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Wilderness Systems Ultralites?

I recently noticed that Wilderness Systems has dropped the Ultralites (Pungo and Tarpon 120) from its range. Does anyone know why? Maybe economy of manufacturing, were they not selling or were they having problems with them?

I'm surprised as these boats seemed to be a good value in a "lighter than PE, cheaper than PRO" choice.

Comments

  • quality control problems
    -- Last Updated: Nov-21-13 10:41 PM EST --

    my take is that each model required different levels of attention in manufacture that was beyond what they would/could budget for. The thermoformed technology has been around but it seemed like it was a continual learning curve for them. ie. one Pungo 120 where the coaming was not attached over 1/3 it's circumference. Tarpon 120 where a damaged stern revealed inadequate adhesion over an 12" length of seam bond.

    the problem isn't the material, seems to me it's that they don't invest in the labor to make a consistant product that's different than conventional rotomolded plastic

  • that's a shame
    When they were able to do it right, they were some sweet and surprisingly sturdy craft.
  • Materials pricing
    The ABS sheets started becoming more expensive in the mid-2000s, and with the reduction in manufacturing costs for foreign-built composites (which CD, WS, and Necky have all gone to, for at least some of their boats), there really wasn't a significant price savings to be had anymore from ABS boats.

    ABS boats always made sense as the mid-step between composite and poly, but not when the price difference between ABS and composite was only a few hundred dollars.
  • Materials Pricing
    That's a very interesting take. Thank you!
  • Lightweight hulls
    When you want to build something lightweight, it gets fragile or expensive pretty quickly. This product got too fragile. ABS can't compete with composites for durability at those weights.
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