Brunswick dumping Sports Yachts and Yachts. Where do we stand?

Discussion in 'Sport Yachts/Yachts' started by Laualarry, Jun 28, 2018.

  1. Rocket

    Rocket Active Member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Long Island NY
    2007 48 Sundancer
    Previous: 2004 420DA, 2007 320DA, 2006 240DA
    Cummins QSC 540 8.3
    I Have the build sheet options they handed to me in Miami, Zeus 600 QSC was the only option. They had already sold 2 hulls, I was looking at an October 18 build. I wonder if Zeus product survives? Other than Searay there weren't to many builders offering.....
  2. Laualarry

    Laualarry New Member

    Dec 3, 2017
    400 Fly 2018
    2 x 480-hp Cummins QSB6.7 480 HO Diesel V-Drives
    Zeus is Mercury and Mercury is Brunswick so SR was forced to use them.

    After talking with my dealer, he said one of the main reasons SR did not make money with the Sport Yacht and Yacht lines was with upper management which in turn tricked down to the assembly. Dealers were begging for more boats and they could not produce them. I know here in Southern California my dealer had all the large boats sold before he received them and was asking for more. The newer designs were actually going over quite well in this size range. It is just a shame they decided to shutter rather than taking an inner look seeing why they were not profitable.
    Caseracer likes this.
  3. KnotEasy

    KnotEasy Member

    May 14, 2013
    Whitehall, Mi.
    205 Sport
    5.0L MPI
  4. JV II

    JV II Active Member

    Nov 17, 2007
    Volvo V-Drive
    I guess I was a visionary when I switched to Azimut through MarineMax in 2016. I looked at Sea Ray, Azimut, Prestige, Carver, and Cruisers. In my opinion, there were several challenges for Sea Ray to stay in this market. The greatest being to maintain the level of quality at the escalating price point with escalating labor costs and regulations. In order to stay ahead of competition, the models needed to change their design frequently and across the line. This required even more man hours of engineering and design. Sea Ray production, design and engineering was not global, but their sales were. In order to continue, they would have needed to globalize that which would have required tremendous capital.

    What I have seen with Cruisers and Carver is a drop in material cost that is palpable in the product. Sea Ray would not have tolerated that evolution of its product. MarineMax had Bayliner already. Despite the drop in quality, the price escalated.

    With Prestige, you have the largest boat manufacturer in the world with economy of scale, likely leveraging global design and engineering, and using Ikea level furnishings. That was also palpable to me, but probably not owners who had not experienced Sea Ray quality.

    With Azimut, the design and engineering is sound. The material quality is as good or better than my 48DA. There was no skimping on fittings, hardware, materials, power or electronics. So far, the durability and reliability is holding up. The price point and equipment list was significantly better than the 510Fly. The design and engineering is as good or better. How did Azimut do that? My guess is that regulatory and labor restrictions are not as stringent in Italy. These are hand made vehicles, made one at a time. You can't automate the process.

    I would have loved to stay with Sea Ray on a Yacht. I am still a huge fan of the brand. The bottom line was I was able to upgrade from what I had to a boat with equal or better quality that was better equipped at a much lower price point.

    Don't argue with me on the quality or reliability because you Googled it unless you've owned one for 2 years. I am fully aware of what you have read online. Remember when Hyundai and Fiat first came to the US market? Some of it is that. The product has evolved. I have a theory about the other part. Here's my theory. People who end up in a Sea Ray yacht matriculated from a line of previous Sea Rays. They worked on their boats. They have the ambition and passion to understand how everything works and choose to get dirty trying to fix or upgrade it than to hire expensive dealer labor. These people who go to a Sea Ray Yacht still are hands on. They know the maintenance schedule. They know how to get something working again. With Azimut, you have new money people buying their first boat for flash. When something stops working, they call the dealer to flip a switch, open a seacock, replace a fried impeller, replace a dead battery, replace corroded lift rams because they didn't address anodes, and replace burned out 240V fridges because they didn't realize their European 240V boat that uses reliable European 240V shore power doesn't come with a boosting transformer like most Sea Ray yachts to address crappy American electric power and brown outs. There's the explanation for many of the electrical issues on Google.

    My Azimut has been as reliable as my 48DA. Yes, the first thing I did was to install a boosting and isolation transformer. I crawl around in the bilge and engine compartment every weekend for hours learning every part and getting my hands dirty like I did on my 48. Look at every new Sea Ray owner's punch list on this forum. I had 2 new Sea Rays. Sure, there are items that needed to be addressed under warranty, but it is not different from any Sea Ray. The one and only difference is that occasionally, you come across something that needs to be ordered from Italy. Nothing that stops boating. Beyond the warranty, as things need replacement, you replace with US sourced equipment to negate that issue.

    Even Azimut has its "Value" line, the Atlantis. There's your Italian Bayliner on par with Cruisers and Prestige. That's the higher margin product. Sea Ray doesn't have a "high margin" product. They have to compete with Bayliner, which is a difficult sell to a budget oriented buyer.

    Well, that's my rant after a long absence from this forum on an Azimut. I hope to run into you on the water to show you for real.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    DieselDogg and MonacoMike like this.
  5. SeadawgVB

    SeadawgVB Active Member

    Jul 8, 2013
    Tidewater Virginia
    '03 Sundancer 360
    Twin 8.1s with V-drives
    This is me... I thought I was the only one!
  6. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    JV - Didn't you have a whole litany of warrantee, quality, and fit/finish issues when you first bought that boat? Or am I thinking of someone else??
  7. AboveBlue

    AboveBlue Member

    Nov 13, 2014
    2003 Sea Ray 480 MY, Parker Center Con
    Cummings QSM11
    I have a feeling Sea Ray might be building yachts again before you know it, it's a good way to regroup and take advantage of the outboard market that is on fire right now. Boater's seem to always be looking towards their next purchase. Literally, the day after you close on the boat you just bought, it seems like you are out dreaming again. I'm sure the next wave of management isn't gonna want to miss that market and group of move up buyers to some other manufacturer especially with the skill set and technology Sea Ray has for building larger boats. After all, how many 500k center console buyers are really out there.
  8. Todd320

    Todd320 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 21, 2016
    St. Petersburg, FL
    2007 Sea Ray 320DA
    Twin V-drive 5.7L 350 Horizon
    This is what amazes me, to each his own of course, but a 500k+, even 200k+, center console? Man, that just blows my mind. I know it’s just me, but man that’s a lot of money for a day boat AND A DEPRECIATING ASSET. (Last part was my accountant wife speaking..)
  9. Active Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Old Saybrook, CT
    2012 45 Yacht
    D6 Volvo Penta IPS

    I completely agree with you, Sea Ray will be back in the game before too long.
  10. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    I’m not so sure..... it takes capital....a lot of it which Brunswick nixed (did you listen to their q2 Earnings Call?).

    Unlikely to happen with the current management crew. No Sales strategy/team for the bigger boats means this boat has sailed (at least for this version of management).
    techmitch likes this.
  11. tc410

    tc410 Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 9, 2006
    Charlevoix, MI/Jupiter, FL
    2005 550DB
    MAN CRM-900
    Not to mention most, if not all, of the long-term talented Sea Ray workforce will have moved on to other and more stable opportunities....
  12. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    Unfortunately there is an extremely high level of unemployment in that area of Florida, thanks to the scrubbing of the space shuttle program. The Merritt island, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral and other communities nearby certainly didn’t need these factory closures. Replacement jobs will be difficult to find.

    Additionally, a lot of the laid off employees are older and have been thru one closure and re-hiring already. I doubt they will be keen to sign up for much more of this Brunswick Inc. fun and games.
  13. scooper321

    scooper321 Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Jul 4, 2015
    Baltimore, MD
    "Shenanigans", 2003 Sea Ray 400DB
    "Lollygagger", 2003 Sea Ray 320DA (listed for sale)
    Twin Cummins 6CTA-8.3
    I like a lot about Azimut boats. But I won’t (can’t?) buy new and I’m in the market for a sedan/fly bridge. All the previously owned Azimut fly bridges I see have both the fly bridge helm and the inside-the-salon helm. Big fat waste of space, IMO. It allocates (wastes) valuable cabin space to a helm I’ll never, ever use. I don’t want to boat from my living room. Plus, all those extra controls are redundancy I don’t need - additional things to break/service that I won’t use. At these price points, those layouts just done make sense for me. And it’s not just Azimut, as I see this same phenomenon with many Euro and Euro style boats.

    I fully realize others may have a different opinion. This is just mine. Otherwise, Azimut makes a nice boat! Just doesn’t work for me.
  14. MonacoMike

    MonacoMike Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Sep 15, 2009
    Indiana lakes and Lake Michigan
    2000 Cruisers 3870
    8.2 Mercs
    85 Sea Ray Monaco 197
    260hp Alpha 1
    That is truly sad.

  15. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Jun 20, 2012
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Couple of comments as they apply. Random disconnected observations, no sequence.

    No, I don't see Brunswick allowing one of their brands reentering the over 40' market in the next 3-5 years.

    Gotten some calls from some people who know a whole lot more than I do about the boat industry. Learned a lot. Don't think I will ever buy a boat from a Brunswick owned company again.

    Have been in a lot of different marinas recently - predominant brand I see is Sea Ray. I think the DA and DB models will hold their value - even increase in the future.

    Sea Ray employees built boats with a passion. A passion for excellence. Brunswick made management decision that overrode the passion for excellence.

    Just my thoughts

  16. tc410

    tc410 Active Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 9, 2006
    Charlevoix, MI/Jupiter, FL
    2005 550DB
    MAN CRM-900
    And all good thoughts, in my opinion. Couldn’t agree more with every point.
  17. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Oh Frank, I don't think that is the case at all. The space coast is booming; NASA has SLS in full swing, Orion is in full production at KSC. ULA is in full swing with their Atlas and Delta and now the upcoming Vulcan launchers, SpaceX is launching every other week and has successfully returned their boosters and launched their heavy lift launcher, and Blue Origin is developing a huge presence with the manufacturing and launch of their enormous New Glenn launch vehicle. Rocket Lab will be using the old Delta II launch pads for their new launcher. One Web is finishing up their satellite manufacturing facility. Grumman is completing a huge manufacturing capability in Melbourne for their aircraft. Manned spaceflight is getting ready to hit full swing again here next year. Sierra Nevada is preparing to launch their winged spacecraft end of next year. Northrup Grumman is preparing to debut their new medium class launcher. Ocean Alexander has a banner on their building "hiring all skills". DARPA and the NRO black programs continue their missions. The US Navy fleet ballistic missile program moved from Ca. to here. Our little program management firm expect to double in size by the first of next year. There is so much construction going on that we are worried about skilled craft availability; travelers are flocking into the area. If someone needs or wants a job it's here.
    Steve S likes this.
  18. Caseracer

    Caseracer New Member

    Dec 3, 2012
    Palm Coast , FL
    This is the last boat rolling off the line at the Palm Coast Plant last 520.jpg
  19. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    You are obviously closer to this than I, so I'll defer to you on the unemployments stats. Any way you cut it, though, Sea Ray is releasing 850 employees between Palm Coast and Merritt Island and these are mostly folks with skills that cannot easily be transitioned to the space industry. A lot of folks and families are going to be hurt after severance arrangements lapse.
  20. ttmott

    ttmott PhD in OCD GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Can't argue with that; seems to me that the average age of the impacted workforce is past prime and consequently, obtaining good skilled jobs become more challenging. I hope that, for these folks, they are in a good position to either retire or can apply their skills to better jobs and careers; they certainly deserve better.

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