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Mtnmax
07-23-2011, 01:40 AM
Hi All!

Been lurking here for a little while. Great site and lots of good info here!

After skiing behind a 1980 Stars and Stripes 25 years ago as a teenager, and then owning an 1988 190 for ten years, I've finally decided to move-up to a new or near-new Mastercraft with all the bells and whistles. My problem/question is this: When did inboard/V-drive ski boats become SO expensive? And WHY are they SO expensive?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there's something wrong with pulling a Ski Boat that cost $20K MORE than the Truck that's pulling it... and I've got a NICE Truck!

The new boats are absolutely incredible, and they should be expensive, but $70K to $80K (or more) is a LOT of cash, especially these days. And as nice as these new boats are, they are NOT more sophisticated than a new Diesel Truck, and yet they cost $20K more. Now I understand Ford and Chevy sell millions of Cars and Trucks every year, and they can make less $ per unit because they sell so many, but I just don't see a $20K difference.

Sorry for the rant. But I'm just wondering if anyone else feels the same way or if I should 'shut-up' and go down to the Dealership and sign my life away for a new boat. And maybe this subject has been covered in a different thread, if so, please let me know and direct me to it. Thanks! :D

MedicPelle
07-23-2011, 04:44 AM
:popcorn::popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:

smsbrett
07-23-2011, 07:26 AM
Well, there certainly is some truth to what you say...

But, it's not just the numbers of cars/trucks built that allow them to be more affordable, it's the methods. So much automation in the auto industry, but there is so much more manpower used to build a boat.

Double D
07-23-2011, 08:20 AM
I agree 100% and am baffled by the costs as well. That is why I only dream of a new MC 197 or a SN 200, and stay very happy with my 94 PS 205.

ksdaoski
07-23-2011, 09:08 AM
yes they are ridiculous.

but if they can sell them for that price, which seems to be the case, more power to them-

there are other brands out there, some lesser known brands, which are substantially less, and still offer good quality

JohnE
07-23-2011, 09:29 AM
I don't know why the costs are what they are. But you can get a great pull benind an early 90's boat for $8 - 15K. Everything else is just bells and whistles. Better ride, more room, more passengers, more luxurious, more electronics, more to go wrong. For me when I bought a few years ago it was all worth it. Now I'm not so sure. I kind of tire of the question of why everything is so much money, though. In my little business I still hear it all the time.

03geetee
07-23-2011, 09:45 AM
If you want to ski and cant afford a newer boat, like most of us, get what you can. There are tons of boats out there that will get the job done. You can get the name and the quality wake only a mastercraft delivers at an affordable price. If you want a floating danceclub, monkey set, room for 12, motor in the back for added room and enough ballast to make a tsunami then you will pay for it.

If you dont need those things then a cracker box like our boat has a steering wheel, throttle, engine/prop and pylon. What else do you need?

JTR

d2jp
07-23-2011, 10:27 AM
If you want to ski and cant afford a newer boat, like most of us, get what you can. There are tons of boats out there that will get the job done. You can get the name and the quality wake only a mastercraft delivers at an affordable price. If you want a floating danceclub, monkey set, room for 12, motor in the back for added room and enough ballast to make a tsunami then you will pay for it.

If you dont need those things then a cracker box like our boat has a steering wheel, throttle, engine/prop and pylon. What else do you need?

JTR

I agree 100%. Which is why I found an '89 Prostar 190 a couple of months ago...I've put more hours on in the last 6 weeks than the P.O did in the last six years.

Are the people with the $80K boats having more fun than me? Doubt it:)

Mtnmax
07-23-2011, 11:01 AM
So far, so good guys and gals. I was a little afraid of getting FLAMED for posting this rant, but so far all the comments seems to be constructive and thoughtful. Thanks.

I had some more thoughts overnight after writing this...

A new Corvette is in the same ballpark pricewise as a new MC. I guess it's fair to compare the two. I personally would have the same sparkle/lust in my eye while looking at a new MC on the water as I would looking at new Vette (convertable) going down the road. A new Vette is one of the fastest, most agile cars on the road and I think the same can be said for a new MC on the water... But man, $75K for a boat? I still can't get past it.

But if MC can get the money, more power to them. I think, however, it pushes a lot of potential buyers (like me) out of the market for a new boat and into the used boat market. Is that good for MC? Maybe, maybe not.

And by the way, I too am a small business owner, and tire at hearing how expensive everything is. It's a fact of life these days, and for many more days to come. Once again, maybe I should just 'suck it up', shut-up, and pay the money..... But man, $75K? :D

j.mccreight@hotmail.com
07-23-2011, 11:04 AM
Mastercraft wants to be the premier, luxury boat manufacturer, so they are priced that way, like comparing a suzuki car to the best mercedes amg thats out there, mastercraft being the mercedes, both will get you your groceries and take you to work but which one has the cool factor. I agree with you its over kill, priced but thats the market they put themselves into and thats why my mc in an 89. I would love a new x-star but not at twice my truck note for 12 years...

The8Ball
07-23-2011, 11:16 AM
Floating dance club, monkey set... I like that..

Skir68
07-23-2011, 04:05 PM
We are raising 4 kids, we have a 1987 prostar, got it for 6000.
We would have spent more than that going to Disney this year!
We will have this boat for a long time! We ski almost every day
And have lots of fun! We don't need that floating danc club or the monkey bars!
Plus were doing it ad a family! It's like Family vacation all summer!

Jerseydave
07-23-2011, 06:26 PM
Comparing a boat to a car has always shown the car is the better bargain.

Back in the 70's, you could buy a new Chevy Caprice fully loaded for under $5K
But a Century runabout was over $10K with trailer.

It's not just MC, look at a new Cobalt, Formula, Chris Craft, etc. All premium quality boats for a premium price.

Now what's hard to understand is a loaded Moomba or Axis for over $50K. Wow, that value is going to drop like a rock after 5-10 years.

MIskier
07-23-2011, 07:00 PM
The thing that most people forget is that these are a hand made product, production boat companies do not have the sales volume to allow for them to invest in automated equipment. Unless the boat is made poorly using chopped glass as a way to build up the lam schedule the build process is slow and expensive. The jobs at MC, 'Bu, Moomba, CC, et al. while no one on those lines is going to get rich doing what they do, they are jobs that pay well enough to be able to raise a family on and live a middle class life. In the areas in Tn. where these boats are made that's really it for decent mfg. jobs that a person can work at without advanced schooling. Labor is a huge cost for all the mfg and it is just one factor in rising prices, along with the wish to be the leader in the production boat building industry for quality and features.

If you want to do automotive comparisons then you need to compare MC or Bu or CC to companies like Pagani, or Spyker companies that use largely non automated assembly processes.

Mtnmax
07-24-2011, 01:44 AM
Weren't these boats 'hand-made' by well trained experts back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's? And back then MC's were not anywhere near as expensive and Mercedes, Porche's, or even Corvettes. So what changed?

When I watch these MC DVD's they hand-out like candy at the dealerships and boat shows I notice something. All these 'professionals' (boarders, skiers, etc) all get their own custom boat for free (some with their name painted on it), a super nice towing rig/rv for free, not to mention all the fuel they can burn and the free MC clothing and who knows what else, PLUS a hefty salary, I'm sure.... Now I'm no Math Major, but all that 'Marketing Money' has to add-up to a pretty hefty pile of cash. Not to mention the production cost to make the DVD's in the first place (the chick with Austrialian accent I'm sure wasn't cheap). I'm NOT saying Marketing is not important, because it is. All I'm saying is that before we had free DVD's and Professional Sponsors with custom boats with their names painted on it, boats (MC's included) were A LOT more affordable....

Besides, if you make the BEST ski boat that money can buy (like many of us here believe they do), isn't THAT the BEST Marketing you can get? Everything else should take care of itself. :D

oldairboater
07-24-2011, 02:54 AM
I can afford to buy a new boat but I don't like the wake or the lines. I bought what I wanted and put more money plus my own sweat into making it what it is. I wanted a carb, ho engine, closed bow, with no wooden stringers. My 93 was perfect. It was paid for when I brought it home and I don't owe anything on it.

03geetee
07-24-2011, 07:37 AM
I can afford to buy a new boat but I don't like the wake or the lines. I bought what I wanted and put more money plus my own sweat into making it what it is. I wanted a carb, ho engine, closed bow, with no wooden stringers. My 93 was perfect. It was paid for when I brought it home and I don't owe anything on it.

Amen.

I just wanted to clarify that I am not hating on the new Mastercrafts one bit, I just know I would never drop that much money on a boat period.

JTR

Iskidaily
07-24-2011, 08:52 AM
I'm glad there are folks who are willing to pay for the innovation. Comparing the boats I've owned over the past 20 years, a lot has changed, most of it for the better. My family loves the newer model and I think the family - friendly features get us out on the water more than my older models would have. That said, when I made my decision last fall, I went for a previously owned boat expressly because of the price of a new one. I saw a brand new x-star out on the water yesterday and it really got my attention. My wife's too.

yippikaiyay
07-24-2011, 10:11 AM
I feel your pain. No question a new, or near new MC is a substantial amount of cash. And I like to spend as little as the next guy. However, after being on my second MC, and touring the manufacturing facility in TN., I do have some appreciation for why that is. IMHO, it's worth it. New is too much for me to justify as well. But well maintained used MC's will bring you years of enjoyment.

Mtnmax
07-24-2011, 08:37 PM
I can afford to buy a new boat but I don't like the wake or the lines. I bought what I wanted and put more money plus my own sweat into making it what it is. I wanted a carb, ho engine, closed bow, with no wooden stringers. My 93 was perfect. It was paid for when I brought it home and I don't owe anything on it.

I gotta have fuel-injection. Learned this over the years by living in the Mountains of Colorado (8700 ft), and commuting back to a second home in Texas nearly at sea level. Carbs don't like altitude much. And if I did tune it to run in CO, I would have re-tune it to run in TX.

kevkan
07-24-2011, 09:07 PM
I decided I wanted an MC in 1986. I found a great deal on a new 19' for $16,000. I went for a 1 year old 1985 for $3000 less, mainly because I liked the looks better. Paid for it in 5 years (I was 20 when I bought it) and used it for 24 years. Very few expensive repairs. Worst was a $300 steering cable replacement with rack/pinion upgrade.

Bought a 2 year old MC last year. Traded the old one for $7500 less than I paid 24 years ago. The used MC cost more than any vehicle I've ever purchased, including a loaded Yukon XL and a C300 Benz.

I don't know if I will ever actually "own" my current boat, but the payment is reasonable, over 18 years, and at a low interest rate. But I consider it a great investment. Not in a financial way, but in the family fun it brings. My kids range in age and have very little in common. All of them love to go out on the boat. If I didn't have a boat, I might not see my 17 year old son all summer, unless he needed money for something. All I have to do is send a text, "going to lake at 4, be home in time", and he is there. Its not just the time on the lake either, its the time in the truck getting there. Great family time.

I've already got my eye on an X-25. I tell the kids, "in another 23 years, we're gonna have one of those."

ahhudgins
07-24-2011, 09:47 PM
As already stated, you can spend as much (or as little) as you want on a boat. Same thing goes for the truck to tow it. My 95 MC has enough room for my family and their friends, enough HP to barefoot and I can teach small kids on the boom as well.

There are a lot of those "bells and whistles" on the newer boats, but I have no need for them. I push the throttle down, pull up the skier and keep my speed constant. Life is good!

d2jp
07-24-2011, 10:24 PM
.......I don't know if I will ever actually "own" my current boat, but the payment is reasonable, over 18 years, and at a low interest rate......

Lenders will finance a boat for 18 years?

oldairboater
07-25-2011, 12:04 AM
I like fuel injection but it is very hard for me to work on. It makes me think outside of my comfort zone. I have two Harley's. One is fuel injected and one is carbed. I took both of them into the mountains. The fuel injected bike ran normal but the carbed bike ran like a scalded cat. I gotta have fuel-injection. Learned this over the years by living in the Mountains of Colorado (8700 ft), and commuting back to a second home in Texas nearly at sea level. Carbs don't like altitude much. And if I did tune it to run in CO, I would have re-tune it to run in TX.

volunteerwatersports
07-25-2011, 12:57 AM
I agree new boats are expensive, but you can find a quality used boat for a pretty descent deal. I have bought 4 Mastercrafts all below market value and have not lost money on one yet. I also do not believe in financing boats, something that sits around 7-8 months a year if not more depending where you live should never be financed. It is a luxery item, if I can not buy it with cash in hand I do not need it.

Mtnmax
07-25-2011, 01:58 AM
Lenders will finance a boat for 18 years?

Yea, surprised me too. I think you can get financing through a MC Dealer now for 180 months. I had to punch it into my calculator to be sure, but that's 15 years! Wow!

MIskier
07-25-2011, 09:03 AM
Weren't these boats 'hand-made' by well trained experts back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's? And back then MC's were not anywhere near as expensive and Mercedes, Porche's, or even Corvettes. So what changed?

When I watch these MC DVD's they hand-out like candy at the dealerships and boat shows I notice something. All these 'professionals' (boarders, skiers, etc) all get their own custom boat for free (some with their name painted on it), a super nice towing rig/rv for free, not to mention all the fuel they can burn and the free MC clothing and who knows what else, PLUS a hefty salary, I'm sure.... Now I'm no Math Major, but all that 'Marketing Money' has to add-up to a pretty hefty pile of cash. Not to mention the production cost to make the DVD's in the first place (the chick with Austrialian accent I'm sure wasn't cheap). I'm NOT saying Marketing is not important, because it is. All I'm saying is that before we had free DVD's and Professional Sponsors with custom boats with their names painted on it, boats (MC's included) were A LOT more affordable....

Besides, if you make the BEST ski boat that money can buy (like many of us here believe they do), isn't THAT the BEST Marketing you can get? Everything else should take care of itself. :D

Yes,marketing is a huge cost for these companies, but boating is a largely marketing driven business. The Australian in the videos is one of MC's team riders, and so is the guy that hosts with her. The pro riders really do not get anything other than the boat, and most companies cut back big time on the number of boats that they have go out to pro riders, unless they work for the company

FourFourty
07-25-2011, 09:14 AM
A new Corvette is in the same ballpark pricewise as a new MC.

That statement makes me feel like a new MC is a bargain :D

I would take my boat over 4 new corvettes. However, I do agree that boats, in general, are all overpriced. Even a 23' Sea-Doo is 55-60k these days....

gatorguy
07-25-2011, 11:24 AM
... But man, $75K for a boat? I still can't get past it.



Dude, You're looking at the cheap ones. Try $144K for a new X35, Or $155K for the X55 or better yet $170K for the x80. I don't consider these ski boats though. They are small islands with motors.

$15K for a '97 ps205 was all I could swing for now.

wheelerd
07-26-2011, 02:59 AM
Interesting . . . I was thinking about boat prices earlier today before reading this thread. It occurred to me that over the past few years in the recessionary market, high-priced luxury cars (BMW, Lexus, Porsche, Audi, etc.) did not take the same hit as "normal" autos. Although we all felt the dollar bite, perhaps those that typically can afford the $100k bling items felt it less? Perhaps in its pricing strategy MC knows that sales of $50K boats will typically drop off before sales of $100k boats will, all things being equal, hence they price accordingly. Someone who has to stretch their budget to finance a $50k boat will forego this when things get tight. Someone who can even consider a $100k boat is not as likely to be devastated by a downturn in the economy (unless of course they work for a Wall Street brokerage firm. :D)

scott023
07-26-2011, 10:17 AM
Dude, You're looking at the cheap ones. Try $144K for a new X35, Or $155K for the X55 or better yet $170K for the x80. I don't consider these ski boats though. They are small islands with motors.

$15K for a '97 ps205 was all I could swing for now.

Dood, you're quoting the MSRP. I hope NO ONE has paid MSRP on a MC. If you have, you've been had.