U.S. Sailboat Brokerage Market: Mid-Size Boats Selling in April
In April, the U.S. brokerage sailboat market once again made gains against the same month a year earlier. Sales reported by yacht brokerage members of YachtWorld.com showed an increase in unit sales from 425 boats in April 2009 to 547 boats in April 2010. The latter nearly equals the best sales month in 2009, the normal seasonal high point of June (550 boats). Collective valuation of all sales increased as well, year over year, growing 34 percent from $27 million to $37 million.
The best-selling size of sailboats comparing April ’09 and April ‘10 were those in the 26- to 35-foot category, up 24 percent with 282 boats sold, and the 36- to 45-foot category, up 57 percent with 187 boats sold.
Boat valuation is in those size ranges has increased even more. In the 36- to 45-foot size, total sales are up 72 percent, from $11 million to $19 million. In the 26- to 35-foot category, the gain was 47 percent, from roughly $8 million to $12 million.
Year to date, the 36- to 45-foot size has had the greatest percentage increase, with 630 boats sold, a gain of 36 percent.
One surprise in April is that sales of boats over 45 feet slowed down to a pace almost a third less than in 2009, and volume was down from $8 million to $5 million. Year to date, sales have increased among boats this size from 92 boats in ’09 to 118 in ’10. Valuations are also higher, up from $23 million to $31 million. Whether this is a one-month anomaly for this small segment of the sailboat market or it’s a new trend, we’ll have to wait to see.
As indicated in last month’s report, brokerage sailboat sales volume has so far been consistently above 2009 levels and not far behind 2008, which began to cool off in the summer. If brokers can sell 600-plus boats during the summer, they’ll be at 2008 levels, although still well below 2007, when 700 to 800 boats were sold during each summer month.
—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.