Bay boat reviews including price and boat buying information for such models as Blackjack, Pro Line, Blue Wave, Nautic Star, Triton, and many others are consistantly the most popular pages on www.HookedOnFishingBoats.com. At first, this surprised me. Sure, bay boats have held a growing niche in the market for quite some time, but their area of appeal is limited to southern waters for the most part, and overall shouldn’t there be a lot more center console buyers out there? What’s going on?
A quick study of bay boats versus center consoles exposes an interesting detail: overall, bay boats of the same length as center consoles, with the same power options, are about ten percent less expensive. There are a lot of smaller manufacturers offering simple, inexpensive bay boats - like Frontier, which has a 19′ that can be had for about 20K and a 21′ that goes for well under 30K, or Blazer, which has a hefty, well-rigged 22′ that comes in around 40K.
Earth to boat builders: This is just one more hint that what you need to do to be successful in the “new” marine industry is get your prices down. New boats simply cost too much, and have a bottom line that’s beyond reason. More evidence is provided by looking at the used boat market. Used boat sales have taken less of a hit and have recovered more quickly because, to put it simply, prices have been pushed down by the marketplace and are at a realistic level. Build simpler boats, stop loading them with expensive bells and whistles, and provide your buyers with less expensive models. When we don’t have to spend three or four grand per foot of LOA, we’ll start buying boats again.