Brokerage Sales Off 20 Percent – But Big Boats See Lift
For three consecutive months, United States brokerage sailboat sales have been steady at 500+ boats and roughly $40 million value, based on figures reported by broker members of YachtWorld.com. Averaged against the same three months in 2008, which were anything but steady, unit sales are down approximately 20 percent and the valuation of boats sold is down about 25 percent.
At the end of June we reported that, compared to the same month last year, unit sales were down only 12 percent and the value of sailboat brokerage sales was only down by 8 percent. That appears to have been an anomaly because of the dip in sales registered in June ’08, perhaps as a result of the timing of sales in adjacent months. Compared with July ’08, unit sales in July ’09 were down by 23% and the value of boats sold was down by 21%.
Nonetheless, while the market remains weaker than in 2008, it has shown some improvement. Earlier in 2009, unit sales were down closer to 30 percent and boat valuation was off by more than 40 percent.
Sales by length in July ’09 remained relatively weak in most size ranges. As in previous months, the under-26-foot category showed the smallest year-over-year decline compared to other size ranges of boats up to 55 feet. But at the far end of the scale, July was a great month for brokers selling 55-plus-footers. Several more boats were reported sold than a year ago. However, that only now brings big-boat unit sales to parity for ‘09 with most of the other categories—down about 30 percent.
Looking at the value of boats sold year to date, big boats remain the big loser, with only $13.54 million in sales. A year ago, brokers reported $29.01 million in sales for the same seven-month period.
—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.