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Author Topic:   Just some observations of new Scouts
Mark Gallagher posted 04-14-2002 02:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for Mark Gallagher   Send Email to Mark Gallagher  
I was at my marina today and took my Whaler out for the first ride of the season which is always exciting. My marina just started selling Scouts.

I looked at a few 17, 18 and 20 ft models and must say that while these are nice boats and certainly cost less than a Whaler, Grady, Pursuit it is interesting to see where that money goes.

The rigging job, most likely factory with all Yamahas was pretty lousy! Sealer sloppy, not high quality looking fastners and the 20 model with a 150 HPDI didn't have hydralic steering. Also, the 150 Yami had several cables and wiring and tubes attached to the steering cable and I noticed a clear plastic tube wire tyed so tight and the tube seemed compressed. I looked further and saw a tye wrap that was so tight it had thetube crushed. I wasn't impressed and if this is what I can see in a few minutes what is hidden further in the details. Also, the 18 had a 115 Yami 4 stroke that looked almost as big as the Yami 150 HPDI. Anyone know what those 115 4 stroker weigh?

Anyway, there is always alot of discussion on new boat quality vs old etc etc and I wanted to share a few observations. I'll put a new Whaler up against most new boats for fit, finish, quality and design. Then again they should do well for what they cost!

bc posted 04-17-2002 10:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for bc    
I looked at a couple scouts a few years back. The dealer has since sold out to Travis and we no longer has a scout dealer, nor boston whaler. I thought the Scouts fit and finish was good and I loved the layout for fishing. I do not hear many complaints from Scout owners. Although I wouldn't give up my 15' striper, If I was buying new, Scout would be on my list.
dogface posted 05-08-2002 08:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for dogface  Send Email to dogface     
There are many Scout fans on the Hull Truth, I believe that Scouts are good boats. I see many in Crystal River and
Cedar Key I go out of my way to talk with the owners and all seem to have good things to say. I think they make a fine flats boats.
NewMoon posted 05-08-2002 08:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for NewMoon  Send Email to NewMoon     
Hmmm that's interesting as I recall Scout tied Whaler for 2nd place behind Grady's in the J.D.Powers Survey.

Also my Dad has a 1999 21 Whaler Outrage and the thing rides like a cork on the water, I have never been so pounded in 1-2' chop as I was in his boat, the cockpit layout is terrible.

His beloved over priced Outrage is up for sale so he can buy a new Scout 235 Sportfisher, after the smooth dry ride he had in my 202 Sportfisher, the whaler went up for sale the following week.

lhg posted 05-08-2002 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The Outrage 21 that our Hull Truth/Scout friend is talking about has been discontinued, as was the Conquest built on the same hull. Have never been in either boat, so can't verify his comments are correct. I see Scout uses the same 3 number designation that BW has just switched to, which certainly seems like a step in the wrong direction.

I wonder how these Scouts compare with the old Classic 18-25 Outrages. Maybe we should ask the USCG.

whalerfran posted 05-08-2002 04:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerfran    
I have never ridden in a Scout but have inspected them carefully at boat shows and dealerships and have found them to be built sturdily. The rigging job is not necessarily indicative of a boat's quality, especially if done by the dealer rather than at the factory. I also do not think they are inexpensive, contrary to the suggestion in this post. While I love the old classic Outrages, I do not think they can compare with a new boat like the Scout because of their deterioration due to age. Consider some of the recent posts concerning water in the foam and in the fuel tank compartments. Those are major headaches you won't find in a Scout.
lhg posted 05-08-2002 05:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
You can't be serious!
Mark Gallagher posted 05-08-2002 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mark Gallagher  Send Email to Mark Gallagher     
Just a few comments: I never said Scouts were inexpensive, I said they cost less than Whalers. I also recently verified that the boats I looked at, with sloppy engine bracket sealer and overtightened tye wraps, etc., were indeed factory rigged Yamahas.

I also said these were pretty nice boats. I wouldn't buy one, but not bad compared to some of the competition.

I didn't like the rig job or quality of the fastners and hardware used throughout the boat.
Just my opinion. Mark

jimh posted 05-10-2002 11:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The SCOUT boats are an interesting product line. They are a good example of how it is still possible to jump into the boat building business without $10-million in capital. They started small and have built themselves into a significant brand.

What I find most interesting is the notion that a independently owned boat builder like SCOUT would strike such an alliance with an engine maker. SCOUT and YAMAHA are married, like man and wife. You buy a Scout and you get a Yamaha.

Why would an independent do this? Here we have plenty of people bitching about being stuck with a Mercury on the transom of their Boston Whaler--how dare Brunswick make me take this as a package! Yet here comes Scout, that is not owned by Yamaha or anyone else, and they tell you that when you buy a Scout you're getting a Yamaha. And people love this!

I've even heard people remark about how Scout must be a "premium" brand because is sells with Yamaha engines!

If you think about the situation, there can only be one reason that Scout has aligned themselves with Yamaha as the engine to go on their boat transoms: it makes more profit for Scout.

Suppose I am a Scout sales manager, looking for a new dealership to sell my boats. I find some nice, big, established, well-located dealer in an area that is a hot bed of boating (but no Scout dealers) and I pitch him on selling Scout boats. But wait, I tell him he has to sell Yamaha motors with them. Too bad, the guy is an OMC or a Merc dealer, and he doesn't want to take on another line of outboards.

This seems like it would be a fairly common situation for the poor Scout sales manager looking for new dealers. He's married to Yamaha, and at least 60% of the boat dealerships are NOT Yamaha dealers. Why does he want to limit himself to selling his boat only through dealers that are Yamaha? This is a constraint on his sales.

The only explanation for why an independent like Scout would embrace Yamaha as their exclusive engine has to come down to money, and plenty of money, right in Scout's pocket.

It is another one of the many constraints on the boat and engine market that work to raise the prices of the boats and increase dealer and builder profits.

Now you can excuse Whaler and Mercury somewhat since they are owned by the same people. It is a situation similar to one where you're a builder and your brother-in-law owns a lumber yard; there is a certain expectation that you throw some of your business his way.

But I just cannot understand why people think it is so "premium" when independent builders align with certain engine companies to the exclusion of others. It just drive the price up!


lhg posted 05-10-2002 12:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim - very astute observations. Grady White, Contender, and others have done the same thing with Yamaha. After OMC and Mercury bought up most of the major boat companies, and forced their respective engines on to those boats, Yamaha was in a bad situation, not owning any boat companies. And the independent boat companies were also in a bad situation, not having a "Package" to compete against the big boys. So Yamaha, the "independent" engine company, was in a perfect spot to work with these "independent" boat builders. Suzuki and Honda seem to have missed these opportunities.

So Yamaha has agressively been searching out the independents still left, and making attractive deals with them, ala Mercury. If they were going to gain market share, they had to do this, or otherwise face being completely boxed out. But the sudden demise of OMC really helped them out, however. Bombardier would have loved to have locked up those OMC powered companies, now purchased by Genmar, but simply had no product to deliver. So Yamaha and Mercury jumped in to help Genmar with THEIR packaged boats. Genmar must have been desperate for engines after the OMC collapse. And the independents that aligned with OMC, such as Dusky in Ft Lauderdale, were also in a real bad situation. Some switched to Yamaha, and some to mercury, like Dusky did.

My guess is that Yamaha benefitted the most from the OMC disaster. So many of the previous OMC dealers really hated Mercury, from years of previous US only based competition, that Yamaha was easier to swallow.

The most recent information I have seen gives Yamaha at least 25% of the total outboard market, with Mercury in the 45-50% range.

NewMoon posted 05-10-2002 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for NewMoon  Send Email to NewMoon     
IHG- Do you mean the same government that pays $500 for a hammer. Gee makes me want to run out and write a check for them.

At one point Whalers were top of the line just like the Makos, unfortunately they decided to cup production cost, build junk and still charge top dollar.

I haven't seen the new 21' Outrage but I can tell you the 99-2000 models are crap....good for the family in a duck pond thats about it.

PMUCCIOLO posted 05-10-2002 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for PMUCCIOLO    

The Scout is apparently available with no factory (Yamaha)pre-rig. If the owner opts for this deletion, I am told that there is no charge for the pre-rig. That is not the case, as I have been informed, with the recreational Boston Whalers. If the owner opts for no factory (Mercury) pre-rig, he won't get it. However, I am told that he will pay for it anyhow! (I know, here comes lhg with his Chevy V8 powered Honda SUV at no extra charge!)

The situation with Grady-White, Pursuit, and Albemarle?: If the owner (or dealer) orders no pre-rig, there is no charge. The same is true of CPD Whalers--no pre-rig? No charge!

The trouble here is not packaging, but what the consumer is faced with if he opts out of what the manufacturer offers in these packages. I will not "excuse Whaler and Mercury somewhat" for the situation as I understand it.

The brother-in-law's lumber yard analogy is fascinating. The relationship will not last long if the builder is forced to pay for lumber he does not receive. That speaks nothing of the "premium" quality of the lumber, nor it's being perceived as such. In the case of a boat, the owner's perception of its quality stems from many factors, not the least of which is his satisfaction with its engine.

I fully understand your frustration, but I do not arrive at the same conclusion of escalating prices for the reasons you set forth.

Now, let's hear someone else's "bitching!"

tbyrne posted 05-10-2002 01:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbyrne    
Jim, it is possible that people are more willing to be "forced" to take a Yamaha motor because they see it as a "premium" engine, which is superior to Mercury or Bombardier.

It seems to me that boat owners saw "Mercury v. OMC" much like car people saw "Ford v. Chevy." This produced a situation where OMC people simply refused to buy Mercury products, but are willing to look to Yamaha. Therefore, they will buy a pre-packaged Yamaha, but not a pre-packaged Mercury.

The members of this website, including myself, are quite opinionated and iconoclastic. I think that the feeling of being "forced" to buy Mercurys with new Whalers just rubs many the wrong way. I bought a 2000 Sport 13 with a Mercury (Yamaha) and never felt as if I was forced to buy something I didn't want. The motor is an excellent product in my opinion, at least as good as the numerous OMC products I have owned.

NewMoon posted 05-10-2002 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for NewMoon  Send Email to NewMoon     
I wanted a 4-stroke on my Scout 202 Sportfisher, and the Yame 115hp was too small and the 200hp was too big. So I opted to buy with a Suzuki 140 4-stroke. No additional charges, there is a new dealer in my area rigging Scouts with Yamaha's or Suzuki's....The dealer did not ram the Yamaha down my throat and agreed the Suzuki was the better choice. The Suzuki is just about matching the Yame 150hpdi performance stride for stride...
jimh posted 05-11-2002 12:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
It all gets back to how much money it takes to get into the market. It takes billions to get into the outboard motor manufacturing business. It takes very little capital to get into the boat building business.

We could start a boat company with the money we could raise on this website, and we could have a boat on the market by September--take it around to all the shows. We could become a serious competitor in a short time.

If we wanted to start an engine company...totally different story. We'd need a huge capital investment, and we would probably never be able to compete effectively, unless we had the ability to survive for a decade or two at huge losses. Or we invented something so revolutionary there was no competition.

So the engine guys are really the big boys in this market and they get to call the shots. You won't sell many new boats without an engine, but you can sell plenty of new engines without boats attached to them.

Dick posted 05-11-2002 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     

Backing up you comments. In the early 80s I was selling 300+ Mercs a year in Anchorage over half of them without a boat. I sold tons of aluminum 12' to 16' fishing boats without motors but I don't recall ever selling a fiberglass boat without a motor.

Talk about starting up a boat building business Bayliner was born in Orin Edson's garage here in Seattle. Rumor is that his first boat was a splash, as many are. Not out of the question for any of us to start a boat company.

Can't imagine starting an engine company in the garage these days.

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