FROM AN INTERVIEW ON DOWN EAST BOATS WITH THE EDITORS OF POWER AND MOTORYACHT
Q: What are some new demands you’re seeing from clients?
A: Time is the greatest luxury today and our clients value their time above all. Boating has to deliver a high quality experience each and every time the family steps aboard. The boat has to be ready to deliver on the promises of comfort, fun and it has to perform at its peak. That is steering us toward engineering and installing systems that are not only reliable, but easy to use and toward more and better support for our owners. It’s no longer enough to deliver a great boat, you have to deliver a great boating experience over time. It starts with training the owner so that he or she is knowledgeable and confident, and then providing very comprehensive services, these have taken on greater importance. Technical advances like remote connectivity now enable boat owners to know about the condition of the boat. If your batteries aren’t charging or you’ve picked up some bad fuel, you can see it, you can avoid that downtime. Digital switching is taking the mystery out of electrical systems bringing life aboard up to the convenience standard we are accustomed to at home.
Perhaps because of the time value equation, boaters are also looking for higher speeds than were expected a few years back. New Down East boat buyers are not content with 20 knots anymore, they are looking for mid-thirties and even forty knots and they are looking for efficiency at those higher speeds.
Q: What advice do you have for someone walking the show in search of a Down East boat?
A: There are so many bases for comparison, even within a given category like Down East boats. It really depends on how you plan to use the boat.
Propulsion is a major consideration. If you like to poke into the shallows, if your kids want to jump off the swim platform and play around behind the boat, if you boat where there are traps in the water, you might want to consider jets. In addition to the shoal draft and the safety benefits, jets, which have only a handful of moving parts, are highly reliable, low maintenance and efficient at today’s higher speeds.
You’ll want to consider the layout and whether it suits you-are the social spaces big enough for entertaining, do you need all those bunks for overnight guests? Will the builder trade them out for a desk or dinette, if you prefer? Some builders are willing to customize more than others.
Ask yourself who will support your ownership experience, because if you choose well, you may have this boat a long while and run over many hours. You want those hours to be carefree and memorable. Memorable for all the right reasons.
Q: Has the demographic of buyers changed in recent years?
A: Boating today is a multi-generational experience. It’s a way to bring the whole family together to do something everyone can enjoy. While the average age of the buyer remains about the same, that buyer is more fit and more active today, so typically, he’s still working. We have to make his experience a really great one.