Posted by: Dave Mallach | January 31, 2012

Smaller Vicem’s?

I am going to have to stop opening these posts with my “Lot’s going on this week, folks” line, because “this week” has become just about every week here on Planet Vicem these days. So let’s dive right in:

I.  Smaller Vicem’s

I was down in St. Michael’s this week, where I ran into a wonderful Vicem owner and his 42 Classic.  I had not seen the boat in years (the only 42 ever built, and one of the very first to come in to the US), and it was great to catch up.

Vicem 42 Classic

I thought my loyal readers would find it interesting to hear my take on smaller Vicem’s.  At boat shows, it is always in the top ten questions of the week.

As you probably know, the smallest boat we build now is our 52. While there appears to be a market for smaller Vicem’s, the question becomes “At what price?” The base price on our 52 is now roughly $1.5m.  The sad truth of the boat building business is that it does doesn’t take that many more hours or materials to build a 52 than a 42.  Off the top of my head I will guess there are 20,000 man hours involved in building the 52.  The 42? I’d say 18,000 hours.

This means that a 42, built with Vicem engineering and quality,  would have a base price of $1,250,000.  It is hard to justify that price in the market, no?

Or maybe it is not hard.  I am very interested in my client’s opinion on the matter. Anyone want a new 42?

II.  The Miami Boat Show approaches!

The Miami Show is just two weeks away, running from February 16th – 20th. We will be displaying a Vicem 58 Classic there.

I have a video of that very boat, doing nothing more exciting than simply leaving the dock. When a boat is so pretty that even that gets your attention, you know you have something special:

The full listing of that boat (which just had a price reduction a few weeks ago) can be found at:

Vanderbilt Listing, Vicem 58 Classic

A map of our location within the show can be seen here. We are, conveniently, right next to the bar!

MIBS 2012 – Vicem at Show Layout – 1-23-12

III.  Vicem’s Youtube Channel

I must be getting lazy, because this development is so overdue: Clients ask for videos more than any other single thing (well, maybe after price). So I have taken our greatest hits and put them on a single Youtube channel. You can see them all at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/DaveVicem

There may be a few I have forgotten, so check in from time to time on this channel.

IV.  Vicem’s Distribution Model – Why no dealers?

Last week I did a press interview for a trade magazine that was exploring why some manufacturers prefer to deal with dealers, and others are purely factory-direct.  I thought my loyal readers might be interested in my notes on the subject. Again, as in last week’s posting about what makes a good yard, these are just my personal opinions.  And as I have been known to say on many an occasion, “What the hell do I know?”

Why factory-direct?  Why not use the dealer model?

That’s a question whose answer comes at the end of a long and winding road.

I think in the boating industry to be successful you have to ask yourself early on “What kind of company do we want to be”? 

In our industry so many decisions are emotional, rather than analytical.  That is often the nature of working with things as beautiful and exotic as boats. But you have to be rational if you want staying power in our industry.

So of course you start with “What kind of boat do I want to build”?  

And then, “How will I build it”?

But it’s the overarching and broader questions that determine what kind of company you want to be:

  • What drives us?
  • What motivates us?
  • What is our culture?
  • What is our core value? (pun intended).

So you have to ask yourself some important questions:

  • Are we an ego-driven company? If so, you push to have the biggest footprint in the market, where it can be easy to loose sight of profitability.
  • Are we a revenue-driven company? Must we keep the banks happy, always servicing a debt-load? If so you need maximum # of boats splashed.
  • Are we a margin-driven company? If so, that determines your production methods, your marketing limitations, and your service limitations.

Vicem decided quite consciously early on, as a small company in a galaxy far, far away,  to be a client-driven company.

By “Client” I mean both owners and  potential owners.

We decided to focus first and foremost on the purchasing and owning experience. And to do that, we felt that any intermediaries in between us and our clients was structurally awkward.  So for most of our history we chose to go factory direct.  This is no reflection on any particular dealer.  There are many great dealers out there. I have worked for and with some of them.  But structurally we wanted as direct a link as possible between the boater at his dock in Nantucket or Antigua, and us.

And keep in mind that so much of what we build falls into the custom and semi-custom world. The level of communication required between the client (and sometime his designers and consultants) and our design team must be very tight. It takes strong communication skills, training, and experience (and a lot of Skype Video calls!), for sales personnel to execute well.  This level of expertise is harder to maintain when you interpose an intermediary dealer.

So this is why we have chosen to go factory-direct. In the end, it is the client who benefits. And then, with luck and hard work, us.

IV.  A Great Article

You don’t have to speak Italian to enjoy the photos in this wonderful magazine piece:

ITA_For Magazine Dec 11[2]

If this wonderful yacht does not sell this winter in Europe, I am working hard on the possibility of bringing here to the States this Spring.

V. A Tour of our Virtual Tours

Now that I put all of our best-selling videos in one place, I thought it a good time to put all or our Virtual Tours in one place as well. So below you will find NINE virtual tours.  If this doesn’t waste a good chunk of your your day, I am not trying hard enough! Click away:

V58 Virtual Tour

Vicem 78 Cruiser Virtual Tour

Vicem 92 Virtual Tour

V72 Virtual Tour

Vicem 54 IPS Virtual Tour

V58 Flybridge Virtual Tour

V63 SF Virtual Tour

Vicem 52 Virtual Tour

Vicem 57 Sportfish Virtual Tour

VI. Our Latest Brokerage Ad:

This one will run in the usual places in just a few weeks. But you saw it here first!

To quote KC and JT, "Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, all you gotta do is call."

There is $50 million in amazing yachts in this ad. Call me and I will talk you through each and every one.

VII. His and Her Diary, From the Same Day

This is from my friend Donald (who recently bought my sailboat, leaving me boat-less). A little sexist, but fun:

Her Diary: Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn’t flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn’t say much. I asked him what was wrong; He said, ‘Nothing.’ I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn’t upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can’t explain his behavior I don’t know why he didn’t say, ‘I love you, too.’ When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep – I cried. I don’t know what to do. I’m almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.

His Diary: Boat wouldn’t start, can’t figure out why

That’s it for now. Meanwhile, you know the drill – Want to see a boat? Launch a flare.

Thanks, and enjoy.


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