Chittum Price Increase...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tgjohnso, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. George Sawley

    George Sawley Well-Known Member

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    Hello Gent, I will try to cover a few of your concerns about our company and its current situation. Yes we have had a little tit for tat going with HB for a while. It goes back to when we were building our first skiffs/ Islamorada 18s in Titusville where they, Chris and Wendy Petterson came to our shop to demand how we had the nerve to build skiffs and not buy back the company from the bank. Brian B the person Hal sold the company to stole deposits and sucked the company dry, the bank did try to sell company back to Hal but he declined.
    Not to long after that very awkward encounter we had fire marshals and others chasing us due to anonymous complaints that we had to deal with that went no where but cost us time to sort out. Also had few letters from their attorneys about logos and other petty issues.
    We explained to Chris and Wendy P that we were not building a skiff to compete with them as our skiff was at $75K and built with very high end materials and process. We, Hal and I wanted to build larger boats but our buyer flamed out as the economy was crashing. Truth be known as we were understanding the process of building advanced composite boats the HB designs were not going to be able to handle the weight changes in our opinion. The molds were not built for the process of high heat so there really was no value in our long term plans. We figure it would be better to start with a prototype and not end up with a building with high overhead and a bunch of old molds. We wanted a better boat and less overhead. Truth be known Hal and I did not want to build the boats ourselves, we wanted someone experienced in the process to do it for us, but thats another story.
    Recently we tried to enter the Florida Skiff Challenge. We heard it was going to happen and HB and Maverick were in it so we wanted in. After many attempts we could not get anyone to come back to us in our requests, emails or phone calls. So we kicked a little dirt at them. I like to call it educating the public, some in the social media world called it bashing. We were ready to go head to head. Posting skiffs with over sized engines in over weight heavy glass only fired us up knowing we could easily out run them. We already passed them easily in the Keys show so knew there latest and greatest was going to be easy to over take. Their rules as we saw them at the time were less then 18" and no more then 22 gallons of fuel and max HP at 70. Our 12 degree demo was perfect for it and ready to go.
     
    No Bait / Lures Only likes this.
  2. Smackdaddy53

    Smackdaddy53 Zephyr Cove is on FIRE!

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    I would have probably done the same thing joking around, I like to cut up and have fun, it just got on social media and could have been taken the wrong way. I did nothing but state what I saw and how it made me react.
     

  3. George Sawley

    George Sawley Well-Known Member

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    So after we saturated the market with $65 and $75K skiffs 30 in total the shop we had building for us in St Augustine went belly up due to some other projects not including ours went south. So that left us out in the bush, our molds were covered up in a friends house while we regrouped.
    Along the way we went from wet preging to infusion, learning a lot along the way. Our boat is not a easy boat to build with these processes. So we needed to figure out how to bring the cost down and doing every aspect of the build ourselves so we could control the costs and insure the quality. Out sourcing as we were doing was hard to control all factors.
    We needed to find a facility to build and a place were we wanted to live that could be centralized in Florida. We picked Staurt/Palm City.

    We also needed to simplify the boats parts for faster construction and lower cost yet keeping with the high end materials and process. We now had a much better idea after building 30 Islamorada 18s so we made new parts/molds for this. Some we did in house and some we subbed out. So you know where we started all we had were our original molds. Hal and I did not even have a screw driver between the two of us. We literally started with nothing but the building and went to town with 3 employees.

    I was for the last 13 years running a very nice sportfish in Central, South America and the Caribbean two weeks a month chasing billfish, as one on here said Gods gift to Marlin fishing, lol. The budget was anywhere from $350K to $550 depending on the schedule. But as much fun as I was having I wanted to see this skiff company take off because I know we have a great product and the world needs better boats of all kinds. Our process of advanced composites has been in a number of other boat types and are proving everyday to be the future.

    I appreciate JHR for pointing out that we do want to build a larger boat. I did start out as a kid working on my fathers commercial fishing boats and worked my way out of that and into sport fishing as I grew up in the Keys in the 70s and 80s. I always had a passion for skiffs as I saw them ever morning lined up a Stout's restaurant. I had to ride my bike to the flats when I got the bug to catch a bone fish. I bought my first rod from Hall's Tackle shop with my earning from snapper fishing, even though my father like to call them rod and reels idiot sticks for tourists . He was a long line and hand liner...

    So yes we have a client that wants to build it and we are working on it with a very good architect and engineer. At the same time we looking for a building or land to build the building all at the same time as building up a business and building skiffs.

    As far as our cost increase of about 8%, our materials costs and adding more qualified employees has gone up. Clients want their skiffs faster and to meet that demand we have to increase the cost. The clients that have been in contact with us are getting the old price but those that have not have to pay extra and I don't believe that they have a problem. We have 15 employees now and they are all good qualified craftsman that make this their career and strive to make a better product with pride. We offer then great pay and full medical. We build our skiffs in a air conditioned building. This cost more as well, but the benefit in the quality of the build comes back in value in the product. The product is not shoe horned together by sweaty over heated employees. Plus lamination is far superior as there is no humidity in the cloth that reduces strength in layups and in bonds of all types.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2017
    commtrd and tgjohnso like this.
  4. George Sawley

    George Sawley Well-Known Member

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    There are also a couple of guys on here with a bit of disinformation. The guide in question that supposedly has cracks in his hull and waited two years and got bumped to hull 15 from one is a false. I called the guide aft I read this today and he had no idea as to what he was talking about. The true story is the guide is a friend, I gave him a guide price and told him I would sell him the first boat but I did not know when I was going to have it done. The deck and a number of parts were going threw the changes to get his said price. Unfortunately there were delays that we had no control over. He was informed, it was taking longer then expected and he showed frustration as we all would. I offered to give his money back, or be patient and wait it out. His choice was to wait it out. He bought said boat without trailer as he thought he could get better price so then came back at the 12 hour to get a trailer from Ramlin. By the way, trailer prices went up too and ordering time went from 2 weeks to 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Hal called the owner of Ramlin to see if it could be pushed up. The owner of Ramlin is expanding his company and there was new personnel that dropped the ball. Guide calls Ramlin just to make matters worse and confuses new employee. One big mess, and just so you know we had not taken the guides money for trailer so it was not a case of us sitting on his cash. Just one big mistake.... His boat does have two small gelcoat issues that I said I would fix if he waited a hour but he wanted to beat traffic so I told him to take it to Island Marine and have them fix it and I will take care of the bill. And for the guys that think we will not be around its 8 years and 45 boats out on the water now. If its our problem we have taken care of every issue. There are great shops out there that can handle whatever your problem is and will at our expense. I can't say that they have been 100 percent flawless but I am happy to say issues have been very minimal.
     
    jtrev3, topnative2 and tgjohnso like this.
  5. George Sawley

    George Sawley Well-Known Member

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    Im not going to get in a pissing contest with anyone on this forum, been there done that. I will answer any and all legitimate questions as it relates to the product. Im not bashing any company only giving legitimate information as it compares to their and our product. I know other companies have great employees with families and bills to pay like ours do. But if my product is better as I feel it is you don't have to like it or buy it if it does'nt fit you. You are all very welcome to come to our facility and get a tour of the shop and how we do things to make this a better poling skiff then you can buy anywhere else. Please for the very few on the forum please refrain from disinformation when you have not been to our shop or even ridden or poled our skiff. You can only learn so much from a web site or social media. We have been on the road every other weekend to show people what it can do. You don't even have to be a buyer with a check book in hand to come demo, we enjoy meeting skiff people. We are there to let you experience our product and answer your questions so you understand us and our product.
     
    tgjohnso likes this.
  6. George Sawley

    George Sawley Well-Known Member

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    And a little more about me, I grew up fishing for a living, I grew up on a boat at a fish house. If I wasn't at the docks I was biking around with my rods, bucket and a cast net.
    Once I became a staple on the charter docks of Key Colony Beach and Duck Key I was handed the keys to about every skiff you could imagine. When I wasn't on the offshore boats doing charters I was in my skiff. At 17 I had a few charters and having a great time, but someone dropped a dime on me and the Marine Patrol had a talk with me about not having a lic. At 18 I was standing at the door of the Coast Guard test office in Miami.... took the test twice to pass. Hard to study and fish 250 plus days a year on a charter boat offshore out of Hawks Cay and tarpon fish the bridges every night but I pulled it off. For 6 years I mated on the charter boats by day and took tarpon trips at night. If I did not have a offshore trip I took the back country over flow in my own skiff..... I only say this because I was accused of growing up with a silver spoon in my mouth. So to say I know the value of hard work and the value of a dollar is a understatement. That's for the guy on here that said he would not trust me with his money.... I have been in the fishing business for a long time and trusted with the care of some very expensive vessels and the owner of the vessels family members, I may be know as a hard ass in my field but I get the job done on or below the budget, I am always protecting my clients investments. I never over spent what I was given or what I projected it to be. So you don't have to worry I'm not going anywhere and I will make sure you are taken care of. Regards, George Sawley
     
  7. mtoddsolomon

    mtoddsolomon Lip Ripper

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    @George Sawley I'm happy you able to explain what, i'm sure, a lot of us thought was just being an ass. I personally think my skiff is the greatest skiff in the water for me and the way I fish, and I think anyone who doesn't think that, should buy a different boat. Having said that I wish you all the best, maybe just don't go talking shit about other boats and just focus on the positives of what your boat brings.
     
    George Sawley and topnative2 like this.
  8. commtrd

    commtrd I Love microskiff.com!

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    Good info wish yall the best. The industry NEEDS good hard competition to keep everyone honest. Thanks GS.
     
    George Sawley likes this.
  9. Chris Morejohn

    Chris Morejohn I Love microskiff.com!

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  10. Chris Morejohn

    Chris Morejohn I Love microskiff.com!

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    I can say for sure I will never run a boat shop again. but I still work on boats. I will be in the Keys for a few more months and I'am doing bid job contract work now at Isla Marine. My first 2 jobs were modifieing Chittum skiffs stern wells. I will build a one off skiff from the LITIHUM mold for picture documentation for future blogs and such this summer. It will be sold after I'am done. By next year I will be off sailing to the Pacific as our youngest daughter is graduating from UF next week. We don't plan on coming back to Florida.
    At present I am finishing up 5 different boat designs. I can do this work anywhere so it fits in with my lifestyle well. I like the challenge of putting someone else's vision to paper with my input added.ha that's why they hire me. But ultimately it's their project and you never have control once you hand over the design. Same thing when some one buys an existing company and then starts changing everything. Most times for the better.
    I think today there would be a great market for kit boats. In the past I built one off decks for guys like Randy Towe and Carl Navverrae to put on their hulls. Was $ to keep things going along.
     
    fjmaverick likes this.
  11. fjmaverick

    fjmaverick Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a buyer in mind for your Lithium?
     
    tgjohnso likes this.
  12. tgjohnso

    tgjohnso Well-Known Member

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    was wondering who was gunna be the first one to ask!
     
  13. makin moves

    makin moves Well-Known Member

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    I asked about a month ago, he has a laundry list of people.
     
  14. Chris Morejohn

    Chris Morejohn I Love microskiff.com!

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    Making moves, please email me again as I don't know your name here. If you emailed me you are on the list as first right of refusal. I have had one other inquiry.
    I would like to build this skiff to mostly my design so it might not suit lots of people. I will post a full blog on its design soon. So you if you are who I think emailed me then you are the first on the list.The second guy wanted a console and wheel steered skiff and I want to build a tiller skiff with central bait well, console bow that tilts out of the way to get at batterys and bait well valves. This console design is totally watertight and makes access very quick and easy. Not like rigging and crawling into a crab hole.This skiff will have no fastenings through the deck and the entire deck and hull will be glassed as one so no leaks through these areas. All the hatches will use my new gutter , hinge and lid designs to be as dry as possible. All stern eyes and bow eyes will be my new design using Dyneema line instead of u- bolts. I will ask for a set price and it will be way below the top end skiff prices. It will be my last skiff as I will be off sailing and looking for new adventures next year.
    Best way to contact me is via my email...spankthemermaid@gmail.com
    Thanks for considering
     
    sjrobin likes this.
  15. jmrodandgun

    jmrodandgun Well-Known Member

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    Am I imagining this correctly; Instead of a stainless eye, it will be loop of dyneema? Like a tiny little rope handle?
     
    Smackdaddy53 likes this.
  16. devrep

    devrep Well-Known Member

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    or if you don't like the post don't read it. Or take 10 times the time to respond.
     
  17. Chris Morejohn

    Chris Morejohn I Love microskiff.com!

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    I will be posting all my design details for this skiff including the use of Dynema to replace stainless steel. Very simple, super strong and I have been testing it on my sailboat and others for over 30 years. My goal is to have no through hulls and through deck bolts in all my future designs and builds.
     
  18. makin moves

    makin moves Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the response Chris. I'm very excited to be the first one on the list. I'll have to start saving my pennies. If not the next person in line will be very happy. Looking forward to following the build!
     
  19. mwong61

    mwong61 I Love microskiff.com!

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    I'm partial to "douchebaggery". Lot's of application in my line of work.
     
  20. RCR

    RCR Active Member

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    Chris, What Horsepower are you planning for on the lithium design?
     
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