Jump to content

Don't forget to tune into Swiss Pro Tricks this Sunday

https://www.swissprotricks.com/

Horton Horton

New boat prices far exceeding inflation rate


markn
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Baller

Been astonished at the cost of new boats. Is current pricing simply the rate of inflation? I went back and pulled up my invoice for my 2004 196 limited...$34,000. That same $34,000 (from 2004) is equal to $45,374 in 2019 dollars yet a new Nautique is over $100K?? Yep, the boat is bigger, has additional "features" (the benefits of which are in the eyes of the buyer), but do not think it skis $55K better. Even Porsches are less expensive in dollar terms than they were in 1992!

I paid $25K for a Signature Edition Nautique in 1995. Then 9 years later, a 2004 limited for essentially $10K more. Using that as a reference, a 2014 should have been around $45K maybe $48 (still ahead of the inflation rate) and now a 2019 is $110K+??

My boat is getting pretty old, but with 325 hours on a new engine/transmission and Rev S, having a hard time justifying an upgrade!! Am I missing something?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 108
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

  • Baller
Important topic. In any sport the longterm health is that the cost to participate will influance growth or not. Golf, for example, commanded huge greens fees in the past. Now with a steady decline in participation, the greens fees have moderated. In tournament skiing with the governing body telling the competetors what products (boats) they must have will have the effect of deminishing participation. Especially in view of the cost of the boats, even promo boats are hard to approach from a fiscal standpoint. The boats have become bigger, heavier and needing larger more powerful and expensive engines to move them down the course. I don,t think any buoy chaser asked for these changes. Particularly when prices become astronomical. So this is nothing new. Can we make a change? I would like to float this idea. Instead of the governing body testing and certifing certian boat manufactures, they simply re-inforced the idea that a boat must go straight through the course and maintain speed tolarances. After all no one would buy a boat that can't pull a 150 skier out of the water. What other sports governing body dictates the equipment the competitors use. This is an old discussion, but IMO it has a potentail to punish the sport we love.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I think a big part is that it isn't exactly a thriving sport, if anything its declining. If more people were involved and buying more boats, the technology and development/production cost would be spread out more. Instead the few that purchase ski boats have a larger share of the R&D that goes into them. That is both on the tech side, and the hull development.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
This will be the death of skiing. & it is not as simple as "just buy used" the high new prices are keeping used prices high. Ive noticed a lot of people on this thread have said things to the effect of "you can get a used ZO boat for sub $35K!" as if thats a good deal. Most people cannot afford a $35K car let alone a $35K boat. Do we need to make the sport accessible to EVERYONE? No, cost is a large barrier to entry in this sport and thats fine. But that barrier is too damn high. Realistically, if you aren't single and have a family and kids, a $100k salary probably isn't enough & I believe that is a problem.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Drago, my only point is that skiers tend to scream about excessive prices on ski boats and clamor for a good basic ski boat at a reduced price and then for whatever reason they either don't get sold or don't make it in the market. The most obvious recent example is the Carbon Pro. By all reports the Carbon Pro was a good basic ski boat at a reasonably fair price and for whatever reason it didn't make it and not because the powers that be refused to certify it as a tow boat.

 

At the end of the day, the price of boats are not set by what's good for the sport, or what we think is fair, or what the waterskiing governing bodies want or don't want to price to be, the price of boats is set by the market based on the product that boat makers think will make them the most money.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
This will not be the death of the sport. Having only one skier on the lake at a time is a bigger problem and you can't get around that without adding lakes. An excess of people waiting around for a set with little to do seems like a bigger problem to me. Lake prices yeah somebody needs to do something about that.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Sorry, I’m not unmisunderstanding your double negatives.

The Carbon Pro has always been an Approved Towboat.

I think i mentioned this a long while back, but I think consumers are afraid to purchase non-big-two boats (big 3 now, Malibu broke through). There’s no resale and maybe warranty fears. (Moomba,Infinity,Supra,Bayliner,Toyota...)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@ozski I've never heard one person say it takes me too long to get a practice set so I'm quitting skiing.

 

Also, im not sure where you are located, but the last few years the main issue in skiing is DEFINITELY not too much participation

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

@Drago, I misinterpreted "Huh" as an honest request for clarification or elaboration. I didn't realize "Huh" was a cleverly disguised rhetorical set-up device for your next post mocking my grammar and laissez faire editing practices. Well played.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
Heard the same story when Goode sold the first 1K Ski. Heck I just paid a $100 dollars for a pair of gloves. Funny thing is I don’t hear hardly anyone complaining on other sites about wakeboard and surf boats and they can exceed 200K.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

For tournament skiers it really isn’t a free marketplace. If you want to practice behind a boat that you could get hooked up to in a tournament you need one. Kind of like if you have a life threatening food allergy you need to carry a $700 epi pen.

 

A skiers drug just costs more.

 

Maybe we should go to Mediboat for all where we all get free boats for a small monthly premium?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
The CP didn't die because people didn't think they are a great boat. I believe it would have taken off sales wise because they bucked the trend happening with what the other manufactures were doing. They were a sort of a rebel with a great wake.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
@golfguy then why did the CP die? Back to the analogy of Goode skis....the first $1k ski. How many years ago was that? 25? 25 years later and they doubled in price. Not relatable to boat prices as they've more than quadrupled. This topic has been pretty much beat to death, and here I am posting on it. The thread kinda wandered to participation and even practice time! Even in the Mecca of waterskiing, Florida, some longstanding tournaments are being cancelled due to lack of entries. Face it, the sport is in decline whatever the cause. Nationwide tournaments sanctioned in 2018 487, in 2019 366. Agreed there is no data available for those just skiing recreationally.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Is there a difference to consider between tournament participation going down and the “sport dying”?

Example - are the same old or more people still skiing (and buying stuff), but not doing tournaments? Hard to quantify since there would be no data....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I say go out and enjoy skiing and don't get caught up with the negativity. A lot of people have fun with this sport even though the numbers are smaller. I had just as much fun with my 83 Stars and Stripes MasterCraft as my new high tech ride. Ski with the equipment you are blessed enough to afford and be proud of it. You don't need a new boat or a new ski to enjoy the sport.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

What's worse to me than the prices of new ski boats (which is outrageous) is the lack of ability to use said ski boat due to COURSE PERMIT RESTRICTIONS. Course restrictions have pushed all serious participants onto private exclusive water.

 

And I think its easier to swallow 200K financed on a wake boat that holds 13 people than 100K financed on a ski boat for 3.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
For me I only believe in financing a boat for 5-6 years. That is not possible on a $100K boat ever. Good example is I sold my old boat after owning it for 9 years for $500 less than I bought it for. I would love a new boat, but my 2009 Response is nice, didn’t cost $100K, and does everything the new boats do. Honestly the new Nautique 200 and the CP were the best ideas so far. Less cost nice ski tug. As for the $200K wakeboats....that is just stupid!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

So if somebody built a ski boat, for ski clubs, ski schools, tournament purposes with just the bare neccesties to do the task, would there be a market.

I think costs have been driven up by trying to appeal to a much wider audience, for me as long as it has zero off and can tow me through the course in a straight line, it would do.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_

A saving grace for the impact of rising new boat prices limiting the ability for people to afford one, the availability of some really great older ski boats: CC196, Carbon Pro, Malibu LXI (Gen 1 in particular) and others.

 

Do they offer the perfect replication of an upcoming tournament, no, but they certainly are an effective ski tug that gets a skier water time. To put it in perspective, a neighbor just bought a well used Malibu for a smoking good price, he is loving it and skiing at every opportunity and has a huge smile after each run.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Only reason I got a new boat was to get Zero Off, now that I have the latest technology in speed control there is no reason for me to get a newer boat until something game changing comes along. The minor changes in wake, drivability, engines, etc are not enough of a change to warrant a new boat for me.

 

Same reason I don't get a new car very often. My old car has to either be not functional for the tasks I used it for, have a huge repair cost that isn't justifiable or a new car has to have some game changing feature. Cars haven't really changed in 10 years so I still have my old car. Ski boats haven't really changed since 2008 so I have my old ski boat. The manufactures haven't created enough of an incentive to upgrade yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I don’t think it’s inflation alone. If you look at the quality of materials used in my 94 prostar and compare that to today’s prostar there is almost no comparison. It’s expensive to make today’s product. I don’t think mastercraft (for example) would have the same success in today’s world making subpar products for the masses vs the current marketing plan.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I work in automotive, boats basically just lunch off the R&D from automotive. They take the engine and trans and marine-ize it at a hefty premium, yet didn't have the cost of all the R&D of the powertrain itself. The fiberglass hulls have changed over the years but did so every few years in past, really not much of a difference. Other new upgrades like ZO and heated seats, are really just purchased modules from a supplier added on to final costs. So from this point of view, and comparing what goes into automotive and the prices over the years for cars and trucks, and dramatic changes they made at about a 6% profit basis, it is no comparison, boats are far easier and cheaper, cost more with far less parts and requirements. Then so much less regulations to worry or design to. There is no back up camera's, lane assist, blind spot sensors, crash avoidance, front, side and rear impacts, fancy u-connect and navigation systems, heated wheel and seats, climate control zones, or tuning for suspension, and added creature comforts, designing not only for manufacturing, but service, which is poorly designed for in boats. The list goes on and on. Therefore, I have to conclude the price increases have far exceeded any development costs, I believe cost increases are going into profit and of course boats have lower volumes, but not any different than in past. How can they justify 30% increases in past few years alone? Doesn't add up at all.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_
@lakeside7455 I'll make the assumption that it's because people buy them. If I have a widget for sale and people keep buying it despite my annual increase in price, I'm gonna keep increasing the price till that stops. I feel like SN is testing the waters so to speak to see what is really desired. The top of the line SN or the lower cost 200. A few years down the road we'll know which one the market sought after. Has the boat market (runabouts, bass boats etc...) kept the same inflation pace??
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
One other thing to add to this conversation is the economy. It has been on a 10+ year run now. Boat manufacturers have a limited production capacity and right now it seems like there are a lot of people with disposable income therefore, manufacturers can charge more. I think some of the price increases we've seen in the last several years are more due to the economy and the scales of supply and demand than anything else.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
The Big-3 boat companies have basically said, "fine, we'll still make direct drive inboards, but we need to make a LOT of money off of them to justify the wakeboard/surf boat production slot they use."
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
The '15 Prostar I just sold was like new, and I had 3 buyers lined up to buy it within an hour of posting it on SIA for my asking of $50k. With that kind of supply and demand, you won't see a new boat priced that low anytime soon I'm thinking. But from my recent experience, they could sell a lot of them in that range.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller_

As far as how this impacts progression and participation , we as a sport group have brought it down upon ourselves and are feeling the financial pain.

Rules where the sports ideology revolves around personal performance gains and records and not championship weekend competition opens up pandoras box of different flavored kool-aid!

These rules of towboat usage and exclusive speed control usage for all levels impacts the bottom line.

But we have now had it ingrained in the sports population that unless you own the boat that is used in what we call competition you can't be effective within the sport.

Our own sports overseeing body helps dictate the high cost of the boats by participating in licenses agreements with the different boat companys.

 

 

 

#the196project

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

Exactly @ScottScott.

Why spend R&D dollars revamping the CP when you have a proven Hull in the ‘10-‘18 Nautique that you can just make some deck changes to and you have a proven, widely accepted product to market as your lower cost option in the line up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The blame of high prices is on the buyers which is many of us! We live in a free market economy, it is all about supply and demand. Looking back we all should have bought Carbon Pros but we didn't, many of us wanted a more refined ski boat with more options which is what we have now to choose from.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
I am really glad I bought my 2017 ProStar when I did for 59k. it sounds like I could probably sell it for close to what I paid for it now. I would never pay that much for a boat if all I used it for was up and down the slalom course . even though I live on a private lake I get the boat out on public water quite a bit as well. we go camping ,houseboating, bar-hopping.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

It makes me wonder. Who keeps buying these new boats? Surely it isn't the newb who just learned about the slalom course. It must be the wealthy newbs or the "all in" competition types.

 

IMHO, the whole ZO competitive mandate artificially injected a bump in demand for new boat sales. Once the used market has a sufficient inventory of ZO boats floating around, I expect the new sales to taper off (if they haven't already).

 

However, it is the trickle-down effect that drives new boat sales. Whatever is used at worlds is what is expected at nationals. Then, the regionals want to be like nationals, and so on. If your lake or community has a few highly ranked skiers, I bet your local events also mimic the elite events. Thus, your personal training boats have to be newer, too.

 

As long as elite, worlds, and nationals competitions require the latest year models, so will the other competitions.

 

But let's not forget that Promo boat programs are suffering, too. Without promo boats, who's boat pulls the tournament? I personally can't imagine paying $100k for a "newest model" boat and then allowing "my" boat to be used in a tournament. If the promo's go away and personal boats prices remain skyrocketed, I would expect tournaments to switch to older ZO boats at the local levels. Then, I am not sure what comes next...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller

You guys are hitting all the key points. Simplest I can say it is:

1) Volumes are low so we will never see economies of scale driving low boat costs (high volume model automobiles like the Ford F-150 sell almost 1,000,000 a year vs. maybe 1,000 Nautiques this year)

2) The boat companies realize that there is a small market of buyers who are price insensitive -- you can double the price (like they have) and sell almost as many boats

3) So to maximize profit, you don't behave like Ford or Toyota, you look to Ferrari and Lamborghini as models of success :-(

From a economics/business perspective, I think we will see boat prices continue to rise. The only relief I can see is that a downturn in the economy will slow demand and result in lower prices on used models. Frustrating for sure, but totally logical from an economics point of view. Happy swerving!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
The fact that a few people defend the price of new boats is comical. Also, I work for the worlds largest tech distributor, we sell the screens & various connectors that go into these boats. The fact that these screens are thousands to replace are pure robbery
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Baller
It seem apparent that what is happening with pricing will continue. A few years from now we will be complaining about $150,000 tournament boats. As a group we need to tell the slalom boat manufacturesr that we are not intrested in bigger heavier more expensive boats.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...