Sail America Introduces YachtWorld.com’s
Sail America is pleased to introduce a new monthly report of sailboat brokerage sales, courtesy of one of its members, YachtWorld.com, the world’s leading marine brokerage sales website. A report of the previous month’s activity and annual trends will be issued during the second week of each month.
—Jonathan Banks, Executive Director
It will surprise nobody that sailboat sales have been slower nationally in 2009 than in 2008. This segment of the market has been harder hit than power (probably because a year ago, the powerboat market was already depressed by other factors, including the high cost of fuel). Through five months of the year, as reported by member brokers of YachtWorld.com, unit sales of sailboats are down by a third, from close to 3,000 in 2008 to less than 2,000 in 2009. The collective valuation of boats that have been sold is off even more, from $236 million to $131 million (a decline of 45 per cent).
Sales in the month of May showed slight improvement, with unit sales of 545 sailboats compared with unit sales of 757 sailboats in May 08 (a decline of approximately 28 percent) and dollar value at $38 million compared with $67 million last year (a decline of 43%).
The impact of the economic recession can also be seen in the breakdown of sales by boat size, with unit sales and dollar valuations off the most for boats 46 feet and above—40 percent or more. By comparison, year-to-date sales of mid-size boats are not as far off, down by roughly a third.
It is likely that sailboat unit sales in the United States will show improvement in coming months compared to 2008 because of last year’s second-half slowdown. Whether valuations will begin to make any significant recovery remains an open question.
—John Burnham, Editorial Director, YachtWorld.com
Note: YachtWorld.com’s proprietary database, SoldBoats.com, measures boat sales reported by member yacht brokers; the data, which is unaudited, is available only to members, except in aggregated form as reported above. YachtWorld.com is owned by Dominion Enterprises, in Norfolk, Virginia.