MIDDLE OF MARKET HOLDS VALUE AS U.S. SAILBOAT
Sailboat sales by U.S. brokerage firms were 7 percent lower in March than in the same month a year earlier, with 474 boats sold, down from 509 in March 2010. The total value of sales was down by 16 percent, from $41 million to $34 million. Brokerage members of YachtWorld.com reported these sales in the proprietary database, SoldBoats.com, and March was the ninth consecutive month in which unit sales were down incrementally from the previous year.
Viewed from a glass-half-full perspective, the 474 boats and $34 million in sales in March were the highest unit sales and sales valuation for a single month since August 2010. In addition, although first quarter sales dropped 12 percent from 1,232 boats in 2010 to 1,087 in 2011, the total value of sales was only 7 percent lower, from $96 million to $89 million. The average price at which a boat sold has therefore been higher so far this year.
In March, the middle of the market had the strongest sales. Smaller boats, 26 to 35 feet, were down about 2 percent, from 248 boats to 243, but values were up 9 percent, from $9 to $10 million. Among boats 36 to 45 feet, sales were up 7 percent, from 164 to 176, and values increased 2 percent, to $18 million. However, big-boat sales were significantly lower, with only 24 boats over 46 feet selling, a drop from 43 boats sold a year earlier.
Year to date, sales of 26- to 45-foot sailboats were down 8 percent; total value of those sales fell 6 percent. On the other hand, brokers reported that sales of boats over 46 feet and shorter than 26 feet were off 20 percent or more.
The average time to complete a sale rose in March, to 316 days, bouncing back to time periods on the market that are similar to spring and early summer 2010. Year to date, the average selling time is slightly lower than 2010, at 301.
–John Burnham, Editorial Director, Dominion Marine Media
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.