Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The top ten things that make my life difficult.

These are the things that grate on me. Although the numbers are very difficult to get at, I would estimate that annual North American sales of marine electronics related gear is about $800,000,000 per year. My guess is about 15 percent of the sales costs are required to install all of this gear. This works out to about $120,000,000 a year. Of this number easily half is spent working around poor boat design. That's $60,000,000 in annual costs to owners that good boat design would have saved.

Lets look at a small typical new boat package. Chart plotter ($2500), radar ($1000), VHF ($150), sounder module ($500), transducer ($200), VHF antenna ($80). This totals $4230. Using the 15% rule, installation costs would be about $635, this would be about one man day plus or minus to install the system. The wasted cost to the buyer is $317.00, This is a small system, and not an extreme case, of which there are many. So right out of its shrink wrap the new boat is already costing owners lots of real money. 

The incapability of most boat builders, both large and small in understanding even the basics of how their customers will use their boats, and what they might want to install on them astounds me daily. Why are the water pick ups on both sides of the hull insuring I can't install a properly working transom mount transducer? Did you think this might be important, or you just don't know any better? It was purported by marketing to be a offshore fishing boat, but there is no mounting plate to install a radar, and no way to get the cable down to the chart plotter. The three hours it took to pull the transducer wire to the console because the 2" piece of PVC pipe pretending to be a grown up conduit is already packed to the max. The boat with no place to install an autopilot compass. A console interior with no mounting blocks to install gear. No fuse blocks, power leads, documentation, wire pulls, and many others round out the list.

# 1 The wire pull.