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Any Burger Updates?

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by olderboater, Feb 18, 2022.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    What made me ask this is the Yacht News post on the Burger 120 RPH. That design was developed years ago as were many other designs, but they've never built one.

    To my knowledge in the last 8 years or more, they've only built four recreational vessels, three 48' boats and the 103' Northland yachtfisher. On the commercial side, I believe they have a ferry they're building and they've built a couple of Chicago Tour boats and a boat for the Niagara river gorge.

    Am I missing anything? How many employees have they retained with this low level of activity? What about their financial health? If they received an order for a 120' RPH or a 214' Tri-deck, could they do it successfully and timely? I ask because they did have problems with one of their final recreational builds which was outside their normal wheelhouse over 10 years ago and I would love to hear convincing arguments that they could, in fact, build the 120 and the 214 and all the other designs they show but have never built. It seems they would be somewhere between a start-up and a seasoned, experienced builder, and I'd love to hear more about where on that scale they might fall.

    While I never bemoan the loss of Trinity as I think they became a total chaotic and irreputable mess, I do feel sad over the loss of Burger as an active motoryacht builder. I still think of the quality and beauty of Top Times which was reviewed here and we had the pleasure of chartering.
  2. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    "Blue Boat Home", "Blue" and "Set Free" were built from basically the same platform and design. The "Northland" was one of the last nice ones they built before those 48-footers. They were good between the time of "Top Times" and "Sycara IV" and others like "Ingot".
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I know. I just don't know their capabilities or what is going on there today.
  4. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    To be fair, the other US based custom yacht builders haven't had busy order books over the past few years either. Increased competition from foreign custom yacht builders is partially to blame, but also because production line boat builders have increased the size of their offerings. I've been aboard a number of Burgers and I would put their workmanship up against the best from any yard. BTW, the boat OB eluded to that was outside of Burger's wheelhouse was also outside the capabilities of many other custom yacht builders, unless they were a naval shipyard that also had a yacht division.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    And they went to Feadship for a build after Burger. It was a great example of "We need the business, we'll agree to anything, we'll figure out how to do it." Same thing Nordhavn did with the 120 agreeing to do everything to Westport standards.

    What other US based custom yacht builders? Really the only builder who comes to mind is Westport and they're not custom in the sense we're discussing. And now, for very different reasons you have no yachts from Hatteras. I think the production builders have changed things a lot. I put Westport as the US representative, but now you have so many choices from Europe in the 150' and under range.

    Orin Edson believed strongly in doing whatever you could to keep the line going and would fund speculative builds which nearly always sold before completed. I do believe Burger could compete favorably against those like Heesen and Moonen, but if they want to be in the recreational yacht business, I believe they're going to need the funding and willingness to jump ahead and build one of the new designs. The buyer needs proof of concept. So many people now building in that size range. Sunseeker has five boats over 100'. Sanlorenzo has a full range. Ferretti has added them to the Pershing and the Riva line. Burger, at their peak, could build quality none of the production builders can match. However, that was then and what is now? You don't retain that ability automatically and it's not a year or two later, but ten years since they had serious recreational building in those ranges. My impression is they're not going to be aggressive so they're going to build what comes their way easily and that will limit them to where they are today.

    The only thing limiting building in the US is investment. The British and Italian builders all got it. Chinese and Turkish builders have it. Most of the builders in those four countries have gotten it from large industrialists. Other than Chouest, no one has put new money into US building. The last one was Felix Sabates and his strategy actually removed the profits from Trinity. Then of course Luken did the same to Christensen. And we need direct, primary investors, not venture capitalists.

    Looking at 120-180', I've been to the factories and on boats in that range from Heesen, Sanlorenzo, Sunseeker, and Fipa (now Next), and all build good boats, but none of that list finish with the quality Burger once had.
  6. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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    Delta and Nordlund come to mind.
    JadePanama likes this.
  7. Riknpat

    Riknpat Senior Member

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    I write this more as a question than a comment. It seems that the world appetite for all aluminum yachts has shrunk and dried up almost entirely in North America. Holland soldiers on (Heesen, Van der Valk, Mulder) and one or two in Brazil but most others have thrown in the towel at least on aluminum hulls. Some builders eg Cheoy Lee are even replacing the superstructures on their steel hulls with GRP. Burgers last big build was their first venture into a steel hulled yacht in years. I know Burger built its name in aluminum but times seem to have changed and all of the 'new' offerings seem to be all aluminum boats. Are they flogging a dead horse?
  8. jsschieff

    jsschieff Senior Member

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    It seems odd that there are so few custom yacht yards in the US. US buyers represent a large chunk of the yacht market globally. The US manages to build great naval vessels, we build oil supply and other commercial vessels, we build complex airplanes, we have exemplary engineering talent, and gushers of private equity money looking for a place to invest. The skills are there.

    There appears to be an opportunity but Trinity is gone, Palmer Johnson is gone, Broward is gone, Derecktor no longer makes yachts, Lazzara is gone, not sure about Christiansen, and Burger is just hanging on. Delta is really the only thriving custom yacht builder here and Westport appears to be the sole US builder of large semi-custom yachts.

    I hope Burger carries on. Burger's Northland passed by my place recently and it is a fine looking yacht.
  9. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    I know that I’m a fan. I suggested to them recently that they consider buying up and renovating some of their vintage yachts to fill a void in the market for the class and style.
  10. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    That is a unique idea. The appetite for restomods in the automotive space may be something a yacht builder could contemplate. As you say, buy the old and refit by original factory updated systems and furnishings, overhaul and or repower, spit shine and let the market find out what’s up.
  11. YachtForums

    YachtForums Administrator

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  12. rcleveringa

    rcleveringa New Member

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    For clarification, Burger is currently very busy with two large yacht new build projects and one commercial project.
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  13. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Since you are in sales and marketing for them, surely you could share what model boats they are building and if the builds have actually been started. Surprises me a bit as they've always been quick to announce projects on their website and elsewhere. I know that I, and others, will follow with great interest.
  14. Rodger

    Rodger Senior Member

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    Listed below are a few new Burgers I took through the Welland Canal on their Maiden Voyage
    Lady Grace 107’ Sept 1998
    Seaquestor 85’ Oct 1999
    Simaron 85’ June 1999
    Fae Lon 118’ August 1999
    Jubillie 83’ May 2000
    Sara Beth 109’ S/F October 2001
    Lady Larsa 85’ June 2001
    Anne Maria 107’ October 2002
    Wilmil 90’ September 2002
    Lady Grace Marie 122’ June 2002
    Best N Show 105’ 2003
    Top Times 112’ October 2003
    Wow 107’ October 2004
    Lady Pat 98’ September 2004
    Tenacity 116’ July 2005
    Aretha I 127’ 2007
    To Kalon 101’ October 2008
    Sycara IV 15o’September 2009
    Sea Owel 145’ October 2010
    Lady Gale Marie 140’ November 2010
    Northland 103’ December 2017
  15. MM3

    MM3 New Member

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    x2 - would love to hear more.
  16. leeky

    leeky Senior Member

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    So you think that recleveringa needs to be prompted before he will reveal what he knows is going on at Burger?
  17. rcleveringa

    rcleveringa New Member

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    I can confirm that these vessels are under construction. Unfortunately, I am not at liberty to divulge the specifics at this time.
  18. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    how convenient

    secret boat building, that’s a new one.
    hat4349 and gr8trn like this.
  19. Yacht News

    Yacht News YF News Editor

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    :cool:
  20. rtrafford

    rtrafford Senior Member

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    Is there anything you can share? While I can completely appreciate privacy of an owner, NDA's, and the like, any morsel of information is like catnip to me....