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Old 15 October 2012, 16:18   #1
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Why are RIBs so expensive?

As A Broker, Rib owner/enthusiast and Dry Stack owner (with over 120 ribs) I have to ask why Ribs are so expensive?

EG. This week I sold: -
A Fletcher 238 with twin 4.3 Mercruiser engines, decent twin berth cabin, bimini, all over covers stove, toilet, etc for 8,950

And

A Zodiac 550 Pro Open Rib with a Suzuki 115hp outboard for 9,450

If you saw the boats side by side you would have to ask why?

Having been involved at looking at importing Ribs from China (don't worry I didn't) I just cant see where the money is being spent. If you saw a typical Rib with its tubes off you would be appauled at how little is left!

By the same token, I know plenty of people who have tried to produce cheap ribs and have come a cropper!!

If I look at (for example) a new Ballistic 6.5m retailing at over 50K, I have to ask where the money goes?? What sort of car could you buy for 50K???? It just doesn't add up!!!

Don't want to pick on any one make as I'm sure the same is true of most mainstream Rib manufacturers.

Is it truely down to economy of scale?? or am I missing something here?

Comments?
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:20   #2
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Tubes cost a lot, as I've discovered!!! :-)
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:26   #3
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I think that most of us feel the same way lets hope that someone can come up with an answer.
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:45   #4
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What I find amazing is that I first started looking a ribs two years ago and was offered that same ballistic for 33 k so what has happened in the last two years to bring on such a rise ? My next door neighbour builds ribs for the mod in Portsmouth and is in the purchasing department he tells me that they have had the same conversations about the leisure market and believe that if they had built my rib they would have at least 50% nett profit !
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:48   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Run View Post
As A Broker, Rib owner/enthusiast and Dry Stack owner (with over 120 ribs) I have to ask why Ribs are so expensive?

EG. This week I sold: -
A Fletcher 238 with twin 4.3 Mercruiser engines, decent twin berth cabin, bimini, all over covers stove, toilet, etc for 8,950

And

A Zodiac 550 Pro Open Rib with a Suzuki 115hp outboard for 9,450

If you saw the boats side by side you would have to ask why?

Having been involved at looking at importing Ribs from China (don't worry I didn't) I just cant see where the money is being spent. If you saw a typical Rib with its tubes off you would be appauled at how little is left!

By the same token, I know plenty of people who have tried to produce cheap ribs and have come a cropper!!

If I look at (for example) a new Ballistic 6.5m retailing at over 50K, I have to ask where the money goes?? What sort of car could you buy for 50K???? It just doesn't add up!!!

Don't want to pick on any one make as I'm sure the same is true of most mainstream Rib manufacturers.

Is it truely down to economy of scale?? or am I missing something here?

Comments?
IMHO, as I said back in May in this http://www.rib.net/forum/f8/hydrosport-performance-ribs-48330-2.html thread, there are too many manufacturers making too many variants and hence trying to recoup design/development/tooling costs over too few boat sales.

Mind you, I got slated for my opinion back then so I dare say I'll get a similar response now
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:50   #6
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Well thats a question I have been asking myself for some time.
why the hellish cost now for a rib.
I was looking at getting a new hull when my tubes went but my god there expensive for what they are.
simple 5.5mtr GRP, tubes and a console and your talking at least 7K just for that. !
my whole rig cost 10K back in 1991 boat engine and trailer.!!!. and the layout, construction and designs are still the same. but made in other countries like south africa etc to keep the cost down but it doesnt at all.
to get the same thing now your talking arround 20K. the trailers are about the same price so its all engine and boat costs.
doesnt make sense as the hulls should be cheap. I think i should start building them myself. :-)
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Old 15 October 2012, 16:54   #7
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Most hardboats are mass produced using cheap imported labour. The best ribs are hand built in the UK using expensive skilled British labour and quality materials.

Dig into a any mass produced Yank sports cuddy and the chewing gum a tissue paper that they're built of will soon become apparent.
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Old 15 October 2012, 17:37   #8
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Id love to know why too!

i know its not as expensive but to me my thundercat cost me 3.6k & a new boat & engine package is about 8k, which isnt alot compared to your big plush ribs, but i sometimes think whats the moneys gone to?? its just 2 tubes, 2 floor boards, a fiberglass nose cone & box tubing transom!? I know most of the cost is made by the engine but new the hull still costs 3k+ !!
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Old 15 October 2012, 20:03   #9
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Those that like keeping up with the Jones's are the main reason new vessels are so expensive, like..." I couldn't help but notice that i'm considerably richer than yow" type.
Personally I wouldn't buy new even if I won the roll over. there's some really good bargains out there now in the second hand market, and as already mentioned it only takes a new bit of bling in many cases to make a second hand RIB look new again. whereas to refurb a hard boat would be much more.
Plus remember RIB's and not forgetting SIB's are the ultimate affordable safest vessels around, other wise the forces etc wouldn't have so many, imagine say the RNLI with a binliner lol me thinks.
As I say the second hand market are almost giving there RIB's away, You only have to look at the for sale section here on RIBnet to see the bargains that can be found.
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Old 15 October 2012, 21:49   #10
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I'll have to go with the hand labor, I have no idea how they build tubes, repairing them is hard enough and I have a framework to work with. Not sure if that is a cause or effect of the smaller production numbers.

Also boats are luxury items. toys to most people. Why price them lower? If you got extra cash to blow on a toy I'm gonna try to get all I can out of you.

Jason
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Old 16 October 2012, 01:30   #11
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A lot of responses to the thread, I think everyone would like to understand why. I have also pondered that question especially when you look at the cost of different size ribs with the same engine and specs from the same manufacturer, say for example a 7M rib was 50k, and a 8M Rib same spec was 75K and a 9M rib same spec was 125K, why does the extra metre for the 9m rib cost twice as much as the extra metre for the 8m rib.

I guess the answer to all this is because people will pay it. You also have brand cost as well and exclausivity.

Bit like an Iphone, latest Iphone 5 basic spec is 529 ! thats crazy money for a mobile phone but demand is high they are considerd cool and people will pay for the brand image.
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Old 16 October 2012, 02:48   #12
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Not sure how far Mollers had his tongue in his cheek with the "skilled British labour / quality materials" comment (have you been under the console of some of these ribs - I suspect you have)

I know UK labour is expensive, but that doesn't explain why almost all of the "splashed" under-powered Chinese import ribs (no names - but you can tell I'm a fan) are still coming out at about 20k for a 5m with a 50hp on it.
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Old 16 October 2012, 02:54   #13
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We are talking about a product that is at best made in the 100's of units rather than 10s of 1000s per annum. Each product is virtually bespoke design as everyone wants something slightly different. there will also be design and development costs that have to be covered as well as liability insurance etc. If it is built in the UK, the labour rate and costs for property etc are very high. So when you combine that lot, it is hardly surprising that they are costly.
Plus of course, as soon as you label anything as "marine", there is a compulsory price mark up, although I have never understood why this should be so, as lots of components are generic and are used on cars as well.
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Old 16 October 2012, 03:28   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Run View Post

I know UK labour is expensive, but that doesn't explain why almost all of the "splashed" under-powered Chinese import ribs (no names - but you can tell I'm a fan) are still coming out at about 20k for a 5m with a 50hp on it.
But who would want a 5m with a 50hp on it anyway, it would need to be cheap ?
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Old 16 October 2012, 04:22   #15
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Going back to the 1st post, the value of the fletcher with twin 4.3's would've plummeted from the new cost more so than the rib. How much is a day out in that going to cost in fuel, I'm assuming they're petrols?

Sent from my portable speaking device using Rib.net
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Old 16 October 2012, 05:09   #16
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Maybe the question should be "why don't hard boats hold their value?"
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Old 16 October 2012, 06:14   #17
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Where's Manos when you need him, I seem to recall having this discussion a few years ago!

Mind you, when I see posts like this.. http://www.rib.net/forum/f21/ring-88...new-51325.html I do ask the question myself.

With material costs at less than 3.00 a kilo for polyester and glass, it's either unbelievably heavy, or it had a very skilled, and highly paid workforce building it!
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Old 16 October 2012, 06:25   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Kennett View Post
Maybe the question should be "why don't hard boats hold their value?"
John, I think some hard boats DO hold their value. Hard "motor" boats particularly with thirsty engines definitely don't though.......
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Old 16 October 2012, 07:46   #19
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Ribs are still a niche market. They might be big in Europe but on this side of the pond (I'm in Florida on vacation, on holiday... you know what I mean) it's all hard boats, fully loaded, with big engines.

The Fletcher, arguably the better boat, purely because of the engines and internal layout and fit is going to be cheaper because it's going difficult to sell, and because it's a thirsty brute.

The Zodiac Open Pro 550 is an old boat now design wise, especially with captains chairs that were never practical. Newer versions come with a bolster seat. The advantage is it can be re-engined, and to buyers when they see a shiny frugal 4-stroke Yamaha - then it's an easy decision. It can also be retubed. Expensive I know, but with a set of new season Zodiac black and red tubes - it would transform it.

Back to gas prices here. Currently $3.30 a gallon, where as we're paying an outrageous 1.45 a litre. That's why everyone drives V6 and V8 saloons and trucks. If petrol prices halved back home, then everything else would change in time.

Not sure if that answers the original question... but that's my take on it.

Right back to the pool!
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Old 16 October 2012, 07:59   #20
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In the UK RIBs are quite fashionable and have a well perceived reputation for safe fast and fun boating. As such the manufacturers load the price because that is what the market will bear.

Why sell something for a reasonable markup when you can grab a mahoosive slice

Same goes for trendy sports wear, up market cards, Apple computing stuff etc etc.

Anyway it's a well known fact that all people who own boats are loaded
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