June 1, 2021

blogger - Becoming Too Exclusive

It is a pity to see in recent years Magnum Marine being mostly a service yard in Florida.  What used to be the most exclusive name in the Nautical World is now renowned mostly as a legend.  Yes Magnum still builds a boat a year, and the company has also launched the Sport 27 model a couple months ago.  But this is far away from the successes of the past, where with the 53 model the company sold over fifty units and till the end of the nineties was among the most sold sport yacht above fifteen meters.

So what went wrong with Magnum in the last decade or shall we say two decades.  I think one of the biggest mistakes is that Magnum has become to difficult in selling boats and has outpriced itself out of the market.  Yes a high end boat like Magnum cannot be cheap, and it is fair for it to be priced at the top end of the price range.  It is also normal for it to be a very exclusive product for the few.  But sometimes in all these things one has to strike a balance.  

We can look at the rise of custom high end sports fisherman in the last two decades; Bayliss, Jarrett Bay, Spencer, all with nice order books of three to five boats a year.  Are they priced competitive? Yes, compared to themselves but still more expensive to that of a production sportfish yacht.  A mirror  success is that of Italian builder Otam.  Otam strikes directly at Magnum as it is a direct competitive product, which has been doing very well. Consider that Otam has sold six of its 80 model, including the custom 85 GTS off shot from the same hull.  Magnum has sold only two, of its 80 with the first delivered in 2000 and the second in 2008.  I think the preparation of the Italian yard in actually serving the client for his custom yacht is one of the reason of the success.  Also Otam is not afraid to search in other market segments as for example they did with the SD35 in 2016.  Of the performance orientated yard only Alfamarine did something similar in 2003 when they delivered the fully custom 140.  

To be fair Magnum was not afraid to offer different products in the past and the 35, 38, and 40 used to be offered in flybridge and sportfish versions, and the 53 was also delivered in a couple custom flybridge units as well.  

Magnum is trying to relaunch itself in recent months, a dealer overhaul has just happened and the company has finally launched the long announced Sport 27 model.  A second unit with outboard power is reported under construction, and a plan for an electric power zero emissions version are in advanced stages.  The company has also showed plans for a fully outboard powered 44 Banzai model.  With the 27 Magnum seems to be more looking at its early Don Aronow past, rather the Theodoli one of high end offshore sport cruisers and yachts.  Question comes automatic if this is the direction Magnum should really take.

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