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Thread: Frustrated Buying a New Boat

  1. #1
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Default Frustrated Buying a New Boat

    I'm about 98% sold on buying a new Woodridge; I'm just waiting for my quote to come in. But, I felt I wouldn't be doing my due diligence if I didn't at least explore other brands. I've previously bought a Hewescraft new and it was a pleasurable experience. I asked for a price list and they sent it to me. I was able to pick my options, discuss some custom stuff, and got a quote. My experience with Wooldridge has been much the same.

    However, several other manufacturers and dealers (names not mentioned due to forum policy) I've contacted have been less than helpful. I've called or e-mailed, told them what model I was interested in, and asked for price sheets. Mostly I've been told a base price. When I ask about options the attitude has been, "Tell me what you want and I'll tell you how much it costs." Seriously? You don't know how much it costs to put a head in your boat unless I ask you first? You don't know what you charge for different cabin layouts?

    I understand that some custom options are going to require some thought to come up with a price, but standard things heads, stoves, heaters, second stations, windshield fans, etc. it sure seems like they must know in advance how much those cost. Is it some kind of a secret? And how am I supposed to know what options I want if you won't tell me what you offer?
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Member hoose35's Avatar
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    Although I wasn't able to buy a bayweld like I originally wanted, they were pretty helpful in the limited dialect I had with them. I'm happy with my duckworth from Dewey's, but there really wasn't much to the sale, I went in, they had the boat I wanted, so I bought it.
    Responsible Conservation > Political Allocation

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    Charterboat Operator kodiakcombo's Avatar
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    I've found that, now that the economy is doing better the builders are swamped, so they dont have to cater to you. When the economy was in the drink, they called you back with tons of options for the boat you were interested in. My 2 cents.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I'm about 98% sold on buying a new Woodridge; I'm just waiting for my quote to come in. But, I felt I wouldn't be doing my due diligence if I didn't at least explore other brands. I've previously bought a Hewescraft new and it was a pleasurable experience. I asked for a price list and they sent it to me. I was able to pick my options, discuss some custom stuff, and got a quote. My experience with Wooldridge has been much the same.

    However, several other manufacturers and dealers (names not mentioned due to forum policy) I've contacted have been less than helpful. I've called or e-mailed, told them what model I was interested in, and asked for price sheets. Mostly I've been told a base price. When I ask about options the attitude has been, "Tell me what you want and I'll tell you how much it costs." Seriously? You don't know how much it costs to put a head in your boat unless I ask you first? You don't know what you charge for different cabin layouts?

    I understand that some custom options are going to require some thought to come up with a price, but standard things heads, stoves, heaters, second stations, windshield fans, etc. it sure seems like they must know in advance how much those cost. Is it some kind of a secret? And how am I supposed to know what options I want if you won't tell me what you offer?
    Providing trips for multilpe species for over 20 yrs
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    Member Stanly's Avatar
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    We went thru the same thing. I had one major boat builder call me and we discussed what I was looking for. Never heard from them again. I got an email from them a couple of months ago. Told them I never heard back from them and send him links to our boat build. It was good to meet you today, if you think of any new questions don't hesitate to contact me...
    When the HOGS show up, somethins gonna DIE!!!
    Blood Sport
    32' Custom Wooldridge
    MMSI #: 338181573

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    Member Rob B's Avatar
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    It sounds like you already realize who to go with now. Wooldridge..... You just can't beat their customer service for the price range of boat you are looking for.
    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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    Member JR2's Avatar
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    I find it amazing when a dealer does not respond or blows you off when inquiring about spending $100k with them. Seems like they would be all over someone who wanted to buy.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

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    Member Sobie2's Avatar
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    I have had great responses from Mike Boulton down in Oregon, and great responses with BassPro in Anchorage for a Thunderjet (they emailed me build excel sheets).

    Sobie2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob B View Post
    It sounds like you already realize who to go with now. Wooldridge..... You just can't beat their customer service for the price range of boat you are looking for.
    I agree with Rob B. If you're 98% going with Wooldridge why complain about other dealers or builders. Just a heads up, after your build is done, you'll find 98 things that you would've done different. The fact that you've narrowed it down to Wooldridge is the easy part. Now you can focus on the boat that they will build for you.

    I was very happy with the customer service that I got from my builder, but my builder would tell you that I was an "intense" customer. In the early stages (no money down) I was not afraid to call, email, or text until I got what I wanted. I also realized that I had not paid my builder anything and that he had a shop full of paying customers so who do you think is gonna get priority. The "level" of customer service increased exponentially once I put money down - that's just business.

    If you're 98% decided on Wooldridge, I'd put that decision to bed and get with Stanly and BKmail and start focusing on your build. Believe me, when your build is sitting in the water you'll wish you had 2 months back to plan better its just the nature of custom.

  9. #9

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    Great advice from 1S1K, we didn't come up with 98 things but we have identified a handful, mostly things that I wish that I had been a more educated about ocean boater and would have added. Stanly got most of them right IMO.

  10. #10
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    I've had a few boats, and every time I think I've finally got it right. Seems like there's always something you'll wish you'd done differently. I had the pleasure of speaking with bkmail and stanly yesterday and both had some good advice to consider. All of their ideas were good ones, now I just have to decide if they are right for me and what I'm going to use my boat for.

    I guess the point of my original post is I wish builders were more transparent about the cost of purchasing a boat from them. I get the impression they don't want you to be able to compare their boat to another builder's boat for fear of losing a sale. It's almost like they want you to commit to buying a boat from them before they'll open up. It makes me all the more satisfied knowing that I'm going to spend my money with a builder with great customer service.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay9Cop View Post
    I get the impression they don't want you to be able to compare their boat to another builder's boat for fear of losing a sale. It's almost like they want you to commit to buying a boat from them before they'll open up.
    You can't blame them for that. Blame all the guys that have no intention of buying from a local yet expect them to give them all the information so they can buy a boat outside. If you are sincere about buying a boat offer them $1000 non-returnable. If you do not buy a boat from them.

  12. #12
    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    If they won't help you as a customer with intent to purchase I would be hesitant to give them $150k of my money to make the relationship better. I don't agree with you MacGyver, on this one.
    I bought houses and didn't need to give my agent cash to get her attention, same with a vehicle. Doesn't make sense to buy their attention to spend money on their product. The builder shouldn't blow you off till you drop some coin, imo.

    Fortunately, Wooldridge understands that. You will not regret working with them. Talk to more boat owners and go with your gut feelings.
    Bk

  13. #13
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    Beings you're leaning Wooldridge this may just be wasted electrons: I want a Wooldridge bad! The Wife and I made the trip to their factory not too long ago. Danny was the only one working the office the day we got there. I got lost enough he had to send out phone signals to guide us in.

    The Wife has been OK with me buying a river boat when we retire, but hasn't understood why only Wooldridge is on my list. Danny spent the whole morning showing us around the factory and pointing out what makes their boats one of a kind. He helped explain what options are most popular and useful. He gave us some ideas that would be specific to our needs. When we left we had a price list in hand for the boat and many options. We also had his card so we could call at any time with any questions.

    Edit: Danny also said we could work with the boat dealer in Big Lake to help the deal go smoother. We haven't made it in to talk to them yet (got lost again when we tried and ran out of time!) but our thoughts are we'll work with both the factory and the dealer to get the best boat & deal we can.

    After the kind people on this site lead me to Wooldridge, it was easy for me to want one. Danny made it easy to show the Wife why Wooldridge was the only boat on my list. Good relations with the future boat owner is a big reason. When someone asks a question about their Wooldridge on this site often Mr. Wooldridge is one of the people with an answer; I don't see that from the other boat makers.

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    There is also a difference between "Custom aluminimun boat" and "Standard boat with available additional options." BKmail is right. Go with whichever builder is providing you with the boat and build/buy experience that you're looking for. I wanted my boat built by Bay Weld and waiting two weeks for Eric to get back to me with an initial quote was no big deal because I wanted BW. Being on build contract revision #7 over the course of 2 years before signing the final contract was worth it to me because I wanted BW.

    Like I said before, IMO, the hard part is done you've picked a boat builder. Now get ready to drink the kool-aid and try to stay in your budget. I started $35K over budget and ended $75K over "budget" not BW's fault and it was not because BW's quote was innaccurate. It was because as the boat is being built you begin to see how things are coming together and you get other ideas and "this woudl be nice" and "well that is only $1,500 more" until you're $75K over what you thought you were going to spend.

    Seriously, getting a quote from Wooldridge - Easy. Sticking to the quote - the hardest thing you'll do in your life.

  15. #15
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    Getting the price sheets from Wooldridge was the best thing that happened to my dream boat. After seeing the price of some of the add-ons I was able to sort the "must haves" from the "that would be nice". It also forced to me to think about what I could add later myself...which coincidentally was some of the same advice I got from bkmail when we talked. What I requested in my quote was about $25k less than what I initially wanted.
    "Beware the man with only one gun; he may know how to use it."

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    Bought my new KingFisher 2825 and had an excellent experience doing so. I bought it out of state and the entire experience was something I would do again. The dealer was very open with the prices and I had no surprises. If I had not bought the kingfisher I would have bought the wooldridge it was just my personal preference.

  17. #17

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    I bought a Kingfisher 2725 and wouldn't hesitate to do it all over again. The builder was very attentive, checked with me frequently to confirm the options I wanted, and even emailed pic's of the boat at various stages of the build process. We've had the boat for 2 years now and wouldn't change a thing. We just love it.
    "Miss Mary"
    Kingfisher 2725, twin Yamaha 150's

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    Member Tyin 1 On's Avatar
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    I am working with a Weldcraft dealer right now and he has been great and very helpful. I should be sending off the deposit here soon and can't wait till March when it arrives in Whittier!!!

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Just thought I'd throw this out there.

    Spent a month down by the Rouge River in January and learned a little about the Wooldridge boat.

    http://www.wooldridgeboats.com/our-history

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