How much does a multihull really cost? - Multihulls World has been investigating…

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Let’s face it, we could never qualify buying a multihull as a “reasonable” action. However, we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that it is a kind of impulsiveness which is “at the extreme limit of intelligence” to quote Jean Cocteau. So, having been seduced by the breathlessly fine lines of the design, or the magnificent interior and exterior fittings, which would turn any workaholic into an unbridled hedonist, or by the promise of high performance and record-breaking Atlantic crossings, it’s soon time to look at what all this madness is going to cost. There is no doubt that the basic prices advertised by the shipyards do not relate to a multihull that is ready to launch, and definitely not one that is ready to sail around the world. To be fair, the nautical industry is not alone in this. Automobile manufacturers have long led the field. You might have concluded that a multihull on sale for a six-figure sum would have adopted the pricing code of the luxury goods industry… Far from it. If you decide to have a look (and for me it was out of sheer curiosity) at the list of options that come with a new Porsche, you will discover that nothing escapes market forces and the most ruthlessly efficient marketing strategies.

The famous “Prices from..."

Why? Because we all seem to have the same mindset. We have a quasiPavlovian reflex: first we compare all the prices of the different models which have caught our eye and immediately exclude anything that is too expensive or too cheap (could mean poor quality). This has led all the shipyards to adopt a basic inventory which is spartan to say the least (an unlaunched multihull with no sails) in an effort to reduce the “Prices from…” to the lowest number possible. Unless we’re missing something here? Upon comparing all the prices, we realized that everyone has aligned themselves on a “minimum” standard. It doesn’t really matter whether it was the shipyard/dealership or the buyer/skipper that pushed for this movement towards minimum inventory standards, but that’s the way it is. We decided to look into it and took great pleasure in piecing together the real cost of a multihull that is ready to set sail. To illustrate just how aligned the shipyards are, we chose the 45-foot models produced by the biggest shipyards, as this really is right in the middle of the market. There is less than 4.5% price difference between the models of Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Bali, Leopard and Nautitech. The average price is €465,210 ex sales tax for boats with a median size of 13.71m (45’) with a variability of just +/- 2%. There is therefore very tough competition between the five big players in the sector in terms of volume, while other producers need to stand out from the crowd with the attractivity of their offer. Take the lovely Aventura 44, or the more exclusive Outremer 45. Outremer is the only one to offer three hulls on the Neel 47. 

The ubiquitous Packs

With a few rare exceptions, the standard inventories ...

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