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View Full Version : Competitor's new venture into price-point tow boats


bigmac
10-27-2008, 11:43 AM
I note that Malibu has established a new boat division called Axis Wake Research. Reportedly they will begin manufacturing "high performance, price point wakeboard boats" later this fall. Apparently a sort of Supra/Moomba relationship...

Discuss. Effect of price-point marketing of luxury items in a substantially depressed economy?

wakeX2wake
10-27-2008, 11:53 AM
people who want to pay less will... the same people who want a high end boat will still have their high end boat... the costs of these boats is around the edges and in the cost of the hull... point blank... it won't have the luxurious interior or the dependable ballast or the high end engine or rock solid construction... people will pay for what they want... this is a way for kids who are into wakeboarding but parents won't spring for a new MC X-Series or other high end and but them a Caravelle or Bayliner and slap them a tower on it and have a total of $15k-$20k in the deal and won't spend more

JimN
10-27-2008, 12:04 PM
I got one word to say about this- Supra and Moomba, Cadillac and Cimarron/ Catera.

bigmac
10-27-2008, 12:16 PM
I got one word to say about this- Supra and Moomba, Cadillac and Cimarron/ Catera.
For argument's sake, my one-word response would be that Skier's Choice has had the biggest market share gain of all of the tow boats, at least as of one year ago. Since Malibu is #1 in market share, I wonder how they will fair in the price-point market in this economy if people have another choice of tow boat besides Moomba...

Muttley
10-27-2008, 12:18 PM
Didn't they already have a price-point boat with the Sportster?

In a depressed economy, the first things to stop selling are big ticket luxury items, especially when suddenly credit is a bad thing (again). For a while there, before the banks started tanking, credit was pretty "hip" and kids were taking out 20 year payment plans on $80K boats. As far as the market is concerned, when the economy gets slow, manufacturers always hit panic mode. They need to keep investors happy by selling new boats. Solution? Cheaper boats.

My personal feeling is that I'd rather save money by buying a well kept top end boat with low hours that's a few years old than a brand new low end boat. The top end boat will usually hold it's value pretty good, while the low end boat's value will drop like a stone. Generally, the low end boat is older hull technology that the R&D has already been paid for.



You make it it sound like marketing class!:D

JimN
10-27-2008, 01:05 PM
But there is always going to be a segment of the mid-high income bracket that isn't affected as much by the economic downturns. These people pay in full on boats and things like these, sometimes from "special account" funds (I've actually seen that on people's checks). They'll pay for it out of pocket and deal with the fine details later because $80K-$100K isn't really that much to them.

"They need to keep investors happy by selling new boats. Solution? Cheaper boats."

Sometimes, it ends up being less boats without going cheaper with layoffs. They did make the Sportstar by using the old ProStar hull and it didn't sell all that well. Might have been that the 5.0L motor wasn't what most wanted but it was a decent boat. A down and dirty wakeboarding boat couldn't hurt but they'll need to find out of it's feasible.

Hollywood
10-27-2008, 01:14 PM
IMO the ones who won't spend the $$ on a brand new wakeboat end up in a cheaper I/O with a tower. These people want a NEW boat and are the ones that think used = problems. These are the people that are affected by the economy. I do not think this will go well for Malibu.

How will the currently saturated used boat market affect their success?

Skipper
10-27-2008, 01:21 PM
There are some of us who cannot afford a new high end boat. But, instead of buying a new cheap version of a boat, I opted to buy a quality used boat. In my case, I would love to buy a new Prostar 197, but I could afford a 1995 Prostar.

Another option, in my price range, were a few years used Moomba Outback boats. But five or ten years from now, what will that Outback be worth, compared to my Prostar. And, I do have an excellent ski boat.

Hollywood
10-27-2008, 01:54 PM
Skipper, what does that have to do with Malibu's new line? Are you saying you would buy one?

Jerseydave
10-27-2008, 02:12 PM
There are some of us who cannot afford a new high end boat. But, instead of buying a new cheap version of a boat, I opted to buy a quality used boat. In my case, I would love to buy a new Prostar 197, but I could afford a 1995 Prostar.

Another option, in my price range, were a few years used Moomba Outback boats. But five or ten years from now, what will that Outback be worth, compared to my Prostar. And, I do have an excellent ski boat.


I agree. I would rather buy a clean used MC than a brand new Moomba or Axis.

However, not everyone is like us and buyers new to boating will bite because of the lower price tag and waranty. Plus loans will be easier to get at a lower rate for new boats vs. used.

Bottom line, there is a market for lower price-point boats and there is an a** for every seat. :)

mccobmd
10-27-2008, 02:22 PM
I bought my X1 and looked a Moomba and supra. I could get a bigger boat with more bells and whistles for the same money but quality won out. I think if MC works to keep the X1 with base motor and few options just below the 50K mark they'll still get their fair share of that market.

JohnE
10-27-2008, 05:24 PM
Seems like a good way to grab some of the I/O market...

But it's supposedly a little different from the skiers choice moomba/ supra relationship. With those 2, they are made in the same factory, the axis is supposedly going to be produced in a different factory than the bu.

JohnE
10-27-2008, 05:25 PM
I bought my X1 and looked a Moomba and supra. I could get a bigger boat with more bells and whistles for the same money but quality won out. I think if MC works to keep the X1 with base motor and few options just below the 50K mark they'll still get their fair share of that market.


I think that $49,999 went out the window a while back. I hear it's closer to $59,999 now.

Roonie's
10-27-2008, 06:08 PM
I think that $49,999 went out the window a while back. I hear it's closer to $59,999 now.

2007 MSRP for the X1 was $48,440 found here... http://www.wakeworld.com/boats/getcompany.asp?companyid=37

seeing how it has gone up 10k every year you might be right.

jkski
10-27-2008, 06:35 PM
Price point marketing will always have it's place regardless of economic conditions as it target towards a demographic that is always "looking for a deal" rather than putting a great deal of thought into the actual product they are buying. This type of marketing does not necessarily only attract the middle to lower income brackets, however, those brackets tend not to have the money to buy such items (in theory) when the economy takes a downturn.
In the end, anything that is marketed as price point driven will attract a lot of people and only those who choose to educate themselves on the longevity, usage, etc., of the product will actually walk away and choose the higher-price item/better item or save until they can buy the one that is better. In some cases it is an emotional/need/have to have buy vs. an educated/well informed buy.

bigmac
10-27-2008, 06:58 PM
In the end, anything that is marketed as price point driven will attract a lot of people and only those who choose to educate themselves on the longevity, usage, etc., of the product will actually walk away and choose the higher-price item/better item or save until they can buy the one that is better. In some cases it is an emotional/need/have to have buy vs. an educated/well informed buy.

True, but if someone is attracted to a Malibu showroom to look at Axis for a price-point deal, then somehow gets re-educated as to value (useage, longevity etc)...well...they're already in a Malibu showroom. I doubt they'll leave the Axis showroom and head right to the MasterCraft dealer without stopping to look at a few Malibu's first....

3event
10-27-2008, 11:47 PM
I'm not certain what my vote would be, but I will say this.... Any company who feels they can continue biz as usual under the current economic pressures may have a hard reality lesson. Creativity will be required to survive. Those at the top of the food chain in terms of market share have the most to lose and will be most affected. In my industry those are the ones that better be making a move, since every other smaller competitor will be aiming ever harder at their share. How different is the boating industry?

cbryan70
10-28-2008, 02:11 AM
Well the fiberglass market for brunswick was only off 50 percent for the last quarter......

jkski
10-28-2008, 09:12 AM
True, but if someone is attracted to a Malibu showroom to look at Axis for a price-point deal, then somehow gets re-educated as to value (useage, longevity etc)...well...they're already in a Malibu showroom. I doubt they'll leave the Axis showroom and head right to the MasterCraft dealer without stopping to look at a few Malibu's first....

Valid point, however, if we define an "Educated Consumer" as someone that researches all products in a certan classification and makes their purchase based upon that research, then the "loss leader" theory goes away (loss leader in this instance being the Axis). With that said, I fully realize that access to dealerships has a lot to do with the purchase of anything new and being that there is not an MC dealer on every corner, like car dealerships (maybe used to be given the economy), the likelihood of someone searching out a dealer for a specific product lessens the farther that dealer is from one's home.....location, location, location.

Skipper
10-28-2008, 12:04 PM
Skipper, what does that have to do with Malibu's new line? Are you saying you would buy one?

Quite the opposite, I am saying that I would, and did, buy an older used boat that I know is a great performer that is going to continue to be a great boat for many years to come as apposed to buying a one season old boat of another type.

X-Aggie
10-28-2008, 12:10 PM
Shudder... Malibu Tantrum.....

bobx1
10-28-2008, 05:35 PM
#1 - IMO - this thought process started way before the economy was going to take this big of a nose dive.

#2 - IMO - most people in this market are not looking for used boats.

#3 - IMO - they dont want to "de-value" the Malibu name (i.e. Infinity vs. Nissan, Lexus vs. Toyota, etc.)

#4 - IMO - Malibu dealers want a price point boat as they spent a lot of money to setup and maintain their dealer network. My MC dealer sold more Moomba boats this year than MC (I think it was almost 3 to 1).

#5 - IMO - this is more of a "starter" boat and people buying these are not real concerned (they should be) about resale. This is a beginner buyer with some $$ and with minimal education when it comes to buying and reselling boats.

I purchased a new Monterey I/O with tower and platform in 2006. This was a get your feet wet boat purchase. I traded it in for a new 07 X1 a year later and took a bath on the trade BUT I learned a lot during that year and my kids progressed nicely with their wakeboards to the point I learned that this may be more than a passing fad for a summer or two. I think I was the target market BU was/is looking for.

my $0.02

helton333
10-28-2008, 05:54 PM
This is about maintaining a boat plant when nobody is buying boats. I would hold off on the criticism because if this thing goes 5 years, you may see MC going a similar route.

russlars
10-28-2008, 06:51 PM
Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but didn't MC experiment with the price point boat in the late 90's? One of my ski buddies has a '99 Sportstar which according to him was kind of a low budget Prostar. His is the same boat that Wakechick had. Not the exact same concept, because it is still a MC, but I think they only made these for a few years. Someone on here probably knows more about this than me.

JohnE
10-28-2008, 07:40 PM
This is about maintaining a boat plant when nobody is buying boats. I would hold off on the criticism because if this thing goes 5 years, you may see MC going a similar route.

I thought I read that the axis line would not be made in the same plant as the bu's.

And I don't see MC going the direction of a price point product. They are going the other direction. Bigger and loaded with features. X45, X55, 280, csx 265, and there is a bigger one in R&D now. They probably make as much profit on one 280 as 8 190's.

mclovin
10-28-2008, 09:49 PM
i cant afford to pay attention! where am i ?

JimN
10-28-2008, 10:08 PM
I'm so po' I cain't even spend the night.

brucemac
10-28-2008, 10:38 PM
lol..........

Footin
10-28-2008, 10:42 PM
To each their own, if Malibu wants to have a price point boat, good for them.

Boat manufacturers list prices have gotten pretty high and a lower price point boat may do well in these economic times.

mclovin
10-29-2008, 12:26 AM
weeeeeeedogieeeee lower priced boats, yet same quality! i could handle that. im still trying to swallow!! traded in my john boat for x14 & wow what a price differance! but worth every penny! they still havent sent me my free toaster.

Skipper
10-29-2008, 10:05 AM
Some of us will never be able to buy a new boat whether it is a price point boat or not. But those of us who know a little about boats would probably not buy a used price point boat just because it looks like boats the cool guys have.

If it works for them, good for them. I am sure there are people out there who would enjoy such a boat.

Five years from now, when I have saved some more pennies, I'll be looking at a used Prostar 197 in the '02 to '04 range, not a '09 - '14 price point boat.

Jim@BAWS
10-29-2008, 10:44 AM
For argument's sake, my one-word response would be that Skier's Choice has had the biggest market share gain of all of the tow boats, at least as of one year ago. Since Malibu is #1 in market share, I wonder how they will fair in the price-point market in this economy if people have another choice of tow boat besides Moomba...



I am going to through a little spin in here for you. Is BU really # one?

a) If Malibu sells 4000 boats total sales of $200 MIL (4000 boats at $50000 cost average)
b) and if MasterCraft sells 3700 boats total sales of $222 MIl (3700 at $60000 cost average)

Then who is really #1 BU or MC?

Who has generated more profit MC or BU?

Just because you produce more boats does not necessary make you #1.

It is ALL how you put SPIN on it....This is the "NO SPIN ZONE" here folks


Jim@BAWS

defender1009
10-29-2008, 10:51 AM
Well, total units sold is what GM and Toyota have been battling back and forth for bragging rights on for some time now.

I see where you're going, but if you had some stats on net profit I think it would be a lot more useful than the gross profit you mentioned. The problem with your calculation is that it ignores each manufacturer's cost to produce their boats----would certainly be interesting to see with that figured into the equation.

Interestingly enough, going back to the car reference above, Porsche is actually the most profitable car manufacturer, but it's not a stat you hear kicked around nearly as often as units sold.


I am going to through a little spin in here for you. Is BU really # one?

a) If Malibu sells 4000 boats total sales of $200 MIL (4000 boats at $50000 cost average)
b) and if MasterCraft sells 3700 boats total sales of $222 MIl (3700 at $60000 cost average)

Then who is really #1 BU or MC?

Who has generated more profit MC or BU?

Just because you produce more boats does not necessary make you #1.

It is ALL how you put SPIN on it....This is the "NO SPIN ZONE" here folks


Jim@BAWS

bigmac
10-29-2008, 11:09 AM
Those rankings are from 2007 and are based on unit sales, not revenue and certainly not net profit. I certainly agree with you that sales numbers and market share, especially when they're as close as Malibu and MasterCraft, don't tell the story relative to success as a company and don't necessarily have anything to do with quality.

The point of this thread wasn't meant to be Malibu vs MasterCraft. Bringing out a price-point sub-brand of a clear luxury item is an interesting marketing concept that has good points and bad points. I don't know enough about marketing to understand whether Axis Wake Research is a good idea for Malibu, or a bad one. It certainly wouldn't affect my purchase decision. When shopping for my first inboard tow boat, I stopped at the Supra/Moomba dealer just long enough to know that Moomba would never be on my short list. It did help to get me into the showroom, though...

wakeX2wake
10-29-2008, 12:04 PM
hahahaha I hope MC never goes this route... Moomba's are a piece... my good riding buddy has a 08 XLV... he ordered it just like he wanted it yadda yadda yadda... he's been pulled in 4 times this yr and his front ballast bag leaks water into the bilge... battery goes dead about once every two months... every hydraulic piston that holds up a lid (glove box lid , rear engine side storage lids, and motor cover) on it has come detached from the fiberglass at some point b/c they're GLUED on and no bolts through the bracket... the stereo remote doesn't work when the volume is over level 22 (don't know for the life of me how that works but that's how it is)... the radio head unit doesn't recognize when a device is plugged into the aux jack... and there's a really annoying hum through the "OEM" after market Roswell tower speakers... IMO you get what you pay for and it will never be a Moomba\

ps every time i edge into the wake... it's different... sometimes rampy and lippy... sometimes steep and hard... sometimes washy... etc etc... and this is over one set not day to day

Hollywood
10-29-2008, 03:20 PM
This isn't a Moomba bashing thread either.^^

wakeX2wake
10-29-2008, 03:40 PM
haha nope not Moomba bashing... just highlighting a few of the issues that could pop up when purchasing a "price point boat"... i definitely think i was moomba bashing there for a moment... appologies... just consider those issues when purchasing a "price point boat"

brucemac
10-29-2008, 04:05 PM
i'm with skipper on this one.

andy@midwestmastercraft
10-30-2008, 09:02 PM
This will be an interesting experiment for Malibu.

Personally, I believe that if Malibu had the ability to build the same quality boat at a lower price they would. This would give them two options 1) more profit margin on existing business 2) keep margin (percentage) the same and lower the price to the consumer to grow volume. Both options are good for Malibu.

What is the benefit of starting Axis rather than using the Malibu brand? The only benefit I can see is to try and distance the Malibu brand from Axis. To me, the only reason for a "new" brand is that it will limit potential damage to the Malibu brand that can be caused by building lower quality boats.

The gossip is that Axis will not be produced in a Malibu facility. If this is true there is no cost savings my spreading overhead over more volume. Gossip also has Axis producing boats with MasterCraft style bow designs. Some of the largest costs in boat production are R & D and mold production. This is the reason Malibu currently takes "old" designs and moves them to the Ride series. Example, a 2008 VLX is a 2009 vRide. This takes all of the R & D and mold production costs from the Ride series or at a minimum allows Malibu to spread the costs over more units as the hull designs get a longer life cycle. If Axis has unique molds, there are no cost savings. How would you feel if you purchased a 2008 VLX only to find out it is now available for less $ as a 2009 vRide? What does that do the value of newer used VLX's? What will the effect of the economy be on these boats?

The price point game has been done in this industry a million times. (Azteck, Gekko, and a million others) It all comes down to this. If someone could mfgr. a boat of the same quality, preformance, warranty... and provide all of the same support to dealers, and marketing for substantially less, THEY WOULD!

If they tried to keep all of the money as profit, someone else would step in and provide a competitive product at a lower price.

It is true Moomba sells more boats for Skiers Choice than Supra. To do this some content is taken out and some lower quality components are used. The problem is that at that point there is still not enough price difference. So Skier's Choice has a lower company margin on Moomba compared to Supra to try and create more value. Dealers also get less margin. While no consumer wants to make a dealers house payment, a certain level of dealer profitability is required to provide quality staff, facility, etc. Skiers choice can say that they are spreading costs of their plant and staff over the two brands. They can also try to get people into the company with a Moomba with hopes of moving them up to a Supra.

I'm glad MC is not trying to gain volume by going price point. The reason that Porsche has nearly twice the margin of Toyota is that they are true to their quality brand. (last I heard Porsche was over 20% net and Toyota was around 12%). Porsche works in a segment of the market where they are not trying to be everything to everyone. They know if the offer products that engage high end customers, they can charge a premium.

This is why MC has looked at other markets like salt water, MariStar's ect. for growth. High volume = low margin = instability.

Good Luck Malibu.

www.waterskis.com

mbpd312
10-30-2008, 09:28 PM
defender,, we know GM turns no profit, when toyota does...

ORX-1
11-05-2008, 11:39 AM
Here are some photos of the Axis...

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk192/greggrossi_2008/Posting%20Pictures/axis3.jpg
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk192/greggrossi_2008/Posting%20Pictures/axis2.jpg
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk192/greggrossi_2008/Posting%20Pictures/Axis1.jpg

bigmac
11-05-2008, 11:48 AM
This will be an interesting experiment for Malibu.

Personally, I believe that if Malibu had the ability to build the same quality boat at a lower price they would. This would give them two options 1) more profit margin on existing business 2) keep margin (percentage) the same and lower the price to the consumer to grow volume. Both options are good for Malibu.

What is the benefit of starting Axis rather than using the Malibu brand? The only benefit I can see is to try and distance the Malibu brand from Axis. To me, the only reason for a "new" brand is that it will limit potential damage to the Malibu brand that can be caused by building lower quality boats.

The gossip is that Axis will not be produced in a Malibu facility. If this is true there is no cost savings my spreading overhead over more volume. Gossip also has Axis producing boats with MasterCraft style bow designs. Some of the largest costs in boat production are R & D and mold production. This is the reason Malibu currently takes "old" designs and moves them to the Ride series. Example, a 2008 VLX is a 2009 vRide. This takes all of the R & D and mold production costs from the Ride series or at a minimum allows Malibu to spread the costs over more units as the hull designs get a longer life cycle. If Axis has unique molds, there are no cost savings. How would you feel if you purchased a 2008 VLX only to find out it is now available for less $ as a 2009 vRide? What does that do the value of newer used VLX's? What will the effect of the economy be on these boats?

The price point game has been done in this industry a million times. (Azteck, Gekko, and a million others) It all comes down to this. If someone could mfgr. a boat of the same quality, preformance, warranty... and provide all of the same support to dealers, and marketing for substantially less, THEY WOULD!

If they tried to keep all of the money as profit, someone else would step in and provide a competitive product at a lower price.

It is true Moomba sells more boats for Skiers Choice than Supra. To do this some content is taken out and some lower quality components are used. The problem is that at that point there is still not enough price difference. So Skier's Choice has a lower company margin on Moomba compared to Supra to try and create more value. Dealers also get less margin. While no consumer wants to make a dealers house payment, a certain level of dealer profitability is required to provide quality staff, facility, etc. Skiers choice can say that they are spreading costs of their plant and staff over the two brands. They can also try to get people into the company with a Moomba with hopes of moving them up to a Supra.

I'm glad MC is not trying to gain volume by going price point. The reason that Porsche has nearly twice the margin of Toyota is that they are true to their quality brand. (last I heard Porsche was over 20% net and Toyota was around 12%). Porsche works in a segment of the market where they are not trying to be everything to everyone. They know if the offer products that engage high end customers, they can charge a premium.

This is why MC has looked at other markets like salt water, MariStar's ect. for growth. High volume = low margin = instability.

Good Luck Malibu.

www.waterskis.com

Great points, Andy. Thank you for adding some clarity.

ORX-1
11-05-2008, 11:55 AM
anyone remember the Bayliner Challanger?

ttu
11-05-2008, 12:16 PM
does that thing have a pickle fork bow. i thought bu said they would never make a picklefork boat.:rolleyes:

JimN
11-05-2008, 12:26 PM
anyone remember the Bayliner Challanger?

I was just about to comment on its resemblance to a Bayliner, but I was thinking Capri.

ORX-1
11-05-2008, 02:05 PM
No this is what I was thinking... the ski challenger!
http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk192/greggrossi_2008/Posting%20Pictures/Challenger.jpg

craig3972
11-05-2008, 02:06 PM
You guys talk about MC quality being so much better than others.. Ive had two MC's and had plenty of problems with both.
When I purchase a modern engineered car, I can run it for 5 years without touching a thing.

When will all these boat companies adopt modern manufacturing practices (like the automobile industry) and start building boats that have been quality tested before they start mass producing them?

I realize that the quantity of boats sold by one of these companies doesnt compare to the millions of cars sold by an automobile manufacturer, but when i look behind the the steering wheel of my boat the wiring harness looks like a pile of sankes that got out of a cage. whats up with that?

Reality is that the runabout companies are outdoing these inboard guys in quality. My father has a Cobalt that has yet to have any problems ... its 5 yrs old.

just my rant

Prostar19
11-05-2008, 02:15 PM
are you kidding me?? have you looked at any other I/O's? i will give you that cobalt has great quality but no way you can say i/o's have better quality in general. lets not even talk about performance. one thing you for get is their a lot more systmes on an inboard than an i/o. and you obivously have not been through the mastercraft plant and any other inboard plant. if you had you would know the quality difference between mc and the other inboards. i have a 2008 X2 with 168 hours on it and have not done a thing to it other than changing the oil.

Hollywood
11-05-2008, 03:12 PM
Looks like a Tige... :/

lanier92prostar
11-05-2008, 03:16 PM
You guys talk about MC quality being so much better than others.. Ive had two MC's and had plenty of problems with both.
When I purchase a modern engineered car, I can run it for 5 years without touching a thing.

When will all these boat companies adopt modern manufacturing practices (like the automobile industry) and start building boats that have been quality tested before they start mass producing them?

I realize that the quantity of boats sold by one of these companies doesnt compare to the millions of cars sold by an automobile manufacturer, but when i look behind the the steering wheel of my boat the wiring harness looks like a pile of sankes that got out of a cage. whats up with that?

Reality is that the runabout companies are outdoing these inboard guys in quality. My father has a Cobalt that has yet to have any problems ... its 5 yrs old.

just my rant


I have a 92 that has been trouble free since the day I bought it in October of 1992.

craig3972
11-05-2008, 03:41 PM
my 2006 x-star could almost be labeled a lemon. The local shop had it for 4 months... just for factory defect gel-coat repair. Finally a guy had to fly up from MC to fix it. Still doesnt look right. That doesnt include all the other ballast, heater and shower problems I have had.

All i am saying is quality is a relative term... poor quality when compared to a car, great quaility when compared to a Supra.

Ps... should I try to retofit tower stabilizers onto my 06... all the 08's got em?

92 190 PS
11-05-2008, 03:56 PM
[quote=craig3972;554383]You guys talk about MC quality being so much better than others.. Ive had two MC's and had plenty of problems with both.

When will all these boat companies adopt modern manufacturing practices (like the automobile industry) and start building boats that have been quality tested before they start mass producing them?[quote=craig3972;554383]


I'm sure others will come along and know more than I do about this, but pretty sure MC has been using TQM and Lean Six Sigma for years. Also, haven't done it myself, but everyone that has says one tour of their facility and you'll be sold on MC's for life. I have a 92 that I've owned for 4 years now and it runs like it's new. Family and friends all have MC's and they run like new as well.

Sorry to hear you've had problems......

JimN
11-05-2008, 04:04 PM
Build quality is one thing and dealer setup/prep details are another. MC and most other manufacturers only go so far when they build a boat and leave the rest up to the dealers. For that reason alone, you guys should be talking to your dealers about keeping up on their technical training and making sure their techs stay in one place for a few years, instead of leaving because they're POd at the dealership for screwing them on yet another promised raise or some other thing that should be, but isn't.

If the wiring harnesses are like a rat's nest, it may mean that someone who worked at MC left. If, by "rat's nest", you mean that there's extra wire in loom and the way it's bundled and tied off isn't as neat as it is in a car, remember that a car has many more attachment points and in a boat, there's no pressure from the bean counters to use 1" less of each wire, in order to save $100K in a year because of the sheer number of cars made. Still, some training in how wires should be routed and looked is needed. Malibu was really bad in this regard. They mounted the head unit right next to the throttle and the loom passed by the main harness in a way that it picked ujp a lot of noise. The technical manager's answer to me asking "Who installs your stereo equipment" was "One of the guys in the shop, who's good with this kind of thing". I told him that they weren't good at it, and why.

JimN
11-05-2008, 04:08 PM
my 2006 x-star could almost be labeled a lemon. The local shop had it for 4 months... just for factory defect gel-coat repair. Finally a guy had to fly up from MC to fix it. Still doesnt look right. That doesnt include all the other ballast, heater and shower problems I have had.

All i am saying is quality is a relative term... poor quality when compared to a car, great quaility when compared to a Supra.

Ps... should I try to retofit tower stabilizers onto my 06... all the 08's got em?

If your boat wasn't fixed properly in that amount of time, other than the fact that MC awarded that dealer a franchise and authorized them to service them, this is all because of the dealer, not MC. Also, I have never seen a vehicle labeled a lemon when all of the problems were with the accessories.

craig3972
11-05-2008, 04:37 PM
you should see the mess on the back of my transom (behind the beauty panel) ... ballast pumps mounted crooked and upside down with kinked hoses. construction materials remaining from holes drilled, heater hoses installed in spots that are so small that the hose is crushed flat. Doesnt look like a dealer problem to me.

do you guys actually get in there and look?

Btw.. there was an extra speedo cable left behind that plugs into the perfect pass if anybody needs one

wakeX2wake
11-05-2008, 04:48 PM
youre welcome to come on here and let us know all about your terrible experience w/ MC all you want to

but yes... i've practically taken my boat apart... and it looks just as good w/ the panels and seats and "beauty covers" out as it does w/ them in from my perspective (which includes a short but widely experienced career in manufacturing)... again these are most likely dealer or previous owner issues... had a friend who bought a used malibu through a BU dealer and his ballast pumps weren't even mounted on their mounts... took it to the dealer and undoubtedly the PO had installed extra ballast and left a shoddy mess when he took it out to sell it... things to look at... also i'm glad they sell them there but can your dealer have a lot of experience w/ "water sports" boats in a normally cooler climate?... if you work on 99 sea rays then 1 MC you're probably going to have some things line up differently... but by all means bash away

JimN
11-05-2008, 05:02 PM
you should see the mess on the back of my transom (behind the beauty panel) ... ballast pumps mounted crooked and upside down with kinked hoses. construction materials remaining from holes drilled, heater hoses installed in spots that are so small that the hose is crushed flat. Doesnt look like a dealer problem to me.

do you guys actually get in there and look?

Btw.. there was an extra speedo cable left behind that plugs into the perfect pass if anybody needs one

Were these dealer installed or factory? I would bet dealer.

I was a MC tech, so yeah, I looked behind all kinds of panels and if I saw something that was done wrong, I fixed it and billed MC, along with a phone call to Mark, Tim or whoever was in charge. I can't speak for other dealers but I will say that as in any service position, not all of the mechanics are that conscientious.

bigmac
11-05-2008, 05:05 PM
When I purchase a modern engineered car, I can run it for 5 years without touching a thing. When will all these boat companies adopt modern manufacturing practices (like the automobile industry) and start building boats that have been quality tested before they start mass producing them?

I realize that the quantity of boats sold by one of these companies doesnt compare to the millions of cars sold by an automobile manufacturer



Your first question certainly implies that your second statement isn't true...

ORX-1
11-05-2008, 05:11 PM
my 2006 x-star could almost be labeled a lemon. The local shop had it for 4 months... just for factory defect gel-coat repair. Finally a guy had to fly up from MC to fix it. Still doesnt look right. That doesnt include all the other ballast, heater and shower problems I have had.

All i am saying is quality is a relative term... poor quality when compared to a car, great quaility when compared to a Supra.

Ps... should I try to retofit tower stabilizers onto my 06... all the 08's got em?

The 06 towers don't need the stabilzers, it wasn't until the changed the design in '07 that they were needed. your 06 tower is real strong

JimN
11-05-2008, 05:20 PM
"When will all these boat companies adopt modern manufacturing practices (like the automobile industry) and start building boats that have been quality tested before they start mass producing them?"

When they start to make as many cars and that kind of efficiency are actually needed AND it's cost effective to implement. When a manufacturer makes 4000 boats in a year, dropping tens of millions in an assembly line doesn't work. I'm not saying that their techniques are perfect but it's supposed to be a cooperative effort on the part of the company and dealer, to deliver the best product possible and if someone takes delivery of a boat that turns out to have been prepped badly or the accessories were installed badly, coming here to complain two years later won't fix the problems. As soon as they were seen, the dealer should have been notified (which they apparently were). When it takes 4 months to get a boat back, some arrangement should have been made with them or MC to get it done faster. If the dealer still can't seem to get it done, MC should have been involved and the regional rep should have checked up on why this is happening.

FYI- marine dealerships are completely different from auto dealers, in too many ways to get into.

Marcos
11-05-2008, 05:28 PM
It might be that things are different on your side of the pond, but I know lot's of people on this side who opt for a "nuts and bolts" boat if it were available.
With this I mean a boat with the same build quality and performance, but fewer options and plush...

Get rid of the excessive cushions and vinyl, the complete stereo, cupholders and all other things that have nothing to do with the purpose the boat: riding and skiing. A rear sunpad looks great, but it is in the way when stepping over and it will tear eventually. Drop it, together with the rear seat, which you can't use anyway when out for slalom.


Not only interesting for clubs and schools, but also some fanatic consumers would prefer something like that.

And yes, the BU Tantrum was one of those examples.

Muttley
11-05-2008, 05:35 PM
You guys talk about MC quality being so much better than others.. Ive had two MC's and had plenty of problems with both.
When I purchase a modern engineered car, I can run it for 5 years without touching a thing.

Why did you buy another one then? You'll have to be more specific about your problems. I've never known anyone with an issue except normal wear & tear. It's an MC site. You should expect some brand loyalty.

My '92 PS205 is mint. Other than minor wear, never any problems or issues. It's 15 years old.

When will all these boat companies adopt modern manufacturing practices (like the automobile industry) and start building boats that have been quality tested before they start mass producing them?

I realize that the quantity of boats sold by one of these companies doesnt compare to the millions of cars sold by an automobile manufacturer, but when i look behind the the steering wheel of my boat the wiring harness looks like a pile of sankes that got out of a cage. whats up with that?.

You kinda answered your own question. It's not like boat manufacturers put out enough boats to stick millions of dollars into laser-accurate robotic assembly line manufacturing. Most are hand assembled by a team.

What are you doing looking behind the steering wheel anyway? ;)


Reality is that the runabout companies are outdoing these inboard guys in quality. My father has a Cobalt that has yet to have any problems ... its 5 yrs old.

just my rant

Bayliners I've seen are pretty shoddy. I remember taking a look at one of the early Mali-vettes and was pretty unimpressed with the crappy fiberglas cut outs and sloppy fit and finish. Put my knee into the side of a Wellcraft and was pretty unimpressed with the give in the fibreglas.

I have yet to see a runabout that's put together better than an MC. Of course, I haven't had the opportunity to take a close look behind the dash of a Cobalt.

Dan K
11-05-2008, 05:45 PM
It might be that things are different on your side of the pond, but I know lot's of people on this side who opt for a "nuts and bolts" boat if it were available.
With this I mean a boat with the same build quality and performance, but fewer options and plush...

Marcos,
I agree with you, however being fairly familiar with the component cost of most of the materials that go into a boat such as Engine and Tranny and cost to build large molds, I am always shocked at the cost of these new boats. Getting back to the basics like a nuts and bolts type of boat as you put it will not considerably drive the true cost down and thereby reduces the margins on the boat making it less appealing to the manufacturer.

JimN
11-05-2008, 05:50 PM
"Bayliners I've seen are pretty shoddy. I remember taking a look at one of the early Mali-vettes and was pretty unimpressed with the crappy fiberglas cut outs and sloppy fit and finish. Put my knee into the side of a Wellcraft and was pretty unimpressed with the give in the fibreglas."

I don't know exactly when Bayliner got their shnit together but I saw a new Capri in about '98 or '99 and was impressed by the improvements throughout the boat. If there's anything I hate more than changing the oil on a Rinker runabout, it's the Bayliner Capri from any time in the '80s and most of the '90s.

The thing about putting a knee into the side of a boat is that unless it's on a strut, it's not supposed to be completely rigid. Most boats will flex a good amount when pushing into the sides and unless it's really thin and it hits some kind of object, it's not usually going to be a problem. MC are built differently, though.

Muttley
11-06-2008, 11:39 AM
I don't know exactly when Bayliner got their shnit together but I saw a new Capri in about '98 or '99 and was impressed by the improvements throughout the boat. If there's anything I hate more than changing the oil on a Rinker runabout, it's the Bayliner Capri from any time in the '80s and most of the '90s.

The thing about putting a knee into the side of a boat is that unless it's on a strut, it's not supposed to be completely rigid. Most boats will flex a good amount when pushing into the sides and unless it's really thin and it hits some kind of object, it's not usually going to be a problem. MC are built differently, though.

My mechanic's '92 Capri (the weird looking one) was what was going thru my mind. With the new ones, they've have probably got their assembly line procedures down similar to the auto industry since they put out so many boats. I haven't had a closer look. Not interested, tho'. A little too "plastic" for my taste... if I was into that sort of thing.

maxpower220
11-06-2008, 05:53 PM
MC, Malibu, and CC have all done the "entry/price point boats" in recent times. CC has the 176. It did not sell very well and had some issues. Malibu had the Sportster, which was a Response hull with a cheaper interior. And MC had the SportStar. I owned a Sportster and a SportStar.
CC phased out their boat. Malibu had decent success with their boat. MC did a lot of things wrong. They used an older hull for th SS. This suddenly created a decrease value for owners of that Prostar hull. A buyer could have a brand new MC with the same hull as an older PS for less money. After 3 yrs, MC improved the interior and called it a PS 195. That turned into the 197.
All of this talk of construction costs is bunk. If MC, Malibu, and CC didn't advertise in every boat magazine several times per issue and didn't sponsor Events/Motorcycle teams, etc, then they could reduce costs.
The fact is, you can charge whatever you want when people are buying and the economy is good. If there is a downturn, then you will end up changing strategy. There are many different business models out there.

BTW, if you sell more units, then your are the leader (ask GM and Toyota). Displaying average costs per unit is not the exact numbers and don't provide a true picture of profits. Costs to produce a Malibu and a MC can't possibly be too different. Just like the cost to produce a Ford vs. Chevy or a Toyota vs. Honda can't be too different. Also ask CC if they are worried that Moomba (SC) has more sales than they do?

JimN
11-06-2008, 05:58 PM
My mechanic's '92 Capri (the weird looking one) was what was going thru my mind. With the new ones, they've have probably got their assembly line procedures down similar to the auto industry since they put out so many boats. I haven't had a closer look. Not interested, tho'. A little too "plastic" for my taste... if I was into that sort of thing.

I don't know about whether their production procedures have changed but the materials, build quality, fit and finish were totally unrelated to the Capri models I hate so much. The wiring was really bad in the past, the upholstery materials sucked big time and they were just crap before the improved ones I saw.

Justjoe
11-06-2008, 08:13 PM
[QUOTE=maxpower220;555196] All of this talk of construction costs is bunk. If MC, Malibu, and CC didn't advertise in every boat magazine several times per issue and didn't sponsor Events/Motorcycle teams, etc, then they could reduce costs.


HEY now!! Are you suggesting that advertising is a complete and useless waste of money and that by eliminating it could offset some costs for the people who obviously know that they should NEVER EVER buy something other than a (place product name here)?? Seriously.

The only place that that is working right now (to the best of MY knowledge) is the hipster re-birth of PABST. And a boat is not a beer.