WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

Did you see the shit going down with Ultra Boats on FB?

rrrr

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WHO continues to pay up to 128k without anything being delivered? :)
I wondered the same thing. You gotta be an idiot to shell out that amount of money on the come.

And why would he allow this to go on two years, still sending money? Two friggin' years!

I wouldn't buy a boat from a builder that couldn't fund a build. If they're paying for it it's gonna get finished as quickly as possible so the money comes in and everyone is happy.
 

namba860

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Maybe a stable company like Advantage, Nordic or Eliminator should pic up this name and start building like Nordic did with Hallett.
 

rrrr

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Come on guys. You just don't understand. The Wes coast custom boat business is like no other business in the world...you mere mortals with your business sense have no clue what you're talking about. This is just how business is done in this one type of business.
Apparently so. I had no idea it was normal to feed cash to the builder during the build. Not only are you dependent on the integrity of the business, you as a purchaser carry the liability for fire, theft, and a dozen other issues.

If any of the dozens of vendors providing parts fail to deliver (perhaps because the builder not paying for parts bought for other boats), you're screwed. If the builder hasn't been paying 941 taxes and gets shut down by the IRS, you have no recourse.

During the entire process of the build you, the guy providing the funding to not only pay for the boat but also paying the builder's light and phone bill, the payments on his lifted Duramax, and everything else, have your ass hanging out into the wind a mile. We're talking $200-$300 grand or more.

That's fucking crazy.
 

Heylam

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In a perfect world the builder would have the capital to finance a build, and payments made by a customer would go into an escrow account to be paid upon delivery.
 

GRADS

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When I custom built my $200K+ boat with Eliminator I didn't have to pay a dime until the boat was completed. Maybe that's not the norm anymore.
 

Groper

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WHO continues to pay up to 128k without anything being delivered? :)
I wondered the same thing. You gotta be an idiot to shell out that amount of money on the come.

And why would he allow this to go on two years, still sending money? Two friggin' years!

I wouldn't buy a boat from a builder that couldn't fund a build. If they're paying for it it's gonna get finished as quickly as possible so the money comes in and everyone is happy.
This make no sense to me either and seems to be somewhat naive or clueless, their has to be more to the story, I don't know anyone that would shell out that much cash without producing a product in return.
Why would you be swapping Heads from a new Motor or is was it the customers from another Boat and it appears from the photos that several items were installed and then removed.
This is reminds of Rayson-Craft when the new owner was building Boats and installing and removing parts right before the customer showed up, the beginning of the end. :(
A very similar story about some of the Sandrail builders out there as well, these guys all went to the same school of FU.
 

Uncle Dave

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When I custom built my $200K+ boat with Eliminator I didn't have to pay a dime until the boat was completed. Maybe that's not the norm anymore.
What year was this?


UD
 

Ziggy

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When I custom built my $200K+ boat with Eliminator I didn't have to pay a dime until the boat was completed. Maybe that's not the norm anymore.
It's plenty normal.
Apparently these days, so is robbing Peter.
 

Uncle Dave

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Before the crash
oh the days....engines and drives of all kinds - all over the place available for immediate consumption- demo rooms filled with potential immediate delivery sales, plenty of parts on shelves of all colors and styles, glass, gel, and laminates (stuff with a shelf life) always available delivered same or next day.

....it's changed soo much....

Im not excusing unethical practices or bad management, simply pointing out this industry is a shell of its former self on nearly every level and has to operate differently.

UD
 

WavetoWave

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Maybe a stable company like Advantage, Nordic or Eliminator should pic up this name and start building like Nordic did with Hallett.
Why though? They already build better boats.
 

Cole Trickle

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When the Economy crashed and JW sold Ultra they essentially became a start up.... There are plenty of small companies like say interceptor,Ultra or Tahiti (I'm guessing and have no actual knowledge) that will build you a nice boat for a much better deal then the main line companies that have a years wait. The problem with this is they aren't going to have the cash to fund a full boat build and you will need to pay as you go.....no way I would pay the same with the risk involved

This becomes a pretty big risk imho and needs to be monitored very closely (I would wan't weekly updates and photos) or you are going to get burned. Unless you have investors or this is your hobby because you own another business that would give you the capital needed you are basically fighting for survival daily and one issue or missed step can bring the whole deal crashing down.

I personally would never ever walk into a boat shop and write a check for 100K with nothing more than a promise and a hope. Perhaps pay the $$ for the hull and then another check directly to the trailer company followed by a check directly to mercury or the engine builder.

Scary game...hate to see this because I was a big fan of the JW ultras and I think the 28 Barracuda deck is awesome and better looking than a lot of the choices on the market.:(
 

4Waters

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When I custom built my $200K+ boat with Eliminator I didn't have to pay a dime until the boat was completed. Maybe that's not the norm anymore.
This is the way it should be done, if the builder (engine, boat, car, etc....) needs something then all they should ask for is the cost (no profit) of parts that have already been delivered. Key word DELIVERED.
 

rrrr

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In a perfect world the builder would have the capital to finance a build, and payments made by a customer would go into an escrow account to be paid upon delivery.
The statement "A perfect world" implies the situation you describe is unusual and difficult to obtain.

In fact, that situation should be "a normal world". A boat purchaser should be able to sign a contract that specifies full payment upon delivery.

There should, of course, be an enforceable contract which specifies that the purchaser is responsible for paying the full purchase amount upon completion of the boat. If the purchaser defaults, he should have to answer to a court of law, and pay for the boat as well as penalties for the damages his default have inflicted upon the builder. It should work both ways.
 

aka619er

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This is the prime reason I am shopping for a used Ultra Shadow.
 

DrunkenSailor

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In a perfect world a boat builder would have a couple million on a line of credit. You could build a few inventory boats a year and do custom work as it comes in. keeping the world moving. You get a new custom order the buyer puts down a small deposit and you build the boat with cash on receipt.

We all know the world is far from perfect. The problem is if the inventory boats don't move your literally sitting on 200k+ in debt. If a custom build backs out now your sitting on a half finished boat that will become another inventory boat after you finish it adding to your growing pile of debt.

The industry itself has changed greatly since the downturn. You used to be able to pick up the phone and have something shipped to you by the end of the week. Now the vendors are taking your money up front and turning a product back in 2 weeks to 2 months. You used to be able to keep people on staff but now it's a traveling circus of the quality guys doing work over at this shop or that shop whenever they have work to be done. So you may have a build but getting the guys to come in to do the work may take 2 months because they are over at Howard for the next two weeks and then they are going to Eliminator to do x before they are available.

It's easy as a business owner to say well you need to manage your finances better but very few businesses sell a 100k and up product with half a dozen sales a year to keep the company afloat. Especially when your talking about a product that unless you run a charter company or something similar is purely a toy. With Merc charging 20-200k for required components, depending on the build, the amount of cash poured into one boat is stupid. Not to mention the ability for a small to medium sized boat builder to get a line of credit of adequate size without another major corporate backer is almost impossible. The bank knows post 2008 that any inventory and tooling that your sitting on is almost worthless in an economic downturn. Anyone remember the Magic lot off of beach when they went into BK? There were quite a few people who purchased a Magic in the years before 08 who just lost 3/4's of the value on their boat probably when they could have used the money most.

I will wait to pass judgment on Ultra until we hear all sides but not delivering on a custom build for years with cash in hand is wrong. If they had been sending out build pictures showing progress each week but that progress was faked or upon inspection stripped off the boat then that is simple fraud. It sucks to see another builder go down. Keep in mind that would be the second this year as Hallett did sell to Nordic. Vastly different situations and Hallett will continue on as I believe Ultra will probably with a new owner if the stories are true. As for the customers who lost their money on half completed or not started builds I feel awful for them. I couldn't imagine the excitement of planning a build and finally getting the boat that you always wanted just to find out that you had been taken for a ride and someone absconded with your cash. I don't know if Ultra was being malicious, incompetent, undercapitalized or just victims of snowballing circumstances. Either way this situation sucks for all involved.

The main difference between the East Coast and West Coast builders is the commercial industry. Commercial and government contracts pour a ton of money into the East Coast offshore industry. If the government constructed an inter or intra coastal waterway on the west coast then we may be able to compete but comparing the east coast builders to the west coast builders is unfair. They are completely different worlds.

I am rambling now. I will stop. Sad deal and I'm bummed for Ultra if this is all true and it wasn't malicious. I'm bummed for the buyers who aren't getting what they paid for. I hope all sides of the story come out soon and I hope that someone either Ultra or another company looking to earn a customer for life steps up to make it right.
 

DrunkenSailor

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I will add one more thing. On Brunswicks Q3 2017 earnings report they did 309.3mm in sales. Which netted them an operating earnings of drumroll please 0.1mm. They did 412.1mm in sales in Q2 to earn 22.7mm and 382.7mm in sales in Q1 to earn 3.2mm. Thats over a billion dollars in sales to earn 26mm in profit.
 

DrunkenSailor

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If a bank won't give them a line of credit to build a boat then maybe you shouldn't either.
Valid point. I would treat the builder just like a bank would. If my deposit is 10% of the total cost ok lets get started and I want updates weekly and you can bet I am at their shop at least a couple of times a quarter to check progress. If the deposit is more than 10% then I want to see your most recent financials and I want references from your 3 most recent customers.
 

AzGeo

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Valid point. I would treat the builder just like a bank would. If my deposit is 10% of the total cost ok lets get started and I want updates weekly and you can bet I am at their shop at least a couple of times a quarter to check progress. If the deposit is more than 10% then I want to see your most recent financials and I want references from your 3 most recent customers.
I agree with about 90% of what you said in post #69, but in this post, there is another side to this story .

If you came in and wanted to put "10% down" on your own special "pink, purple, and green gel coat design", most reputable builders would require you to provide your financing papers (private boat loan, personal loan), or for you to "place the 90% in an escrow account", with a "draw plan" .

I've refused customers who want the new boat to "look just like their 1973 custom Dodge van" . My problem is that it would have our name on it, I would not be happy building it, sometimes money does not fix all problems . Custom boats always end up better when the workers enjoy what they are doing .

No builder wants your 10% down, and end up stuck with a hull they can't sell, IF you don't follow thru on the purchase .

Things happen, I had a guy LOSE HIS JOB, right in the middle of a new 20' blown V-drive build .

Most "west coast builders" (thanks for pointing out some of the differences), WHO CARE FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS and their reputations, will get the money (beg, borrow, title loan), buy the parts, fix the problems and make their customers WHOLE as quickly as they can .

And others, don't operate like they have long term goals .............
 

rrrr

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Drunken Sailor, building $200K boats on spec is unrelated to having sufficient operating capital to build boats ordered by customers. Don't confuse the two.

IMO having a $1 million line of credit isn't that big a deal. If a builder is making ten boats a year, that's double the amount of credit carried. Even $750K would allow the builder to kick out two boats at a time.

The usual problem with obtaining a LOC is meeting lending requirements. The company has to have been in business for a few years, have a consistent level of sales, and the business and owner must have a good credit record. It's routine for the bank to require a personal guarantee by the owner.

These same requirements should be what a prospective purchaser looks for. I don't know the details of Ultra Boats v4.0, but it sounds they are on pretty shaky ground.

If you're gonna shell out over $100K in cash with no way to recover it if things go sideways, close scrutiny of the guy taking your money is in order. If the banks require personal guarantees, maybe you should too.

I have to admit I have no experience with this type of transaction.

The most expensive boat I've owned cost $80K. It was a Chaparral, I've been personal friends with the family that owns the dealership for years, and my long time banker just had me come by and sign my name a couple of times.
 

Done-it-again

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Almost guarantee that no bank is going to give a west coast boat builder a line of credit.........specially nothing over 150-200k
 

namba860

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Why though? They already build better boats.
We all know these companys build better boats, but Ultra has some pretty nice hulls that look and perform different then others. Instead of just killing the Ultra line it would be nice to build them in a more professional way just like Nordic is now doing with Hallett. Im not saying that Hallett was not professional by any means im merely saying don't waste the molds bulid them under a different roof and they will come!
 

ilmormark

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Had a similar situation with the underfunded ding dong from Carrera. After i finally had it with their excuses drove to Hemet picked up the boat and all the parts on the way home dropped it off at BOBS place in Corona (Shockwave) Asked Bob to do it as if it were his and he finished a cluster that was delivered to him absolutely perfect for a reasonable price!!!!!!! Call Bob at Shockwave
 

Ouderkirk

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When I custom built my $200K+ boat with Eliminator I didn't have to pay a dime until the boat was completed. Maybe that's not the norm anymore.
Yep...Custom boat or not. Nothing until delivery. I would think that them asking for money while under construction indicates an under capitalized business and trouble ahead.
 

DC-88

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I had a new dcb built back in the day. We made progress payments on it as it went along and all was good . In my world it's like when I build a spec house and decide to sell it in the framing phase (which is almost always way more work and a big mistake btw). No way in hell I'm waiting till close of escrow to get paid when someone else (their wife typically) is picking the colors, cabinets, countertops, tile, roof, stucco...no way I want to get stuck trying to sell that potentially ugly pos when they back out with little or no skin in the game---
 

Ouderkirk

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I will add one more thing. On Brunswicks Q3 2017 earnings report they did 309.3mm in sales. Which netted them an operating earnings of drumroll please 0.1mm. They did 412.1mm in sales in Q2 to earn 22.7mm and 382.7mm in sales in Q1 to earn 3.2mm. Thats over a billion dollars in sales to earn 26mm in profit.
I do wonder what the actual margin is on a custom boat from some of the more established builders, i.e. Eliminator, Howard, etc.

With a 2.6% margin on sales, Brunswick must have a lot of fixed costs, and some pretty serious overhead with 45 distinct boat lines worldwide, plus Mercury Marine.

If we assume Brunswick's margins @ 2.6% of a $200K+ boat, is like $5200.00 of profit after the cost of materials, rent, utilities, and salaries but that is only for the time it would take to construct and finish. call it 1-2 months tops.
 

DrunkenSailor

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I agree with about 90% of what you said in post #69, but in this post, there is another side to this story .

If you came in and wanted to put "10% down" on your own special "pink, purple, and green gel coat design", most reputable builders would require you to provide your financing papers (private boat loan, personal loan), or for you to "place the 90% in an escrow account", with a "draw plan" .

I've refused customers who want the new boat to "look just like their 1973 custom Dodge van" . My problem is that it would have our name on it, I would not be happy building it, sometimes money does not fix all problems . Custom boats always end up better when the workers enjoy what they are doing .

No builder wants your 10% down, and end up stuck with a hull they can't sell, IF you don't follow thru on the purchase .

Things happen, I had a guy LOSE HIS JOB, right in the middle of a new 20' blown V-drive build .

Most "west coast builders" (thanks for pointing out some of the differences), WHO CARE FOR THEIR CUSTOMERS and their reputations, will get the money (beg, borrow, title loan), buy the parts, fix the problems and make their customers WHOLE as quickly as they can .

And others, don't operate like they have long term goals .............
Totally agree with all of this. LOL at the 73 Dodge Van. I think i've seen that boat at Parker. Going hungry to make sure that you make a customer whole is an aspect of the industry that has been lost with many companies.

Drunken Sailor, building $200K boats on spec is unrelated to having sufficient operating capital to build boats ordered by customers. Don't confuse the two.
Completely agree; however, while they may be completely different things one can definitely impact the other as the unexpected does and will happen.

I do wonder what the actual margin is on a custom boat from some of the more established builders, i.e. Eliminator, Howard, etc.

With a 2.6% margin on sales, Brunswick must have a lot of fixed costs, and some pretty serious overhead with 45 distinct boat lines worldwide, plus Mercury Marine.

If we assume Brunswick's margins @ 2.6% of a $200K+ boat, is like $5200.00 of profit after the cost of materials, rent, utilities, and salaries but that is only for the time it would take to construct and finish. call it 1-2 months tops.
Brunswick separates their three business lines on their quarterly reports. Marine Engine, Boat Hulls and sports equipment. The marine motor division is killing it as you can probably guess. The sports section wasn't doing to bad either. They had some issues with the hurricane on the boat production side in FL for the third quarter but overall you can get an idea that the boat building section is not their money maker. Powering the boats is.
 

throttle

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a lot of things wrong with this and other deals, wtf?!
 

GRADS

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I thought RD said Rusty from Ultra was going to comment on this when the site got back up?
 

J.P.

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What a sad deal for a trusting buyer dealing with someone with no conscience, I mean talking him into letting him finish the boat after showing up with the law to pick it up and then pulling the parts off the boat and trailer when he left. What a rotten Mufkr.
 

Blue

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Sadly alot of good people seem to fall prey to business pressures when things aren't going well. I do believe a handful are not intending to screw anyone and then are in over there head and say Fuk it in a panic. Did Rusty get in business to pull a OCM? I highly doubt it. Did the boat biz eat him alive? Likely and that's saddening. I've seen alot of good people and business's spiral and end up in shit creek. Remodels gone wrong etc. Hope there is resolve here Rusty seems like the type of guy that would rather make this right instead of screwing someone. Probably to late and his ATM is spitting out IOU's but im betting he's had many sleepless nights trying to keep Ultra afloat
 

dribble

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Sadly alot of good people seem to fall prey to business pressures when things aren't going well. I do believe a handful are not intending to screw anyone and then are in over there head and say Fuk it in a panic. Did Rusty get in business to pull a OCM? I highly doubt it. Did the boat biz eat him alive? Likely and that's saddening. I've seen alot of good people and business's spiral and end up in shit creek. Remodels gone wrong etc. Hope there is resolve here Rusty seems like the type of guy that would rather make this right instead of screwing someone. Probably to late and his ATM is spitting out IOU's but im betting he's had many sleepless nights trying to keep Ultra afloat
To an extent that is true but a solid business plan with sufficient working capital will help to prevent these things. I don't remember hearing that any customers of the former member here who started his own boat company got ripped off when the company didn't make it. Some investors I'm sure took a beating as did the founder but unless I'm mistaken, it is my understanding that all commitments to customers, vendors and employees were met.
 

Blue

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To an extent that is true but a solid business plan with sufficient working capital will help to prevent these things. I don't remember hearing that any customers of the former member here who started his own boat company got ripped off when the company didn't make it. Some investors I'm sure took a beating as did the founder but unless I'm mistaken, it is my understanding that all commitments to customers, vendors and employees were met.
I hear ya there just saying I don't think Rusty planned this to happen. Hell I started my first business on almost zero capital but I wasn't moving hundreds of thousands of dollars either. It's a shit sandwich for sure
 

Ziggy

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The moment a biz owner decides he can pull a fast one and takes the first step into the quagmire of bullshitting a customer he very often has sealed his own fate.
By the time the second and third steps have been taken into the bs quagmire it's basically too late.
.
I consider myself lucky being that the timeframe this customer placed his order is about when I ordered my new boat, which I've been driving for 2 years now.
 

AzGeo

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Great to see that all the "boat business experts here" have this all figured out .

I'll still keep praying that all these unresolved messes will be corrected soon .....
 

rvrrun

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The moment a biz owner decides he can pull a fast one and takes the first step into the quagmire of bullshitting a customer he very often has sealed his own fate.
By the time the second and third steps have been taken into the bs quagmire it's basically too late.
"Giggety"
 

jeffymurray1957

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Rusty has had a couple of builds (I think three or four?) that seem to be never ending.. last I had heard he was actually delivering some boats and things were getting better.

The owner of this boat (Robert) reached out to me a few months back and it sounded like the boat was 95% done and just needed a few things to be completed..

He claims that when he went to go pick it up Rusty wouldn't release the boat to him. Then when he came back on the agreed upon time the boat was taken apart and missing a bunch of stuff.

These are the pics of the boat from when it was picked up.

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I'm not sure what stage of production it was in before..

I'm not sure how Rusty makes it right at this point.. I'd guess he would at a minimum have to deliver the balance of the missing parts..

Rusty stripped the boat and never gave him anything else. My friend also took his boat out of there after waiting 2 years and 120,000 later took the boat with no engine. I would not recommend Rusty to anyone
 

Magic34

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This is 1 reason why I bought 2 Halletts , They took 5K deposit , kept check , did not cash check until boat build was started , then balance due was when boat was picked up .
Yeah... not the same in my experience with Hallett. $200k cash down + prepaid stereo on a 40. 2+ years to build and find out it is done when it is on the street party at desert storm and on the water for the weekend, employees had it. The salesman during the street party said it has a great stereo, I told him I knew because we paid for it. I ended up paying the balance, picking up the boat and selling for $126,500 without using it. Love those guys.

When Ron built my last 34 magic cat, $15k down, boat was ready in 8 weeks. Ordered my cat and Hallett within 30 days of one another. Sold the cat and bought the Formula in that same period of time before the Hallett was ever ready.
 
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HALLETT BOY

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Yeah... not the same in my experience with Hallett. $200k cash down + prepaid stereo on a 40. 2+ years to build and find out it is done when it is on the street party at desert storm and on the water for the weekend, employees had it. The salesman during the street party said it has a great stereo, I told him I knew because we paid for it. I ended up paying the balance, picking up the boat and selling for $126,500 without using it. Love those guys.

When Ron built my last 34 magic cat, $15k down, boat was ready in 8 weeks. Ordered my cat and Hallett within 30 days of one another. Sold the cat and bought the Formula in that same period of time before the Hallett was ever ready.
Wow !
 

27shadow

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Wow this scares me to read this. I am in a similar situation with Ultra at the moment. My boat is not a new build it is an insurance claim rebuild. I have been unable to get a hold of Rusty for some time now. I have called him multiple times left voicemails, text messages. I am a very patient person because I'm a business owner and when we remodel a house I know if I have a patient customer I go above and beyond to make sure the job is perfect, I was hoping this was going to be the same case with my boat. I do not live in AZ and with me being a business owner and father it makes it hard for me to just run by and check on it. Does anybody know much of an update on Ultra? Has anyone been by there lately? I would like to see if someone has seen my boat there.
 
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Xring01

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27shadow,

Wow, wishing you some luck on this... Your comment just adds to the narrative.

I dont have a dog in this fight, but I do have a pretty good understanding of people and business.

Sometimes the best person at any trade, fails miserably in owning a business, because they are ignorant on running a business. Being a great mechanic doesnt mean you can be a successful auto shop owner.

Trades and business are different skillsets. Unless you take the time to strengthen your weakness, or have the $$$ to hire people to do it.. then failure is the most likely outcome.

Keep us updated, hate to see any others on this site get screwed over..
 

kiethco

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Rusty did two of my boats at the same time last spring. Transom rebuild, motor swap, one motor rebuilt. This is just how he operates, everyone's different. I was able to call him a couple of months ago, he answered and said he'd get to my carpet job. Now granted, I didn't get any follow up and I knew he was busy on other projects so I just took the boat to Long Beach last week for the carpet. I'd use Rusty again in a heartbeat. Others have had recent visits (last week) and operations seem normal there. (Rusty normal, lol)
Rusty is very talented and I'll use him in the future, wherever he's working or building.
 

27shadow

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Rusty did two of my boats at the same time last spring. Transom rebuild, motor swap, one motor rebuilt. This is just how he operates, everyone's different. I was able to call him a couple of months ago, he answered and said he'd get to my carpet job. Now granted, I didn't get any follow up and I knew he was busy on other projects so I just took the boat to Long Beach last week for the carpet. I'd use Rusty again in a heartbeat. Others have had recent visits (last week) and operations seem normal there. (Rusty normal, lol)
Rusty is very talented and I'll use him in the future, wherever he's working or building.
Don't get me wrong I'm really trying to give Rusty the benefit of my doubt. My boat has been there 3 years this coming St. Patrick's day for new interior, stereo, minor gel repair (little chips etc) you may have seen my boat there its silver with purple flames. Please do not take post as I am trying to slander Rusty or Ultra.
I started a new thread for my topic as I did not know if someone would reply to an old thread.
 
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