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Old 28 May 2012, 15:03   #31
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There will always be Specialists, making Special Things for Special People

I should have said that "this is a fairly (note use of fairly) specialist forum IMHO".
I do believe this to be the case as ribbing is a fairly specialist interest and the people who are interested enough to post on here are quite a small subset of the general ribbing population. Obviously there are varying levels of skill and ambition at play in the posting body but in general the newbies seem to find the place useful - I certainly did. Bear in mind that you were holding forth about the imminent demise of the European "cottage" RIB making scene and the rise of the Yellow Peril in a tsunami of vanilla leisure RIBs or some such scary scenario. I was making the point that there are plenty of cheap cookie cutter RIBs around as it is but there are still waiting lists at the specialised builders. Long may it last.

Thanks for keeping my costs down and calling me hard core

PS: If you have any money left over, the RIBnet sub is 20
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Old 28 May 2012, 15:35   #32
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There will always be Specialists, making Special Things for Special People

I should have said that "this is a fairly (note use of fairly) specialist forum IMHO".
I do believe this to be the case as ribbing is a fairly specialist interest and the people who are interested enough to post on here are quite a small subset of the general ribbing population. Obviously there are varying levels of skill and ambition at play in the posting body but in general the newbies seem to find the place useful - I certainly did. Bear in mind that you were holding forth about the imminent demise of the European "cottage" RIB making scene and the rise of the Yellow Peril in a tsunami of vanilla leisure RIBs or some such scary scenario. I was making the point that there are plenty of cheap cookie cutter RIBs around as it is but there are still waiting lists at the specialised builders. Long may it last.

Thanks for keeping my costs down and calling me hard core

PS: If you have any money left over, the RIBnet sub is 20
LOL! I'm going to have to find how to switch on the Smileys. I wanted to use the 'popcorn' but didn't know how to - obviously not enough skill or ambition ;-)

I've definitely found the forum useful (thanks to all), but perhaps the wider ribbing community would be more inclined to contribute if that small subset you mention were less dismissive of the 'stripey cushion' brigade. The forum has over 12,000 members, but how many of those are regular posters? Not many I'd guess.

Anyway, apologies if the 'cottage industry' comment offended anyone, but we used to make a lot of products in this country that we now buy from the far east. Whole industries have been wiped out. I just hope that the same "it'll never happen to us" attitude doesn't afflict the marine industry. I have a real affection for it, having served an apprenticeship and worked in the industry for 9 years when (much) younger, and hope it never happens.

However, if in 5 or 10 years time a Chinese (for arguments sake) company can produce a RIB of equal or better quality to those built here in the UK, but sell it for 20% less than our specialist builders can do, how many will pay the extra 5k or more for the privilege of buying British (or Irish of course)?
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Old 29 May 2012, 01:58   #33
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many car manufacturers share parts, engines and chassis, including many of the bigger companies, and have done so for many years. This helps keep down development and manufacturing costs.

There is no way a rib is more complex than a car. Most parts, engine, electronics etc are developed and manufactured by third parties and effectively 'bolted' on my by rib makers. Even most upholstery/seating is outsourced to people like outhills etc and i wouldn't put most boat seating in the same class as car seats. (rudimentary at best although i agree there are some specialist seat makers out there).

i agree the development of hulls for low volume sales is the expensive bit and probably the area where manufacturers could gain some benefit from collaboration, much like car companies sharing chassis development.

The next step would be having a real push on engine manufacturers to reduce prices. When you consider a 150hp probably costs in the region of 13-15000, the price of a medium size saloon car, you've got to say they are probably 'overpriced' as they believe the market will accept it. Bringing out so called 'new' models every year is probably not really what most people in the market want. Low price, reliable and reasonable fuel consumption on engines are more important than churning out a new engine with different logos and minor mods every couple of years. Also there is probably to much choice in engine sizes that is also keeping up prices. Much like the car industry maybe it's time to concentrate on a few popular sized engines rather than the large number currently available.

When a 6m rib and engine is around the price of a ford mondeo then more people will be buying new ones rather than better value secondhand ones.
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Old 29 May 2012, 04:17   #34
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Wellhouse, I agree with some of what you say but you have to take into account that in the marine industry everything has to be made more robust than a car (saltwater corrosion, engines revving at top speed for longer etc) but as the car industry churns out hundreds of thousands they can buy (or have parts made) at a fraction of the price, especially when it comes to engines as these guys have got to get their development costs back with much smaller numbers of units, hence the price.
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Old 29 May 2012, 04:49   #35
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Wellhouse, I agree with some of what you say but you have to take into account that in the marine industry everything has to be made more robust than a car (saltwater corrosion, engines revving at top speed for longer etc)
That's quite a sweeping statement. Should I assume you have the design and development sign off criteria for both boats and cars to hand and have made an impartial and verifiable comparison?

Or, are you just stating an opinion without the benefit of fact?

Just curious
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Old 29 May 2012, 06:40   #36
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Okay...we are a boat builder and engine development/producer (as far as I am aware not many marine companies produce both?) so my comment is based on experience...
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Old 29 May 2012, 06:43   #37
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Okay...we are a boat builder and engine development/producer (as far as I am aware not many marine companies produce both?) so my comment is based on experience...
And what of cars?
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Old 29 May 2012, 12:09   #38
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Wellhouse, I agree with some of what you say but you have to take into account that in the marine industry everything has to be made more robust than a car (saltwater corrosion, engines revving at top speed for longer etc) but as the car industry churns out hundreds of thousands they can buy (or have parts made) at a fraction of the price, especially when it comes to engines as these guys have got to get their development costs back with much smaller numbers of units, hence the price.
Sorry, but any additional costs from marinising are surely offset by the fact that boats don't require expensive suspension, brake systems, air conditioning, air bags, laminated glazing, etc, etc, etc.

As for amortising development costs, the effect on the price diminishes as the quantities increase. My earlier point was that if a RIB builder spends, for arguments sake, 40,000 on the design and development of a new hull design, but only expects to sell 20 of those hulls, then the cost per hull (before actually building them) is 2,000 each. Whereas, if several RIB builders collaborated on that new hull design, and collectively built 80 RIBs based on that design, the cost per hull is only 500 each.

When you're talking about outboards, the numbers may not reach the levels of a particular car engine, but they are built/sold in sufficient numbers that the difference in amortised development cost is relatively insignificant.
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Old 05 June 2012, 18:15   #39
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I see the boat building industry is just as vicious in Europe as in South Africa.

Have been sitting back and enjoying the show.

Over the years we have seen it all : copied designs, stolen moulds, corporate hijackings, hulls exported to be copied, rubber cheques, court cases and partners that have the social skills of Somali pirates.

Yet we always bounce back because boating is what we do.

Best of luck Eddy, hope you find some good people too represent you.

When it comes to this forum you seem to be in better shape than me .... you build mono hulls.

I am considered an anarchist and deviant around here for building catamarans and then fitting some hydrofoils as well.

We are all trying our best to get a slice of an ever shrinking market.

As for the danger coming from the Far East .... all I can say is that they are masters of copying products. So if you have customers in China you will soon be handed your ass on a platter.

(How do you like my elaborate use of smilies ?)
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Old 06 June 2012, 03:52   #40
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Originally Posted by NSS

Anyway, apologies if the 'cottage industry' comment offended anyone, but we used to make a lot of products in this country that we now buy from the far east. Whole industries have been wiped out. I just hope that the same "it'll never happen to us" attitude doesn't afflict the marine industry. I have a real affection for it, having served an apprenticeship and worked in the industry for 9 years when (much) younger, and hope it never happens.
Your idealistic view is great, and I'd love to buy a British made product at bargain basement prices, but unless you are prepared to work for 2 per hour I don't see that happening anytime soon. Nearly all boats are a 'specialist' market in my view. When you buy a car most people like to choose their options - it is the same with buying anew boat, the only difference is a boat will never come off a robotised production line where a computer controls the production.

Valiant are perhaps the closest you will get to automated production moulding of hulls using a vacuum system, but I don't see them ruling the roost in the rib market. The requirements of a boat are far wider than a mainstream car not just in options/specification but intended use, sea states, pax numbers etc. if you consider the number of different car models each manufacturer produces you will see that mass production of one hull type would not be the panacea you dream of. There really aren't enough parallels to keep using the car industry, but as far as I am aware the price of most manufactured products that go into a relatively small market is set by what the market can withstand, not how much it costs to produce. Economics controls this, not philanthropy.
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