The January Toronto Boat Show bowrider wars are upon us shortly! Displays are designed, stock ordered and salespeople practicing their tactics! Although it is called the Toronto Boat Show….it is not a show for participating dealers….we are there to sell boats in the dead of winter!
If you are prepared to buy just what the local dealer offers on your lake…stop reading and you get good or bad what they are offering as a trade-off on potentially easier service and storage. If you are looking for best bang for your buck….read on!
The term to consider is value versus cost. Everyone talks about this….say this is what they truly want…but how come too many decisions are based strictly on overall look?
At the Toronto Boat Show every single boat salesperson is going to stand on top of their boat and say it is great quality and best in class. No surprise here and we were expecting them to say that we actually skimp or have issues with this part of our construction or Brand X is better than our?
Okay……how can a buyer take the salesperson out of the equation and feel confident that they are actually receiving the best quality for the money? That’s a really good question and would there be some magical place to get the information required?
Lets Look at Warranty
Every boat manufacturer know exactly what their warranty claims are based on age of the boat. The cost of warranty service is built into the price of the boat. Four Winns for example a number of years ago told me that they built-in 3% into the cost structure. I have had many conversations over the years with various boat builder about warranty period and why they are what they are. It always comes down to expected claim levels as the boat ages. So it would follow that if Brand X’s boat is really built with superior materials and construction technology…..they should be able to offer the best warranty for protection of the buyer….right?
Warranty Comparison Posted November 2016
What stands out here? Crownline put this out and in the United States this better be right or you will end in court! What stands out here and should be considered?
- Poorest overall construction warranty is provided by Chaparral Boats.
- Second worst is Regal due to their only one year of protection on stringers and transom assembles.
- Cobalt the most expensive of the bunch comes third…..interesting as they can be significantly more to purchase.
- Crownline has a very slight edge over Monterey only in the area of upholstery.
- Crownline and SeaRay match on construction warranty and therefore with the provided length of coverage as considered best in class.
Who is the clear winner based on warranty coverage alone?
Crownline as they provide significantly additional coverage on upholstery and canvas.
When I looked at this chart the Regal Coverage of just one year on stringers and transom assemblies I found alarming. Not demonstrating any confidence here in construction processes in this area. In terms of warranty…stringers and transom assemblies are very expensive to fix as a significant portion of the hull itself has to be disassembled…..we are talking thousands of dollars! As a boat dealer…do not want to have a conversation with a family that just 2 or 3 years ago gave me $50,000 or Brand X and now we have a major problem with stringers or transom construction and I need $15,000 form you to repair……Yikes!
The Pride Group essentially is the sole source for both SeaRay and Chaparral right now in Ontario. Both of these brands from this dealer with Pride Group Pricing will be higher in initial purchase cost when comparing apples to apples than every other brand in this comparison with the exception of Cobalt. What is up with Cobalt…they are how much… and the warranty is not great.
The lowest cost to purchase in the comparison group is Crownline and they are standing up in the marketplace with the strongest warranty. All these brand have strong curb appeal. Can our family save money and get superior warranty coverage in a Tier 1 boat build……apparently the answer is yes!
Huntsville Marine is again representing Crownline Boats in the Muskoka region starting October 2016. Huntsville Marine also represents Monterey Boats. Huntsville Marine previously represented Crownline boats over a decade ago. Huntsville Marine withdrew from Crownline when Pride Marine Group became the Ontario distributor as did all 5 other Crownline dealers in Ontario. Pride Marine group added first Chaparral and then SeaRay with Crownline choosing to withdraw business dealing with Pride Group. Pride sold perhaps hundreds of Crownline Boats during the years when they were a dealer and represented them for many years at the Toronto Boat Show. Crownline Boats did have bit of a rough patch in 2008 and so did every other brand in the United States and some 1800 builders vanished around that time! They have never gone away….stood the test of time and are standing up in the marketplace and look at me….I build great boats and back all Crwonline Boats with the best warranty coverage.
Why is Huntsville Marine representing Crownline Boats once again? I am a student of boat construction and always looking to provide to the market best value for the dollar. Best value to the boat buyer is not constant by brand by year. Presently in the fiberglass segment Huntsville Marine now represents Crownline, Monterey and Canadian built Campion Boats. All three of these brands should be considered as Tier 1 in terms of construction processes. With respect to Crownline the argument can be made that right now they should be on your radar for your next boat purchase. I like good stuff and this is good stuff! Plus it looks great!
When at the Toronto Boat Show in 2017 and some salesperson says we are the best….say show me……prove it with warranty coverage in writing!