Why does a 37 footer cost more than a 50 footer?


I tested two boats recently which, taken together told quite a story about the extremes of modern boat building. One was 37ft LOA, the other 50ft LOA. Once had a base price, inc VAT of £172,950, the other £203,275. Fair enough you might think. Except that the 50 footer cost £172,950 and the 37 footer £203,275. So what were these outrageously expensive and outrageously cheap boats? The Malo 37 and the Bavaria 50.
How can the two companies arrive at such different price structures? Well part of the story lies in the two pictures above of the storage units in the forecabins of the two boats. I hope I don’t have to say which is which. The quality, attention to detail and cost of materials used on the Malo are far ahead of the Bavaria. But this alone is not enough. Malo offers a personal service in which discussing the layout, specification and extra equipment may take years -certainly longer than actually building the boat which, itself, takes many times longer than it does to build a Bavaria. Bavaria build over 3,000 boats a year, Malo 24 (of which half come to Britain). So who would pay £203,275 for a 37 footer when they could have a 50 footer plus £30,000 change?
Well, I suspect that someone looking at the Malo would never consider a Bavaria and some one looking for a 50 footer wouldn’t consider something as small as 37ft. A Malo is almost never the choice of a first time buyer; Bavaria pretty much target them. Horses for courses, in other words. The Bavaria has huge amounts of space, lots of toys and sails well enough for most cruising needs. The Malo, as a cruiser, is simply right in every possibly way and offers huge pride of ownership. I know where my money would go – if I had any!