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!