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New boat prices far exceeding inflation rate

marknmarkn Posts: 307 Crazy Baller
Been astonished at the cost of new boats. Is current pricing simply the rate of inflation? I went back and pulled up my invoice for my 2004 196 limited...$34,000. That same $34,000 (from 2004) is equal to $45,374 in 2019 dollars yet a new Nautique is over $100K?? Yep, the boat is bigger, has additional "features" (the benefits of which are in the eyes of the buyer), but do not think it skis $55K better. Even Porsches are less expensive in dollar terms than they were in 1992!
I paid $25K for a Signature Edition Nautique in 1995. Then 9 years later, a 2004 limited for essentially $10K more. Using that as a reference, a 2014 should have been around $45K maybe $48 (still ahead of the inflation rate) and now a 2019 is $110K+??
My boat is getting pretty old, but with 325 hours on a new engine/transmission and Rev S, having a hard time justifying an upgrade!! Am I missing something?


  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,700 Mega Baller
    This again?
  • GolfguyGolfguy Posts: 225 Solid Baller
    Important topic. In any sport the longterm health is that the cost to participate will influance growth or not. Golf, for example, commanded huge greens fees in the past. Now with a steady decline in participation, the greens fees have moderated. In tournament skiing with the governing body telling the competetors what products (boats) they must have will have the effect of deminishing participation. Especially in view of the cost of the boats, even promo boats are hard to approach from a fiscal standpoint. The boats have become bigger, heavier and needing larger more powerful and expensive engines to move them down the course. I don,t think any buoy chaser asked for these changes. Particularly when prices become astronomical. So this is nothing new. Can we make a change? I would like to float this idea. Instead of the governing body testing and certifing certian boat manufactures, they simply re-inforced the idea that a boat must go straight through the course and maintain speed tolarances. After all no one would buy a boat that can't pull a 150 skier out of the water. What other sports governing body dictates the equipment the competitors use. This is an old discussion, but IMO it has a potentail to punish the sport we love.
  • ScottScottScottScott Posts: 958 Mega Baller
    I think a big part is that it isn't exactly a thriving sport, if anything its declining. If more people were involved and buying more boats, the technology and development/production cost would be spread out more. Instead the few that purchase ski boats have a larger share of the R&D that goes into them. That is both on the tech side, and the hull development.
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 633 Crazy Baller
    The market apparently spoke about the Carbon Pro. They didn't quit making it because it couldn't get certified as a tow boat as far as I know.
  • WoodySkierWoodySkier Posts: 117 Baller
    People are still buying them, prices will keep going up until people stop buying. Supply and Demand.
  • Bill22Bill22 Posts: 1,700 Mega Baller
    @jjackkrash the CP was definitely an approved 3 event tow boat.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,229 Mega Baller
    Will never pay more for a ski boat than an M3. My rule.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    This will be the death of skiing. & it is not as simple as "just buy used" the high new prices are keeping used prices high. Ive noticed a lot of people on this thread have said things to the effect of "you can get a used ZO boat for sub $35K!" as if thats a good deal. Most people cannot afford a $35K car let alone a $35K boat. Do we need to make the sport accessible to EVERYONE? No, cost is a large barrier to entry in this sport and thats fine. But that barrier is too damn high. Realistically, if you aren't single and have a family and kids, a $100k salary probably isn't enough & I believe that is a problem.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,588 Mega Baller
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 633 Crazy Baller
    @Drago, my only point is that skiers tend to scream about excessive prices on ski boats and clamor for a good basic ski boat at a reduced price and then for whatever reason they either don't get sold or don't make it in the market. The most obvious recent example is the Carbon Pro. By all reports the Carbon Pro was a good basic ski boat at a reasonably fair price and for whatever reason it didn't make it and not because the powers that be refused to certify it as a tow boat.

    At the end of the day, the price of boats are not set by what's good for the sport, or what we think is fair, or what the waterskiing governing bodies want or don't want to price to be, the price of boats is set by the market based on the product that boat makers think will make them the most money.
  • ozskiozski Posts: 1,678
    This will not be the death of the sport. Having only one skier on the lake at a time is a bigger problem and you can't get around that without adding lakes. An excess of people waiting around for a set with little to do seems like a bigger problem to me. Lake prices yeah somebody needs to do something about that.
    'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.'' Boat 2005 Nautique 196 6L ZO - Ski - KD Platinum

  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,588 Mega Baller
    Sorry, I’m not unmisunderstanding your double negatives.
    The Carbon Pro has always been an Approved Towboat.
    I think i mentioned this a long while back, but I think consumers are afraid to purchase non-big-two boats (big 3 now, Malibu broke through). There’s no resale and maybe warranty fears. (Moomba,Infinity,Supra,Bayliner,Toyota...)
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    @ozski I've never heard one person say it takes me too long to get a practice set so I'm quitting skiing.

    Also, im not sure where you are located, but the last few years the main issue in skiing is DEFINITELY not too much participation
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 633 Crazy Baller
    @Drago, I misinterpreted "Huh" as an honest request for clarification or elaboration. I didn't realize "Huh" was a cleverly disguised rhetorical set-up device for your next post mocking my grammar and laissez faire editing practices. Well played.
  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 809 Crazy Baller
    Heard the same story when Goode sold the first 1K Ski. Heck I just paid a $100 dollars for a pair of gloves. Funny thing is I don’t hear hardly anyone complaining on other sites about wakeboard and surf boats and they can exceed 200K.
  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,186 Crazy Baller
    @skierjp $1,000 is a looong way off of $100,000 & most of the people who buy those $200K wake boats are idiots who finance them for 30 years
  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 809 Crazy Baller
    So I guess I need 3 boats, a Nautique, MC and Malibu because who knows what you will get in a tournament
    John Brooksmcskier41
  • GolfguyGolfguy Posts: 225 Solid Baller
    The CP didn't die because people didn't think they are a great boat. I believe it would have taken off sales wise because they bucked the trend happening with what the other manufactures were doing. They were a sort of a rebel with a great wake.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,361 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2019
    @golfguy then why did the CP die? Back to the analogy of Goode skis....the first $1k ski. How many years ago was that? 25? 25 years later and they doubled in price. Not relatable to boat prices as they've more than quadrupled. This topic has been pretty much beat to death, and here I am posting on it. The thread kinda wandered to participation and even practice time! Even in the Mecca of waterskiing, Florida, some longstanding tournaments are being cancelled due to lack of entries. Face it, the sport is in decline whatever the cause. Nationwide tournaments sanctioned in 2018 487, in 2019 366. Agreed there is no data available for those just skiing recreationally.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 329 Baller
    Is there a difference to consider between tournament participation going down and the “sport dying”?
    Example - are the same old or more people still skiing (and buying stuff), but not doing tournaments? Hard to quantify since there would be no data....
  • skierjpskierjp Posts: 809 Crazy Baller
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,588 Mega Baller
    Timing is everything- cant help bu think the cp would be on the rise right about now.
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • bigskieridahobigskieridaho Posts: 939 Crazy Baller
    For me I only believe in financing a boat for 5-6 years. That is not possible on a $100K boat ever. Good example is I sold my old boat after owning it for 9 years for $500 less than I bought it for. I would love a new boat, but my 2009 Response is nice, didn’t cost $100K, and does everything the new boats do. Honestly the new Nautique 200 and the CP were the best ideas so far. Less cost nice ski tug. As for the $200K wakeboats....that is just stupid!
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 2,094 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    So if somebody built a ski boat, for ski clubs, ski schools, tournament purposes with just the bare neccesties to do the task, would there be a market.
    I think costs have been driven up by trying to appeal to a much wider audience, for me as long as it has zero off and can tow me through the course in a straight line, it would do.

    If Only I Was Perfect

  • DWDW Posts: 2,129 Mega Baller
    A saving grace for the impact of rising new boat prices limiting the ability for people to afford one, the availability of some really great older ski boats: CC196, Carbon Pro, Malibu LXI (Gen 1 in particular) and others.

    Do they offer the perfect replication of an upcoming tournament, no, but they certainly are an effective ski tug that gets a skier water time. To put it in perspective, a neighbor just bought a well used Malibu for a smoking good price, he is loving it and skiing at every opportunity and has a huge smile after each run.
  • BrennanKMNBrennanKMN Posts: 518 Crazy Baller
    edited June 2019
    Only reason I got a new boat was to get Zero Off, now that I have the latest technology in speed control there is no reason for me to get a newer boat until something game changing comes along. The minor changes in wake, drivability, engines, etc are not enough of a change to warrant a new boat for me.

    Same reason I don't get a new car very often. My old car has to either be not functional for the tasks I used it for, have a huge repair cost that isn't justifiable or a new car has to have some game changing feature. Cars haven't really changed in 10 years so I still have my old car. Ski boats haven't really changed since 2008 so I have my old ski boat. The manufactures haven't created enough of an incentive to upgrade yet.
  • BMG73BMG73 Posts: 31 Baller
    I don’t think it’s inflation alone. If you look at the quality of materials used in my 94 prostar and compare that to today’s prostar there is almost no comparison. It’s expensive to make today’s product. I don’t think mastercraft (for example) would have the same success in today’s world making subpar products for the masses vs the current marketing plan.
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