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Blog entry by Tim Pletcher posted 01-25-2010 05:22 PM 850 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How about a business that builds furniture specifically for marine applications? I am considering building a new business that makes furnishings specifically for marine and other similar settings. Does anyone know of businesses that already make furniture specifically for Marine and or boats?

-- http://plasticlumber.timpletcher.com/



7 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112499 posts in 2297 days


#1 posted 01-25-2010 05:27 PM

Have you done a web search? I also know boat sales are way down. But it’s a market that may be limited.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Tim Pletcher's profile

Tim Pletcher

88 posts in 1793 days


#2 posted 01-25-2010 05:29 PM

I have not yet – and yes your right boat sales are down arent they? I figure that although people arent buying new they may be spending mony on their used boats tec…
it would be just one aspect or niche market that I would plan to aim for because as you say it would certainly be limited

-- http://plasticlumber.timpletcher.com/

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1191 posts in 2278 days


#3 posted 01-25-2010 05:37 PM

Most boats have the furnishings built in, with little space in the saloon for anything else. With that being said, I’ve used a teak TV tray in the cockpit as a dining table for years. I’ve also been tempted to buy a hull and build it out myself in a Craftsman style. It would be a “bungaboat”. The only problem there (other than the years it would take), is all the sharp corners inherent in that style (not something you want in rough seas).

There are a lot of curves in boat woodworking (i.e. fiddles, hulls, etc.), which makes it considerably more difficult than regular woodworking. Some manufacturers (e.g. Hanse) have gone with CNC produced parts to make the furniture match up with the hull perfectly. All of this is not to dissuade you. I’m just letting you know I’ve given some thought to this too, and I spend half my life on boats (soon to be all).

If you’re interested in making marine-grade outdoor furniture, then that’s a whole different ballgame. There are a lot of yacht clubs and yachties that have patios, decks, docks, etc. that love nice outdoor furniture. If it nautically themed/designed, then all the better.

Boats who have had their interior destroyed by lightening, fire, flood, etc. need a lot of work done, and the boat can be bought as salvage pretty cheaply, so investing in a custom interior might be an option.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Tim Pletcher's profile

Tim Pletcher

88 posts in 1793 days


#4 posted 01-25-2010 06:18 PM

Thank you captain skully! that’s very helpful actually! I’m planning on using HDPE (high density poly ethaline) to build the furniture / items since it is for the most part completely weather proof.

the company I work for during the day already makes outdoor furniture (and yes, there is a nautical collections!) so I’m looking to make non-competing items.

I work for Poly-wood Inc

-- http://plasticlumber.timpletcher.com/

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1488 posts in 2844 days


#5 posted 01-25-2010 09:41 PM

DB Fletcher seems to cater mostly to yachts. I’ve seen another couple of folks (one of whom seems to be deceased now, alas, ‘cause he did beautiful work and his web page has disappeared) that did curved lightweight cabinetry for yachts and airplanes (obviously weight isn’t as much of an issue for boats).

My local Festool dealer is a marine electronics shop that does a lot of fabrication out of something called “Starboard”, which seems a lot like HDPE. The stuff I’ve seen him working on when I’ve dropped by has mostly been things like new instrument panels, or battery compartments, stuff like that. Most of the work I’ve seen there has been about fairly open day fishing vessels, which is somewhat different from live-aboard interiors.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View Tim Pletcher's profile

Tim Pletcher

88 posts in 1793 days


#6 posted 01-25-2010 11:01 PM

interesting… thanks!

-- http://plasticlumber.timpletcher.com/

View eastside's profile

eastside

94 posts in 1981 days


#7 posted 01-27-2010 02:30 AM

Tim do your home work on this before you spend a lot of money. I worked in the custom yacht biss for a while in Rhode Island And everything on the interior is custom and made in shop by the factory. And if your targeting the high end people they want Teak. Teak is over $20.00 a BF now. Go into a marina that has a ships store and you’ll find all kinds small items on the shelf for boaters, mostly Teak. If your thinking furniture , then that will only fit on a larger yacht and that’s a tough market to break into. I’m not trying to be negative I just don’t want you to be naive.

-- Mike, Westport MA.

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