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Author Topic:   Boat show... hate to say this, but...
Chesapeake posted 01-25-2002 03:05 PM ET (US)   Profile for Chesapeake   Send Email to Chesapeake  
Was at the Chicago boat show last night. Was very much like last year's show, with not really much seemingly new. Hinkley's Picnic boat was pretty nice for $500K and the larger Chris Craft was also a beauty.

Gotta say that once again I was underwhelmed by the new whalers, including the "230" outrage. While I have never been out deep in one, the fit and finish of the 2470 center console Pursuit, just blew away the whaler... for roughly the same amount of money. Not that the whalers are not good boats... it's just that alternatives seem to be equally or more attractive. At the end of the day, I guess the name / legend continues to sell boats.

Blasphemously yours,


Chesapeake posted 01-25-2002 03:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
There was one major difference this year... no crowds. Attendance really felt like it was down compared to last year.
Bigshot posted 01-25-2002 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
You had to mention the Hinkley Picnic did'nt you? I am gonna be depressed all weekend now:) Got to make more money....gotta make more money...
JFM posted 01-25-2002 03:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for JFM  Send Email to JFM     
Remember Ches the Whaler won't sink :)
Chesapeake posted 01-25-2002 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Bigshot: Did you see the teak in that Picnic boat? The teak boards that create the gunwhale moulding were all one solid piece that had to be 15 inches wide, 4 inches square in thickness and what... 15 feet long? Absolutely gorgeous. What really was neat was the diesel powered jet-drive and apparently it only drafts 18" of water. Maybe that is why it is called the Picnic boat... Bet it wouldn't be much of a picnic in big water about 40 miles off-shore, though!


Chap posted 01-25-2002 03:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chap  Send Email to Chap     
Billy Joel's aren't that bad either.


bigz posted 01-25-2002 03:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Picnic boat BS! Right! A little on the slow track for you I'd say.

Now brothers you want a real boat take a look see at the new Sabreline 36 Express --- in my mind that's a craft worth saving every penny ---

With the 420hp Yanmars can get close to 40 knots out of her, and the classic lines make my knees shake and palms get sweaty, all most as if I was looking over a classy lassie.

DCPeters posted 01-25-2002 03:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
Go look at hinckley's web site. It has video of a test run in BIG waves (they say Force 9 Northeaster, whatever that is). Very impressive, anyways. Full air in a 36' boat?

george nagy posted 01-25-2002 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for george nagy  Send Email to george nagy     
Whisperjet By Hinckley!
hardensheetmetal posted 01-25-2002 04:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for hardensheetmetal  Send Email to hardensheetmetal     
I've got to say, at this past years Newport show, Hinckley had the most impressive lineup, probably five or six boats (not counting sail) including their new 29' center console. I see where they are preparing lawsuits against all the look- alikes (can't even call them picnic boats, as Hinckley also has the sole rights to that term)The boats are really beautiful, but for $500 big ones, I'd like to have at least two state rooms and maybe a second head.


DCPeters posted 01-25-2002 06:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for DCPeters  Send Email to DCPeters     
for 500 big ones, I'd hope for five acres of shore property with a boat house too
Macman posted 01-25-2002 07:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
Glad to see that you guys are liking the boats made here in Maine. If you ever get the chance, come on up for the Maine Boatbuilders show in March.It is a lot of fun.
Can you imagine paying 500k for a boat? Yikes!
And with those Hinkley's, extras can add up to much more than that.One can only dream..
kingfish posted 01-25-2002 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I was trying to remember if I saw one of bigz's Sabre's there last March - probably did, but I can't bring it back to mind. I do remember (I think) a big Hinkley Picnic all blocked up and kind of coming right at you when you walked in the front entrance. That *is* a boat show like no other.


Ed Stone posted 01-25-2002 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
I will admit the 24ft7in pursuit looks
good.But your comparing it to a boat 2
feet shorter.That would be like comparing
the 230 outrage to their 21 CC.

Ok the 247 has a larger head,the seating
in the bow area,and all the features at
the transom,larger fresh water storage.

The 23 outrage has fold away bench seating
at the transom,foldaway boarding ladder,
holds 16 more gallons of gas and has a
extremly well built factory t-top with
life jacket storage.

And true foam flotation with a stated
swamped capacity.

With all that said,yes I do think pursuit
is a well built boat.The prices between
pursuit and whalers are comparable.
For me a boat with a entire hull filled
with foam is by far the safer boat than a
hull with the stingers filled with foam.
Ed Stone

dscew posted 01-25-2002 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for dscew    
Anyone catch the Martha Stewart show where she was christening her brand new custom Hinckley? I never thought a a blue light special shopper would go for something this classy, but she was stunning (the boat, not Martha).
dscew posted 01-25-2002 09:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for dscew    
BTW, since I sold both Whalers and Pursuits, I was able to see the differences up close. For fit, finish, and overall class, the Pursuit had it, hands down. Whaler used Taylor made windshields, stock flimsy items, but you could drive a truck over a Pursuit windshield and not see a scratch. But I still have it for my Katama.
lhg posted 01-25-2002 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
So what is this thread saying about Whaler?
The new Whaler folks haven't learned the Hinckley lesson. Classic lines, good looks, and great design, combined with the BEST quality, still sells. Didn't this used to be Whaler, within it's own (admittedly lower priced) niche? Where's the Euro transom and absence of wood on the Hinckley, which we are now told you must have if you're going to be in the 21st century? Someone here, not long ago, and probably affiliated with the current day Whaler, said we Classic Whaler guys need to join the modern world. Maybe like Hinckley has done! Or did he mean Sea Ray's vision of the modern world. Take your pick. But Hinckley and others have shown the world that Classic hull lines are not out date, and Classic Whalers are not out of date either.

When I bought my last new Whaler in 1989, there were NO other boats in Whaler's league, or even price range, size for size. Whalers commanded the highest price, period, often by 30-40%. If you wanted a new Whaler, you paid through the nose, and willingly. A Pursuit, Grady, Hydra Sport, Robalo, Wellcraft, Sea Ray Laguna, Regulator, Whitewater, etc, etc, were alot cheaper, all the way around, price and quality. Now look at what has happened. Even Whaler OWNERS are saying these other company's boats are as good or better, than the current Whalers, and MORE expensive. BW has, or still is, loosing it's pricing power in the industry. The close affiliation with Sea Ray has been deadly, and eroded it's reputation.

A few years ago I showed up at a Boston Whaler Dealership sponsored Rendezvous. There was a fellow there with a beautiful 1984 25 Outrage, all teak varnished with quality I had never seen before. I asked him where he got it. His answer: "I was vacationing in Maine, and I saw a local advertisement for the boat. It looked so beautiful, I bought it on the spot." The seller: Hinckley himself. It was his personal power boat. This was when they only made sail boats. This Hinckley crowd are a classy bunch, indeed! They know quality when they see it.

SuburbanBoy posted 01-26-2002 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
While reviewing the Hinkley web site I noticed this quote "HINCKLEY ANNOUNCES RESTRUCTURING OF COMPANY"

The company was sold in 97. Most sell-outs usually result in radical change.
Perhaps this on won't. But... Nothing like a Board of Directors to suck the passion and love out of a niche business.


dfmcintyre posted 01-26-2002 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
You must keep in mind, that Hinkley never was or will be a boat that's mass produced. Pretty much all custom order, instead of the Pursuit, Grady, Hydra Sport, Robalo,
Wellcraft, Sea Ray, Laguna, Regulator, Whitewater. Naturally, the fit/finish shows, and for 1/2 a million for a 30 foot boat, it BETTER fit.


whalernut posted 01-27-2002 11:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Larry, very well said as always!! Are you sure your not my Uncle or something??????? Jack.
Kevin Cook posted 01-27-2002 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Kevin Cook  Send Email to Kevin Cook     
Hinckley's have been my favorite boat since I was a little kid. I think they are among the prettiest boats built. The thing is they are not just beautiful they are built to go anywhere. Kevlar reinforcements and all. Maybe some day I'll be fortunate enough to own one. If I could get one of those 70's I think even my wife might enjoy sailing.

I agree, while BW comes more and more like everybody else...Hinckley continues to raise the standard of excellence. Their boats are better now than they have ever been.

Tom W Clark posted 01-28-2002 12:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The Pacific Northwest's answer to the Hinckley:
sorcerer posted 01-28-2002 02:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for sorcerer    
Mr Tom Clark, give us a break SanJuan! In business since late 90's. Oh well must be your idea of NW humor comparing Hinkley with this outfit.

There is only one company on the west coast which (I see now has made the move into power) maybe and I say again maybe could be thought of as a premier boat builder on a close par with Hinkley today. Pacific Sea Craft. At least in their sail models the proof is in the excellent resale value their boats still command from the 80's.

Even Sabre doesn't rate with PSC, close mind you, just not as all well thought out and built in my mind.

Mr. dfmcintyre, your correct in one sense. Hinkley hasn't been a mass producer of boats in the way I believe your referring. Hinkly has through the years(not recent history) produced stock designs and in some models hundreds with little customization which were supplied to dealers for off the floor sale. Today Hinkley has x amount of hull designs and from these they can build with in limits various configurations of each, in real terms we have a semi-custom builder. Custom in the true sense is when the design starts with the hull commissioned by an individual or group.

Mr. LHG! I would think most of the forum members are intelligent enough to read these post and draw there own conclusions without the need for someone to tell them what is being said.

Comparing Hinkley's philosophy and their business plan to Boston Whaler down right weird. No correlation today or was there ever one.
lhg posted 01-28-2002 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Today there is no correlation between Hinckley and Boston Whaler, since one makes super high quality classic lined boats and the other does not. But there used to be!

But pre 1994, BW also had, like Hinckley and some others today:

1. Classic lined boats (no Euro and Blob stuff)

2. Classic design principles

3. Great, distinctive, looks, that still look great today (admittedly subjective, but most here would agree)

4. The highest quality in their respective market, confirmed by their ability to sell at the highest price.

Chesapeake posted 01-28-2002 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
What started out and was intended as an observation of the Chicago boat show, its products and some salivating over some really beautiful boats has turned a bit "frothy" here.

I found the banter and respective opinions interesting. The one opinion which escapes me is sorcerer's comment on LHG's post, the latter of which was quite articulate. Actually, I thought it drew an insightful parallel between the strategic marketing of the Whaler and Hinkley brands. It did not read to me as a comparison of the brands themselves, which I agree would be misplaced. What I read in LHG's comment is that Whaler (Sea Ray) has abandoned, perhaps fatally, the marketing mix that served it well in its burgeoning years. In contrast, Hinkley has maintained a business philosophy / strategy that is nearly identical, in general terms, to that of the vintage Rockland Boston Whaler company... that is great lines, attention to detail / fit / finish facilitates customer admiration and the ability to price accordingly. In that regard, the comparison of business practices, from a pure marketing standpoint, is painfully relevant to many people that cherish the classic whalers. Read thoughtfully and the correlation is one a business school professor would applaud... and it was done without being condescending to forum members as was not the case with the previous post.

Bob W. (Chesapeake)

SuburbanBoy posted 01-28-2002 06:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Went to the Chicago Boat show Sunday 1/27/02. My observations and comments on Whalers, Hinkleys and attendance follow. Let me start by refreshing my memory of an old BW product loved by some and scorned by many, the Rage. The basic premis of the Rage was a very high made with high quality materials, rugged, composite hull, safe, comfortable, JET boat. Hmmm this is probably blasphemous, but isn’t this close to the intentions of Hinkley with their Picnic boat? Use your imaginations folks, stop composing your personal flaming response to this comment, and think about it. There are many parallels between the two craft. I have to say I too fell in love with the $.5 million Picnic boat. What is not to love (except the price)? Why it even had an imported, exotic, highspeed, turbocharged, marine diesel powerplant (Yanmar). I do agree it was the “belle of the boat show”. All of the sales reps were very nice, polite and friendly. I hope it works for them, as they now are no longer manufacturing capacity constrained. Their new owners (which include a venture capital group according the their Midwest sales rep) will expect nothing less. I wish them luck and myself a winning lottery ticket. BTW, I wouldn’t change anything on the Picnic at all, it was that impressive.

We (my 10 year old daughter and I) managed to crawl up on almost every hull in site. There were enough people in attendance that we had to wait in 5 minute lines before boarding many boats. Her personal favorite was one of the Donzi go-fast boats. She really liked the color scheme. We inspected the Pursuit with an eye to comparison with the newest BW stuff. Yes, it was nicely made, but to my eyes, no better than any of the three BW’s (except perhaps in some obscure details). I thought that the BW’s looked great, as I had hoped. I grabbed a brochure, and reviewed it over a late lunch at Goose Island Brewery. I noticed that the newer hulls are quite heavy compared to the previous “Classic” lines. It seems that all of the built-in features, and current production process dictate the use of a third hull piece, used to help provide all of the molded lockers etc. Cross-sections of the hulls pictured in the 2002 brochure also showed that the deep-vee area contained what I thought was a very large volume of foam. This extra foam will also help contribute to the weight increase. All in all they were very impressive and with a price at about 10% that of the Hinkley on a lineal foot basis. And remember, when compared to the non foam-filled Pursuit’s, still unsinkable.

The engine manufactures represented were a group of one, Suzuki. They had the covers off of a couple, exposing their fixed length induction systems. They also headlined their lengthy five or six year warranty program. Most of the other engine suppliers were represented in combination with a boat manufacture. I thought the Yamaha 225/4-stroke was smaller than I expected, and did not see a Honda 225 to compare it to.

To a person who does not regularly attend such shows, I found it to be very enjoyable. We even saved the $10 off @ West Marine wrist bands, recovering more than our admission fee. One coupon, together with their current show promo on the Garmin “Fishing Hot Spots” will allow us to buy it for $39.95. All in all, not a bad way to spend a Sunday with my 10 year old. After all, my Whaler is a “Pleasure Boat” and I think sometimes I forget that important point.


SuburbanBoy posted 01-28-2002 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
One more Hinkley vs. Whaler comment. I would not be suprised to hear that true Hinkley die hards cringed when they announced that they started to build "stink pots", or use fiberglass as a hull material. Tradition is worth preserving, but a business must continue to advance. Whaler perhaps needs to adjust their balance of tradition to trendy, but in any case, I for one, hope they continue to survive and produce boats for many years to come.


Chesapeake posted 01-28-2002 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     

Where did you see the Yammy 225 4-stroke? We were looking to see one and were unsuccessful.

SuburbanBoy posted 01-28-2002 09:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
As I recall, it was in an area near the lumberjack show. On the back of a Coast Guard or Tow boat. May have also been the Wilmette harbor based boat.


SuburbanBoy posted 01-28-2002 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Chesapeake, I found it! Of the 200 to 350 pictures I took yesterday, I located the CG shot with the Yammie duce and a quarter. I remember the shot as I was wishing I could have asked another adult to step in for size reference, but did not. If you (or any others) have interest in this shot I will be happy to email it. BTW, the Wilmette harbor CG had dual Honda 130's. I have that shot as well. And then there was the Sea Tow with dual Opti 225's. Lot's O' nice Hardware!



Chesapeake posted 01-29-2002 01:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Sub: Would love to see the pic. Just standing next to the 200 4S was amazing- It was easily 6'6" from skeg to top of motor cover. Is the 225 considerably larger yet?


SuburbanBoy posted 01-29-2002 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
They might be the same case and lower unit. It was about 6'6" or more. But, it was not as "fat" as I expected. I will send the images later today.


Buckda posted 01-29-2002 07:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I must weigh in on this thread. I went to the Chicago boat show on Saturday and overall, was dissappointed.

I must agree with comments posted earlier on this thread:
By far the best boat there was the Picnic Boat, but I could do without the jet drive.

Chris-Craft had two models there that were seems they're retro-styling their stuff, which in my opinion is a good thing (I love the Capri from the 50's)

The best BW there was the Harbor Master version over by the Coastie display (Classic CPD hull)..I was disappointed by Chicago Sea Ray's three whalers they chose to bring along, but then again...I wasn't buying, so I dont' fit into their target audience.

I too, having a bit of young blood in my veins was charged by the donzi...but only by the classic one...what a beautiful having a little roadster in your slip!

It's too bad that some of the smaller boat builders don't have the budget to make a showing....especially with some mahogany boats...I think that if Fish Brothers came with some of their barrel backs..they'd have a waiting list 4 years long....nothing can compete with classic styling on a boat...

...oops..I'm on the Whaler forum...oh yeah...

The interesting thing about the Chicago boat show is that because of the size of the venue and the size of the lake, there aren't a lot of "fishing" or "all purpose" boats like Whalers on display...the big cruisers take up an awful lot of the floor space (especially considering that the vast majority of people at the show are in the market for a 25 foot or less boat!).

Maybe I'm in a bad January mood...but I was pretty disappointed in spending my $ to see "dollips of fiberglass" they're passing off as boat designs these days. It's like a bad dream....they all look the same except for glasswork...

If every automaker made one style of car...would anyone sell their "Classic?"

I guess I'll have to continue to spend my free time browsing the photos in Cetecea to get my fix of well designed, classy-looking boats, because it's apparent that I won't see too many good looking craft on the water or in the marinas in the near future.

Thank you.
*Sadly steps off soapbox*

whalernut posted 01-29-2002 08:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I love the Donzi Classics, especially the `22 Classic, fire up the 502CID Magnum!! Jack.
SuburbanBoy posted 01-29-2002 11:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
I am not sure the world is ready for a $160,000+ 13' Whaler (based on Hinkley $/ft). If my source is correct Hinkley has changed hands at least three times in the last 75 years. At one time they were owned by an English furniture manufacturer. They started building stink pots when we went through the last sailboat depression. And why not a jet drive? While the all wooden boats are elegant and a demonstation of wood working skills, they are not very useful in day-to-day pleasure boating. Now where is my oakum?


Chesapeake posted 01-30-2002 10:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Beyond the gorgeous would and classic design, what caught my eye was their Ad. It shows a guy wearing shorts, standing in shallow water that is not up to his knees. He is standing there right next to his Picnic boat, which is in water that is not much deeper.

I was thinking, man, that tub is drafting almost as little water as my Nauset. Now I am sure part of it was the photography and the boat was likely in a bit more water, but it was amazing that they can bring that boat into such shallow water. Pretty cool.

bigz posted 01-31-2002 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Genmar just awarded I heard one of their dealers for selling over 300 boats at the Chicago show some recognition plaque or other du-da --- haven't any more info I'm afraid --- just a tidbit -- though I'd throw out --- couldn't have been all that bad of a show --- ;) Z
LKS posted 01-31-2002 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for LKS  Send Email to LKS     
My two cents on the Chicago show -- It's always nice to dream at these shows, but we saw very little that we'd even consider, despite the price. Since we're pretty well satisfied with our present boat, we like to go to check out the new electronics and other gear. Thought we'd check out fishfinders and prop shops, and we were truly disappointed. For the entire show, there was only one electronics manufacturer represented -- and they were only displaying radar and GPS; one dock-line company, no prop display, not much in the way of anything, except sunglasses and jewelry. You know it's a bad time when the chamois guy isn't even there hawking his 3 for $20 special. As for BW, I mentioned on another thread that the BW dealer quoted a price of $9,600 and change for the 13' Sport they had on display, included trailer and 40 HP Merc. We're actually going to head to the Strictly Sail show at Navy Pier this weekend; hope their displays are more diverse than those at the McCormick Place powerboat show.
Whaler4me posted 01-31-2002 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler4me  Send Email to Whaler4me     
Regarding the Hinkley Ad, I would like to see a photo after the landing, of what broke cracked or came apart. I have been on plenty of sea trials where the Captain has been showing off and launched a boat off a wave, 99% of the time something breaks or comes apart.
SuburbanBoy posted 01-31-2002 03:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
You might be right, as I can only imagine what happens when you get a 40 footer airborn. But, with a kevlar hull, and carbon composite inner shell, I believe that this lady is tougher than most. They (Hinkley) have a 10MB movie showing their Picnic boat getting air available on their website. It was interesting to watch.


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