the others on price. Nowadays, price is the leading factor for Americans.

    Another thing. Someone wants a boat and is comparing the SR to something else. The difference in price makes his down payment seem larger to a bank (percentage wise) so the ,loan for the lesser expensive one is easier to get.
    Just sayin'

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  • dmcb
    replied
    Always good to be in a position to have a fall back plan so you survive with your hide intact.

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  • ksanders
    replied
    Originally posted by talman View Post
    Kevin, ditto, exactly. We talk daily about when the boat is paid off. If bad things happened, God forbid, we would walk away from boating, get jobs at 7-11, and live a very satisfying life. Not rich, we just like living that way.
    We discuss the same thing. If s... hit the fan all I REALLY have to do is pay the property tax, utilities, and eat.

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  • dmcb
    replied
    Tally, your right. I do have strong feelings about this subject; I know to many people who have outlived their money. If you buy a car,not lease, you at least have a car if things go South.I think there is one or two here who got caught having to retire and were leasing. Cars last a long time. If you get over having to have the latest and best you can be in the position to have the latest and best and have it paid for to boot.
    just don't put the cart before the horse.
    My thoughts. You can live paycheck to paycheck while your working you the stuff hits the fan when you try to retire. Retire long enough you will be replacing appliances, roofs and lots of other things. That and a payment will sink you. Personally I think K. Sanders has the right idea. Be debt free when you retire. I retired at 48 and have been retired over 33 years on a pretty modest fixed income by a lot of standards. We have never lived beyond our means. Our homes are modest but comfortable for us. 'we have not had a payment of any kind in about 40 years. Not had a car payment since the late 60's. Double up on your payments, then save the payments to pay cash for the next one. One boat payment for our 46' Chris. Doubled up on those to get it paid off. We live a pretty good life and have been retired longer than we worked. Leasing anything would be the farthest thing from my mind. If I can't pay for it I will find something I can pay for or go without. Same with paying interest for anything. I collect it not pay it. Sure you live a little farther down the hog to get to this position but its a damn good feeling to step up to the counter and pay cash for what you want. But to each his own. I have never been able to get this across to my kids either
    My heart goes out to the people working at the Sea Ray plants. A way of life for many is gone. I hope they have themselves in a position they don't lose all they have worked for. I felt the same when I saw auto plants close. When I left GM it was the largest corporation in the world. A few years later they were in bankruptcy. That is what I meant about people not being secure enough in their jobs to take on a long term boat payment.

    Doug.

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  • talman
    replied
    Kevin, ditto, exactly. We talk daily about when the boat is paid off. If bad things happened, God forbid, we would walk away from boating, get jobs at 7-11, and live a very satisfying life. Not rich, we just like living that way.

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  • ksanders
    replied
    Originally posted by talman View Post
    Gratification without means. Isn't that the problem with housing, student loans, cars, boats, and our children? Doug, I know you have strong feelings about this.
    Matt, not to pick on you, but NOT having a monthly obligation to anyone or anything is the ONLY thing that gives me confidence that I might be OK to stop working.
    It is also what allowed us to pay our house off early, and think about fun time in our lives.
    A lease is a permanent car payment. That isn't going to be in the cards for us as we approach the golden years. Some of our good boating friends have two leases on new Lexus. Pretty, but I don't get it.
    They retired late and choose to spend their limited income on that? To each their own, for sure.
    We are like you. The key to retirement for us is cash outflow reduction. That is why we bought our 4788 during my 49th year. 10 year note, payoff prior to retirement. For us in this lifetime it was then or never.

    At 55 we have checked off all the retirement boxes except paying off the boat. If it were not for that we’d call it a day, but I am happy to be working for the boat.
    Last edited by ksanders; 12-09-2017, 09:00 AM.

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  • talman
    replied
    Gratification without means. Isn't that the problem with housing, student loans, cars, boats, and our children? Doug, I know you have strong feelings about this.
    Matt, not to pick on you, but NOT having a monthly obligation to anyone or anything is the ONLY thing that gives me confidence that I might be OK to stop working.
    It is also what allowed us to pay our house off early, and think about fun time in our lives.
    A lease is a permanent car payment. That isn't going to be in the cards for us as we approach the golden years. Some of our good boating friends have two leases on new Lexus. Pretty, but I don't get it.
    They retired late and choose to spend their limited income on that? To each their own, for sure.

    Leave a comment:


  • Download_Complete
    replied
    Originally posted by dmcb View Post
    One other factor. Buying a cruiser used to be like buying a high end car. Now its like buying a house. Very few have a stable job that puts one at ease making that kind of commitment. Look no farther than old timers working for Sea Ray. Or the auto industry for that matter.
    Cruisers are now 6 figures....$100,000. The only way to afford this for nearly all people I know is financing. Most average boat loans start around 10 years for smaller boats, 15 years for luxury models, and 20 years for higher end boats.

    You need a serious down payment, AND a serious loan, AND a serious committment to buy something like that.

    In some ways, it is like buying a high end car...but nowadays, most high end cars are leased, not purchased. BMW's lease-to-loan rate is 70% to 30%....70% of their cars go out the door on a factory-subsidized lease.

    I actually think the boat industry would do well to adopt a managed-maintenance and lease model. It would nullify a lot of concerns people have...and it would also provide not only an upgrade path for new customers, but certified used boats for people who cannot afford new.

    I lease cars exclusively, and I would jump at the ability to lease a boat.

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  • dmcb
    replied
    One other factor. Buying a cruiser used to be like buying a high end car. Now its like buying a house. Very few have a stable job that puts one at ease making that kind of commitment. Look no farther than old timers working for Sea Ray. Or the auto industry for that matter.

    Leave a comment:


  • Download_Complete
    replied
    Originally posted by FISHIN00 View Post

    There is a similar thread over at Walleye Central, Many Lund GL's boat owner there, I asked the same question...Waiting to see what the comments are.
    http://www.walleyecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=651770
    Sea Ray doesn't like to publicize that, but the 19 and 21 SPX is built in Reynosa. I have a pic somewhere that proves it.

    I think the new 230 SPX comes out of Vonre TN.

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  • FISHIN00
    replied
    Originally posted by Download_Complete View Post

    Why not? Sea Ray's SPX line comes out of Reynosa, right next to the Bayliner VRs.

    Thats another production facility that has some decisions to make.
    There is a similar thread over at Walleye Central, Many Lund GL's boat owner there, I asked the same question...Waiting to see what the comments are.
    http://www.walleyecentral.com/forums...d.php?t=651770

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  • Download_Complete
    replied
    Originally posted by FISHIN00 View Post
    Interesting....Lund's fiberglass boats are made in the same TN factory as the Sea Rays. If Brunswick sells the TN factory, I wonder where the Lund production is going to go. Lund GL owners pay serious money for their boats 40-70K fully equiped, I doubt if they would drop that kind of money on a boat made in Mexico.
    Why not? Sea Ray's SPX line comes out of Reynosa, right next to the Bayliner VRs.

    Thats another production facility that has some decisions to make.

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  • FISHIN00
    replied
    Interesting....Lund's fiberglass boats are made in the same TN factory as the Sea Rays. If Brunswick sells the TN factory, I wonder where the Lund production is going to go. Lund GL owners pay serious money for their boats 40-70K fully equiped, I doubt if they would drop that kind of money on a boat made in Mexico.

    Leave a comment:

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