Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Why are outboards so expensive?

  1. #1
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Whitehorse Yukon
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Why are outboards so expensive?

    Ruminating on the cost of a new OB. Why are they so expensive anyway? My buddy just bought a 2007 Suzuki V Strom 1000 with 4000 Km for $6k. New its $12k. Look what you get for that money; a big engine, wheels, transmission etc.
    Am I the only one who thinks that paying $20K for an ob is insane? You can buy a Skandic brand new with a 4 stroke for $13k.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  2. #2
    Member DMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    1,412

    Default

    Why does a loaded Polaris Ranger XP cost almost 20K? My understanding is there are two things that effect it to a great degree.

    1. R&D vs. Market Size. The cost of researching, developing, testing, going to market, etc. is huge on any product like this. So the cost of production is there, but the market it is selling into isn't huge by comparison. Take a GM or Ford for example, do they have billions that go into R&D? Sure, but look at the size of the market they are selling into and the quantity of product they will be able to spread those costs over. I'm in IT and we have a saying, the first copy cost 3 billion, the second copy cost $10. So if you have a high cost of producing a product and you will only sell so many of that product it will cause you to have to charge more. Wordy but I think I am making the point. Take Coach Purses for instance, when you have a whole outlet store that has nothing but 25 purses in it you are going to have to charge more per purse to pay your bills than if you had 150 various items across several lines, like shoes, coats, etc.. lol

    2. Because they can, we need it, we want it, we pay it, so they charge it!

    I am not yet convinced for myself how much number 2 plays vs. number 1! I know one thing, I don't like it either way, the cost is insane...
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  3. #3
    Member jrogers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,539

    Default

    I agree with Dman on this. There is a lot of technology in a new motor. I saw a survey recently talking about medical costs and people complaining about them. Everyone wanted the prices to be back what they were in the 70's, but no one wanted to go back to the state of technology back then. The same could be said for outboards. You could probably get a get a early 80's outboard on Ebay really cheap, but no one wants the old fuel consumption, weight, reliability, etc.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
    Fully Loaded

  4. #4
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,230

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DMan View Post
    Take Coach Purses for instance, when you have a whole outlet store that has nothing but 25 purses in it you are going to have to charge more per purse to pay your bills than if you had 150 various items across several lines, like shoes, coats, etc.. lol
    You sure seem to know a lot about purses for such an outdoorsy guy.
    Spending my kids' inheritance with them, one adventure at a time.

  5. #5
    Member DMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Wasilla, AK
    Posts
    1,412

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spoiled one View Post
    You sure seem to know a lot about purses for such an outdoorsy guy.

    Always in touch with my feminine side.... She likes purses, lucky for me she doesn't own a coach.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  6. #6
    Member Kodiakfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Kodiak
    Posts
    212

    Default

    I agree with the above.

    I'd also add that it's the specialized nature of marine equipment in general that drives the price up. I'm an aircraft mechanic and we have a joke that if you buy a bolt at Home Depot, it's $1. If you buy it at West Marine it's $5 and if you buy it for an aircraft it's $25. Of course there are differences in the equipment specs and quality and such, but that's how it goes. Another good example are marine electronics. A nice color sonar/chart with an 8" screen is $1600 plus accessories, and they lock up on me sometimes if I zoom in too fast. I can go down to Staples and buy an HP laptop with a 17" HD screen that plays DVD's and has enough computing power to launch a space shuttle for $500. It's the waterproofing, shock resistance, corrosion resistant connectors and so on... Engines are the same way, not to mention my new 225 Yamaha I hung two years ago is designed and meant to run at 5,000 rpm for long runs and if I did that to the engine in my truck, it'd not tolerate it too well.

    My motor was something like $23k on the shelf, but I got it from a dealer as a promo or pro plan motor for half that and I thought I got a helluva deal. I was ready to shell out near retail to get the boat back on the water for as much as I fish and time I spend in the boat.

  7. #7

    Default

    Just like pretty much anything, it is controlled by supply and demand. As long as we, the "demanders" are willing to pay more to buy something, they, the "suppliers" will continue to increase the price. Why not? If you could sell 20 units of something for $10 each, but knew that you could still sell 15 if you doubled the price, which would you do as the private business owner with a primary goal to make money? As long as we are willing to pay the money, even if we whine and complain all the way to the checkout counter, they will continue to charge it. These are things we WANT, not things we NEED in most cases (despite what many may feel). They are luxuries in life, not necessities. Over time, the demand will encourage competition (lots of money to be made), which will help to keep prices in check somewhat.

  8. #8

    Default

    Agree with much of what has been said above. At the end of the day it's gets down to basic supply and demand. If prices were out of balance someone else would enter the market and offer the product at a lower price-which is obviously easier said than done in this type of market (specialized with well established brand names and brand loyalties). There are also a lot of costs that are not easy to see in a product and are beyond just the manufacturing of a product. Those include warranty expenses (which are a liability on the books for 3-5 years after the sale), potential expenses related to lawsuits (which never go away), employee related liabilities (health care, worker comp, etc), potential liabilities associated with a manufacturing plant (spills, hazardous materials etc).
    Ruby at the end of a good day.

  9. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    2,127

    Default

    Let's not forget that they run generally trouble free for thousands of hours.....that is worth cash to me.

    I get why the big engines like my Yam 225 cost a ton.....there is a lot of smooth running stuff packed into that 500 pound cowling, and I can't imagine especially in the current economy, that they are flying off the shelves. However, I do not get why the 10hp to 40 hp's have to be so expensive per hp.....they make and sell gobs of those and yet you can end up paying almost $2 a horse for some.

    As long as I can afford an OB.....you couldn't give me an inboard system.

    However to the OP, you can cashin on this reliability factor. There are lots of folks who underpowered (130's and 150's on a 24 ft Hewes etc. ) that are buying bigger motors, for 1/2 or 2/3 the price of new you can have a motor with waaaaay more than the commensurate amount of trouble free life in it. Even here in Juneau a guy could get a bigger Yamaha 2 stroke for near pennies (well, dimes, this is juneau) and those are great motors as well, for hte price difference the mileage and oil burn would take hundreds of hours to not make it a good deal.

    Most guys don't use their boats much anyway, I rue the day that I have to move mine cuz it is and will be used a lot, nicely, but a lot.

  10. #10
    Member Sobie2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Juneau
    Posts
    1,039

    Default

    The obvious comparison is Honda. They even advertise that the Honda EFI 75/90 is the same engine as their Honda Fit. And the 200/225 is the same engine they use in the Accord. A Honda Fit is about $16k at AK dealerships a 75/90 I think is around $10k. I have seen new Accords for the low 20's (and gotten quotes from dealers for 225s for the same price. You can buy a Civic for about $13k new. So in Honda's case the you are paying for the same technology and the volume is there directly from the Auto industry.

    The biggest thing in outboard pricing is the dealer markup and dealer installation. So take that into consideration.

    But we all have seen that Honda's outboards seem to be worth the price because there are plenty of Honda's with 5,000 to 8,000 hours on the clock that are still running. Other outboard brands have a hard time with the longevity AND they are priced competitively. But Honda seems to have a 10% price premium up front and I think it is worth it. FYI I have 2 Honda 90s (older non-efi) and an 1990s era 8hp. But I also have a few Yamahas that I can't seem to kill.

    Sobie2

  11. #11

    Default

    One of the things that I do not understand is how the new technology and all it's whiz bang features seems to have a very short lived useful life. I remember my Mother's washer and dryer lasting more than the time I lived at home while growing up. Half of my home appliances have been replaced in less than 5 years. Cost of repair is so high that it no longer makes sense to repair them. My experience with outboard motors is also a 5 year replacement cycle. My last Yamaha 225 motors ended up costing more than three thousand per year (EACH) when they had failures. They may be advanced in technology, but way off the reliable scale as compared with older units.

  12. #12

    Default

    I have found that anything that says marine, aviation, or RV costs from just a little more to a stupid amount more depending on what it is. Why? Well that is because it says marine, aviation, or RV on it.

  13. #13
    Member Music Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    ANC
    Posts
    1,243

    Default

    If it is for a boat , the closer to the water you are the more it cost. Airplane, the closer to the airport the more it cost. RV, the farther from town the more it cost.
    When seconds count, the cops are just minutes away.
    '08 24' HCM Granite HD "River Dog"

  14. #14
    Member akrstabout's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,291

    Default

    Well a saying I heard many times comes into play here!!! If it flies, floats or ****'s it cheaper to rent!!!! LOL

  15. #15

    Wink $2 a hores

    Quote Originally Posted by Catch It View Post
    Let's not forget that they run generally trouble free for thousands of hours.....that is worth cash to me.

    I get why the big engines like my Yam 225 cost a ton.....there is a lot of smooth running stuff packed into that 500 pound cowling, and I can't imagine especially in the current economy, that they are flying off the shelves. However, I do not get why the 10hp to 40 hp's have to be so expensive per hp.....they make and sell gobs of those and yet you can end up paying almost $2 a horse for some.

    As long as I can afford an OB.....you couldn't give me an inboard system.

    However to the OP, you can cashin on this reliability factor. There are lots of folks who underpowered (130's and 150's on a 24 ft Hewes etc. ) that are buying bigger motors, for 1/2 or 2/3 the price of new you can have a motor with waaaaay more than the commensurate amount of trouble free life in it. Even here in Juneau a guy could get a bigger Yamaha 2 stroke for near pennies (well, dimes, this is juneau) and those are great motors as well, for hte price difference the mileage and oil burn would take hundreds of hours to not make it a good deal.

    Most guys don't use their boats much anyway, I rue the day that I have to move mine cuz it is and will be used a lot, nicely, but a lot.

    Where do I sign up for a new outboard for $2 a horse? I want a whole flipping stable full of them

  16. #16

    Default

    I read that too, but I'm pretty sure he meant $200.....happens....

  17. #17
    Member pacific23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Whitesboro, Texas
    Posts
    534

    Default

    We get on this and other forums and talk to each other about our motors and boats and it seems like everyone we know has a boat and motor but in reality there are not that many units out there , units being Big OBs, we just talk to people that have them.
    Now look at a company like Honda they make a NEW 250HP OB now, people wanted it , they built it, do you know anybody with one yet? How much do you think Honda has in this motor for R&D ?
    Ford might build ONE MILLION + TRUCKS a year and Honda might sell 5000 units a year so now were back to Dmans purses, he gunna make a living selling something.

  18. #18
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Whitehorse Yukon
    Posts
    1,342

    Default

    The outdoor recreation market is quite small as compared to automobiles, so no question that can affect the price. However, like my example with a snowmobile, how can OBs be so much money?
    A new Skandic wide track with a 600 ETEC is about $12K and change. The new BRP skidoos have a lot of technology in them, and they run pretty flawlessly, just like outboards. Look at what you are getting in the Skandic: ETEC engine, the whole chassis, track, suspension, skis etc. In comparison, an outboard seems pretty basic. Those side by sides are 20K, but thats essentially a small truck, but a new Yamaha SHO 225 is $20K.
    I guess its like you say; they charge it and we pay it.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

  19. #19
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    5,594

    Default

    A 600 etec is what 120 hp 2 cylinder engine vs a 225 hp 6 cylinder?

    The one big difference between marine engines and autos or atv's or snowmachines is marine engines are designed to opperate at WOT for prolonged periods of time under a heavy load. On top of running wot under heavy load, the engine has to be as light as possible, and has to withstand a salt water environment.

    Then you have economy of scale, if you manufacturer 100,000 widgets a year, your per widget price will be less than for 1000 or 10,000 widgets per year.

    If you think the price of outboards is bad, look into having a one off built. You'd be out 100's of thousands, it would be less reliable and good luck having a dealer with spare parts and trained technicians.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  20. #20
    Member Yukoner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Whitehorse Yukon
    Posts
    1,342

    Default

    With respect to economy of scale, I would think that outboard engine sales are higher worldwide than snowmobile sales.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •