"If you want ABS that much I suggest you pay for the kit development, tooling, and the myriad of costs that are associated with marketing a full production kit. Count your pennies three years after the release. Subtract your up front cost (can't count your time here), and divide by the # of hours invested. The reason you cannot count your time here is that if you do, you will have a big fat zero in the numerator which leaves a very dissappointing solution to the division problem. Call me with results. I have learned the harsh realities of the marketplace the hardway. ROI means something!"
Actually, costs for a vacuformed hull are substantially less than a fiberglass hull. For one thing, the mold life is pretty much forever. Actual "pulls" are far less than with 'glass, too. Business wise, Albacore (and later, Marlin) were the best things I ever did. Museum quality? Not out of the box but as anyone who has seen my personal Albacore will agree with, museum quality is certainly achievable. (Thank you Dave Merriman)
What the lower costs allowed was a lower retail price which then means that a lot more people can own/build one. An Albacore or Marlin Deluxe Package, which includes everything except tools, glue, paint, and time will set you back less than $700. Compare that to $400 plus for a hull, another $400 for the WTC, and then another $300-400 for radio, battery, etc. (all included in a Deluxe Package) and it doesn't take an MBA to deduce which is going to sell better. To carry it a step further, an awful lot of Albacore owners have now moved on to other subs. Some scratch built, some 'glass hulls. But can anyone guess where the majority went to get all the other goodies that go in a 'glass hull/WTC they bought or built?
Yes, the Dumas subs are vacuformed and certainly not as complete as Albacore or Marlin but they still build into very nice looking and running boats....at a fraction of the cost of fiberglass.
The U.S. of A - Land of the Free BECAUSE of the Brave