March 1, 2015

Waiting Expansion

In the British forums I visit, a story repeats itself every season or so about the future of one boat builder, Fairline.  One of the so called important three sisters of the British power boating family, Fairline has been an interesting expanding brand up until 2006, and among the most respected in the global yachting community for offering among a good quality based price ratio in the industry.
Fairline community discussions have been growing up in the last decade since the other two British builders; Princess and Sunseeker started building more eighty plus feet super yachts, while the size at Oundle stopped at 78 feet, with the 78 Squadron Custom model being an improvement of the 74, the flagship since 2003. Fairline has two problems for building bigger; the first is location as they are inland based, and the second is factory size.  Current factory size does allow to build up to 85 feet. This building larger has been reflected in stable or improving sales for the other two, while Fairline in the last years has been a slow decline.
But while building larger may be part of the solution to improve a balance sheet, an important offering in the important fifty to eighty feet sizes does help. One just need to check the offering of the other two; Princess and Sunseeker to see that in those sizes they do offer a lot of models, double to that of Fairline. The other two Brits both know that a high percentage of the client who goes bigger usually come from the fifty feet plus size. Another problem from Fairline is the offer of new models, with half of the new proposals in recent years being in reality an upgraded improved previous model.

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