As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, Powerboat1.com, is an intriguing video-based, do-it-yourself website for high-performance powerboat owners. The site is backed by array of high-performance marine product manufacturers and distributors including CP Performance and Hardin Marine. In each video, host Rick Bourns leads viewers step-by-step through simple to complex projects.
In researching a do-it-yourself project story published yesterday, I caught up with Bourns, who in addition to being the site’s on-air talent and primary spokesperson is the product and research lead at CP Performance, to learn a bit more about the state of the do-it-yourself powerboat upgrade, modification and restoration world—and the goals of Powerboat1.com. Here’s what he had to say.
Beyond his on-air talent role with Powerboat1.com, Rick Bourns has a deep knowledge and understanding of do-it-yourself projects and the high-performance marine products market.
So where do you see the biggest push in DIY projects right now?
Repower is where it’s at today. The LS engine architecture that has swept so many other industries already is finding its way everywhere. Sure, if you listen to our industry’s media you would think that if a boat doesn’t have an outboard it doesn’t exist. But that’s just not reality for most of the world.
Sure, the outboard is opening up a new landscape and we’re supporting that segment as well, but there remains an entire legion of boat owners who want serviceability and to manage the cost of their ownership in their boats going forward. They know they need a propulsion option that provides them easy access to parts and the information to keep their boats moving forward.
Are costs of entry and long-term ownership the key drivers in the repower push you’re seeing?
Yes. For 30-plus years, this industry thrived on buying a boat with an engine that shared common parts with those of the automotive industry. As the marine industry moved toward proprietary components we’ve quickly realized the cost of ownership has escalated dramatically.
The outboards of today represent a change in mindset. But while they are amazing powerplants for the most part, those boats are left to people with expendable income who can afford exotic supercars. This is like saying all people buy “new” homes while the majority of us have previously owned homes.
While so much of the media focus is on just new boats with outboards, the rest of the world is made up of capable do-it-yourselfers. You know, the ones you see wandering the isles of the big-box home improvement stores every weekend that remodel their kitchens or yards—they take huge pride of ownership in their accomplishments.
Define Powerboat1.com. What are the site’s short- and long-term goals?
Powerboat1 is truly a site developed for the preservation of the existing boat market. Not only are we producing yet more video examples of real-world projects, we will integrate a social component that allows others to share their very own projects during and at completion for others to enjoy.
What we recognized about the industry was numerous products were available with so little tech support to use them. Powerboat1 is driven to simplify these tasks and help build an army of capable people with a love of boating into restorers of watercraft.
The cost of a new boat has become far too much of a stretch for many and we don’t want boating to be like a classic car or exotic-car picnic where only the wealthy can enjoy and the rest of us watch. We want people to learn water sports and engage in a pastime that brings families and friends together. The new boat market cannot do that. We need entry-level price points to get people engaged in boating and we see helping empower people to fix boats as the solution.