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Old 12-05-2015, 01:56 AM   #1
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Default Should boat builders get into the RV business?

Recently I placed an order for a boat like the one in this video. I should take delivery in February.

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Mine will be red though.

In some circles this is being called a "Winnebago for the water". The living area is about the same size as a Class B, albeit a bit wider. The equipment is very similar to what you get in an RV.

But when it comes to build quality it ends there. All wiring and piping/tubing is cut to exact lengths and secured every 6 inches. There are no bundles of wires laying in bird's nests under cabinets, etc. Anything metal is either 316 stainless or bronze.

Even with all the sophisticated electronics (navigation/radar/autopilot) the cost is about the same as a fully optioned AdvancedRV.

Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:17 PM   #2
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Congrats Wincrasher,

Rangers are nice little boats. Now you have the difficult task of "do I go out on the boat this week OR do I go out in the Travato this week" Life is tough
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Old 12-05-2015, 02:51 PM   #3
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Even with all the sophisticated electronics (navigation/radar/autopilot) the cost is about the same as a fully optioned AdvancedRV.

Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
I think you have answered your own question: A marine company would produce a Class B that costs as much as a fully-optioned AdvancedRV.

The business models and target customers seem very similar.
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
A very expensive one. A very good one, but expensive. Marine standards - ABYC and CE Certification standards are very thorough and very strict - RVIA is a joke compared to those. In the middle of the ocean, hundreds or thousands of miles from help, or even just off-shore, they need to be. And the marine environment is very unforgiving. That costs $$$$.

But it would be interesting to see one. But remember there are still differences in quality in the boating world. A Hunter is not the same as a Tartan or Sabre and they are not the same as a Morris.

Sounds like your new Ranger will spoil you!
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Old 12-05-2015, 03:56 PM   #5
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I think you have answered your own question: A marine company would produce a Class B that costs as much as a fully-optioned AdvancedRV.

The business models and target customers seem very similar.
I would agree that, at the moment, Advanced RV would be the equivalent company in terms of design and build quality in a the Class B segment. There are similar companies in other RV market segments but you will usually be paying a premium. In the high end diesel Class A market, Entegra does a pretty good job for a volume RV manufacturer at a competitive price to the competition.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:27 PM   #6
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Just read this article posted on another thread here.

Deficit reduction - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2014

So back to the title of this thread "Should boat builders get into the RV business", my answer is no. But they have pushing the envelope with advanced electrical and power propulsion systems for a while now (especially Calder). Seems like there are people and products in that industry that could really help the RV industry.

Just a thought.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:10 PM   #7
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I believe Coach House RV mentions they use some marine products.
I believe they are the only RV manufacturer in this class size that makes a one piece fiberglass body.

They do not offer some of the options that other RV manufactures do. if we are just talking about the best built then they probably meet that criteria. Personally, I would like to see some boat manufactures get into the RV business.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:42 PM   #8
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Yss, marine products are great, but often they $$$$ and that's because of the marine environment - temp, humidity, moisture, vibration - they are in. Often times overkill IMO for an RV.

I'm talking about knowledge, especially energy systems, which seems to be the current stumbling block with RVs as they transition to lithiums and buyers want to use more electrics - A/C, induction cooktops, compressor fridges, etc. While RT (and probably others) have spent $$$$$ on developing their systems, I find it interesting - as in that Ocean Navigator article, for instance - that some in the marine industry are publishing what they are doing and sharing knowledge. That, IMO, is leadership. Leadership is NOT selling more units.
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Old 12-05-2015, 11:43 PM   #9
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Not uncommon for people building their own camper van electrical systems to use various marine electrical components since they are higher quality and more rugged than other options.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:34 AM   #10
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Yss, marine products are great, but often they $$$$ and that's because of the marine environment - temp, humidity, moisture, vibration - they are in. Often times overkill IMO for an RV.

I'm talking about knowledge, especially energy systems, which seems to be the current stumbling block with RVs as they transition to lithiums and buyers want to use more electrics - A/C, induction cooktops, compressor fridges, etc. While RT (and probably others) have spent $$$$$ on developing their systems, I find it interesting - as in that Ocean Navigator article, for instance - that some in the marine industry are publishing what they are doing and sharing knowledge. That, IMO, is leadership. Leadership is NOT selling more units.
I think one big difference is that folks in the marine industry jump at the use of technology. They are generally early adopters and willing to try new things if they will leverage space or enhance performance. Budget is usually not an issue. And the tendancy is to overbuild because of the potential conditions (and very discerning customers for the most part).

RV industry is just the opposite. Most cling to the tried in true and the desire is to keep costs down even if it compromises space or performance. Also, the tendancy is to keep the build light, so shortcuts on materials is a given. Customers are not generally as knowledgeable and are budget conscious above most other considerations.

I just find these differences to be fascinating. I'd like to see the RV industry adopt some of the marine practices primarily because it could enhance durability and reduce downtime due to breakdowns and failures. Granted, none of them are as life threatening as they could be out on the water, but still it would be nice to get that level of quality, and I don't think for a substantial premium. My Oliver Trailer is close to those standards, but is lacking in several. Looks to me you get a whole lot more product for your money when you examine these boats and then look at an RV.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:36 AM   #11
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Not uncommon for people building their own camper van electrical systems to use various marine electrical components since they are higher quality and more rugged than other options.
Agree absolutely. For switches and wiring, I open my West Marine catalog first.

But recently on this forum, someone was (seemingly to me) complaining about the high cost of a marine compressor fridge. I just pointed out that an RV one, by even the same company, might be adequate for their RV, at less cost.

But it does seem to me that some marine systems are thought out a bit better than their counterparts in RVs. System troubles or failures in an RV? Pull off the road, find service. System troubles or failures in a boat (coastal or worse, far off shore) you might just pack it in.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:15 AM   #12
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But it does seem to me that some marine systems are thought out a bit better than their counterparts in RVs.
One difference is that there is a continuum from rowboats to aircraft carriers. As a result, there is such a thing as a "marine engineer". You can't go to school to become an "RV Engineer", so you can't hire one. You hire your nephew.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:18 AM   #13
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If you look at some of the high end expedition vehicles from Europe I think could find design, construction, and components with similar quality and ruggedness to the marine world, of course at a premium price.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:33 AM   #14
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One difference is that there is a continuum from rowboats to aircraft carriers. As a result, there is such a thing as a "marine engineer". You can't go to school to become an "RV Engineer", so you can't hire one. You hire your nephew.
I got the nephew reference, very good...

There are no RV engineering programs but you will find the plenty of well trained mechanical, electrical, software, packaging, industrial, human factors, etc. engineers working on automotive, heavy truck, farm and construction equipment, etc. companies. I expect you will find some of this expertise in the larger RV companies (not to the level of these other industries) but maybe not so much in smaller ones....
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Old 12-06-2015, 02:17 AM   #15
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I just find these differences to be fascinating. I'd like to see the RV industry adopt some of the marine practices primarily because it could enhance durability and reduce downtime due to breakdowns and failures.
Wincrasher

I posted my last comment about 2 minutes after yours, but did not see yours before posting.

Well spoken.
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Old 12-06-2015, 04:09 AM   #16
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One difference is that there is a continuum from rowboats to aircraft carriers. As a result, there is such a thing as a "marine engineer". You can't go to school to become an "RV Engineer", so you can't hire one. You hire your nephew.
True dat! I guess you start by having him design lithium power systems! LOL.
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:06 PM   #17
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Recently I placed an order for a boat like the one in this video. I should take delivery in February.

" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350">

Mine will be red though.

In some circles this is being called a "Winnebago for the water". The living area is about the same size as a Class B, albeit a bit wider. The equipment is very similar to what you get in an RV.

But when it comes to build quality it ends there. All wiring and piping/tubing is cut to exact lengths and secured every 6 inches. There are no bundles of wires laying in bird's nests under cabinets, etc. Anything metal is either 316 stainless or bronze.

Even with all the sophisticated electronics (navigation/radar/autopilot) the cost is about the same as a fully optioned AdvancedRV.

Thinking about it, I wonder what kind of Class B a marine company like this could produce?
Congrats. We purchased a new 2015 R21-EC earlier this year, so we had an opportunity to use if this last summer. The Ranger tugs have a strong following and there's lots of helpful information on the 'Tugnuts' forum, if you haven't already joined. Enjoy.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:48 PM   #18
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I agree with the comments that boat equipment costs big $$$. I just went out this spring to get a BBQ for my boat. The cheapest I found with a mount pole was $400 and it was a tiny BBQ. I ended up getting a fully stainless steel one from Lowes for $100 after taxes and it is a nice size. Boat equipment is generally better but it is way over priced for what you get. Even if the equipment is the same, add big $$$ when it is for a boat. If I go to a marina to buy filters to tune up my boat engine, they cost big time. An oil filter costs a lot but I can go to the local auto supply place and get the same filter for a lot less. I do buy the fuel filter from the marina though because they are different than a car filter. Just remember, B.O.A.T stands for Break Out Another Thousand.

The video was interesting but I would think a 27 foot boat with only an 8 foot beam would be quite tippy especially in waves and crosswinds. Like the video says, it can be trailered without permits but it could have been up to 8.5 foot beam.

I found this topic a little interesting since I am out of the RV's and now am into boating. I took my kids on a 1000km, 2 week long boat trip this summer and it was great. A lot more peaceful on the open water than fighting traffic on the highways. We live near the Trent Severn Waterway and the Rideau Canals which are great waterways to travel. Lots of locks and history in both of them. The Trent Severn is a National Historical Site and the Rideau is a World Historical Site.
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Old 12-06-2015, 10:16 PM   #19
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Just remember, B.O.A.T stands for Break Out Another Thousand.
Say marine, add $$. Sometimes a product from Lowe's will do just as well.

But then again sometimes you do get what you pay for. Marine grade stainless is often 316, not the 304 or 430 used on home BBQs. 316 is more resistant to corrosion; both 316 and 304 are non-magnetic, but 430 is not. Also that polished finish on some marine BBQs (which costs more $) is more resistant to corrosion than a brushed finish.
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Old 12-07-2015, 12:58 AM   #20
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Say marine, add $$. Sometimes a product from Lowe's will do just as well.

But then again sometimes you do get what you pay for. Marine grade stainless is often 316, not the 304 or 430 used on home BBQs. 316 is more resistant to corrosion; both 316 and 304 are non-magnetic, but 430 is not. Also that polished finish on some marine BBQs (which costs more $) is more resistant to corrosion than a brushed finish.
This is true but I don't leave the BBQ on my boat. When I pack it for a trip, the BBQ goes on board. It's a table top one so it is kept inside and out of the weather. Most of the time, I use my small naphtha stove to cook with. Can't have greasy burgers every meal. I even used the stove in my boat once due to it raining outside. One thing I learned from camping is to cook and eat outside. Eating a meal on a picnic table and being outdoors is far better than being stuck inside. Birds chirping, leaves blowing in the breeze and just being close to nature is what getting out is all about.
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