Slow Season for Sailboat Brokerage, But Sales Improve Over 2009
In January 2010, for the third month in a row, U.S. sailboat brokerage sales decisively out-paced the same month in the previous year, according to reporting YachtWorld.com member brokers. Both unit sales and valuation rose 26 percent compared to January 2009, with 365 boats sold for a collective $28 million.
By length, mid-size boats from 26 to 55 feet showed increased unit sales of 16 to 30 percent. Leading the way were 36- to 45-footers, with an increase in sales from 107 boats sold in January 2009 to 139 in January 2010, a 29.9 percent gain.
Generally speaking, smaller boats were selling better. Valuations were up in January by $5.6 million among boats in all categories less than 45 feet long. By contrast, among boats above that size, valuation was flat, year over year. This may have been an anomaly due to the length of time the very largest of these boats had been on the market—an average of 745 days!—which is nearly double the norm.
The worst stretch for sailboat brokerage sales during the recession was in the traditionally slow winter months, November 2008 through February 2009. Unit sales dropped below 400 boats per month, and for two months, below 300 boats. Sales figures over the same period have shown significant year-over-year improvement, but both units and valuation are still well behind a more normal year. For example, in 2007, 439 boats were reported sold in January at a total value of $41.6 million, so the recent unit sales are down about 17 percent and values are down by a third.
—John Burnham, Editorial Director, YachtWorld.com
Sail America has teamed up with YachtWorld.com to provide a report of sailboat brokerage sales. Each month Sail America will distribute a report of the previous month’s activity and annual trends.