Ok I was not going to jump in...
Cost are up but really the cost of the actual materials come on, that is Carbon Cloth, Foam, and Epoxy is just a small fraction of total cost, plus the boats are built in SE Asia where labor is next to nothing.....I'm not buying the spin on materials causing a 50% increase in cost.
I bought a full roll of carbon for $2500, 10 gallons of west system epoxy for $800 I’ll throw $500 for the foam that is $3800 and enough to build several Cats with less than half of the roll of Carbon used.
Materials ARE way up, but this is not the major cause of the cost.
It is the expectations of what people are purchasing that is driving the cost escalation.
Lamination materials are typically sold by the pound. An H16 hull weighs more than an F16 hull, but there is a huge difference in the labor that goes into one. Controlled resin contents and more importantly the finish work that goes into a modern hull to finish seams, keels etc. Nobody wants a performance boat with H16 style hull joints. We used to get by with stamped metal blocks, stay adjusters etc. Now we buy a boat and it has to have carbon blocks – really. It was 2-3 bucks for a stamped strip with holes in them for the side stays, now we expect 45 dollar sta-masters or 75+ calibrated turnbuckles., high tech tapered lines etc.
Horizontal cut Dacron sails were norm, now we have to have radial cut Pentex, carbon, whatever super sails to compete. Some 5 times the amount of sewing and a huge jump in material cost.
All these things add up to way in excess of double and if you really look at what people are getting for their money, I would venture to say the cost of an F18 or other performance boat is a better value, relative to what you are purchasing, now than the boats that were being raced 20 years ago. Do we need those things – that is debatable, but it is what we have progressed to.
If costs are the driving factor, then hey there is a class still for you – Rick here would love to see everyone on Waves.