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Old 02 June 2003, 10:07   #1
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New RIBs ? Not a buyers Market !

Has anyone else experienced this difficulty?

We scheduled to buy three new training craft this year.

One ( a 6m Cruising RIB) for delivery in late May and two ( another 6 M Cruising RIB and a 5.5 M Training RIB) for delivery in Dec 03.

We went shopping for the first boat in Feb 03 and emailed out a detailed spec to about 20 manufacturers in Ireland , UK, Europe and South Africa and New Zealand. We stuck with manufacturers as I don't fancy buying from an importer who buys in the bits and then "assembles" it . Also our design requirements for a training boat would be slightly off the standard brochure model. ( Seat and console position, fitting of electronics etc) . However nothing in our spec would be off the wall for any manufacturer.

Out of 20 emails I received 2 replies . one from Ireland saying "Can Do" and one from the UK saying that they would need a 6 month lead in time! and even that would be tight ! We even spoke to a UK builder at the Dublin Boat Show who promised to quote but who never did even after two further emails and phone calls!

The next 4 weeks were extremely frustrating trying to even get a manufacturer to call us back let alone quote ! The general thrust was that they were too busy to build a one off to "Oh I'm sorry we meant to get back to you but forgot !!!" or We've been having problems with the email lately - Followed by no further respons or interest in trying to sell us a boat. I am talking about some of the well known names here too !!!

We have had the same response within the last few weeks when (in May ) we asked for quotes to supply the next two craft for delivery in Dec 03. Out of 20'ish companies contacted, only two have replied with a further two ( one in SA and one in the UK )promising to get back to me ....

Is the RIB building industry that vibrant that there is now a 6 month + lead in from order to delivery? or is it that the builders are too busy building to talk to new customers ?

We did ask for quotes in euro.. Could this be a factor?

I now wonder why I wasted a few days doing research at the Paris and London Boat Shows in January !

Best wishes,

Stuart
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Old 02 June 2003, 10:56   #2
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RIB Buyers market.

Well I have had "we sent the info 2 weeks ago" to incorrect quotes requested at boat shows. The quote I received was someone elses from the previous boat show. (still had the old date on it).
Lead times I can understand, but a delivery date should be a DELIVERY DATE not the date which a couple of days prior you receive a phone call to say it won't be ready!
Obviously the RIB manufactures are doing so well they don't need powerboat schools promoting their products!!!
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Old 02 June 2003, 11:23   #3
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Re: RIB Buyers market.

Quote:
Originally posted by David Hickman
Obviously the RIB manufactures are doing so well they don't need powerboat schools promoting their products!!!
I think that most of the RIB manufacturers will agree with you 1zilion%.

I know certain RIB manufacturers in Europe and also abroad that they have mile long order lists and waiting time more than 1 year from ordering. Some of these guys (I was told so may be is not very correct) also ask for 50% of the total cost upfront which is not refundable.

However, I believe that things will change and then....... it will be a buyers market Till then though, patients as patients is a virtue
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Old 02 June 2003, 11:51   #4
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Stuart, I think timing is critical. Trying to order anything in the spring or summer is hopless, to many tyre kickers and muppets about. Also the weeks before the boat shows are similarly busy periods. You need to order in Nov when its cold and wet.

Have to feel for the manufactures at times though, customers changing there mind half way through a build. Quotes for an ordinary boat has a huge list of extras added which the customer wants a no cost.

Would I work in the boat industry, no way, IT is a much calmer environment!

Pete
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Old 02 June 2003, 12:16   #5
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Hi Pete ,

I do understand where you are coming from ( Tyre kicking Muppets, Summer season etc.)

However we are a well recognised training School with a wide client base of both professional and leisure users and a preplanned budget for regular replacement of our training craft.

We operate 12 months of the year 7 days a week from 4 centres in Ireland with our busiest period being from Jan to May and from Sept to Dec for the Pro Clients and the Summer months taken up by the leisure user market.

We change our training craft every two years and for this reason we try to stagger new craft arrivals at January and May June to minimise disruption at the School.

So if this is the response a well established School such as ourselves receives, I wonder how the average leisure user gets on !

Believe it or not....just as I type this............ I receive two seperate email ads from two of the companies we contacted; one of which told me "They are all in a meeting....... I can't take a message and you'll have to call back next week" when I rang them (twice) from Ireland to discuss the email spec I had sent them some weeks ago. Other than the ad just received , there has been no reply from them and I have now given up !

I am bemused rather than annoyed !!!

Best wishes,

Stuart
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Old 02 June 2003, 13:25   #6
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Stuart, what I mean is the nice weather brings everyone out who fancies wandering around a boat yard or looking at a rib and the manufacturers are swamped. Although they should be able to spot an established sea school. Think this is why Delta gave up selling to the public and concentrated comerical boats.

Visited a local Mariner Dealer early Sat morning to pick up an engine, in fact I was there before them. By 10 oclock the phone wouldn't stop ringing with "have you got one of those grey things thats on my engine" calls. Some guy wanted his Searay engine rebuilding that weekend although the boat has been sat full of water all winter.

Keep smiling, by the way you asked if there is a six month lead time. Yes, Solent Ribs are fully booked until September.

Pete

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