After a slow January, the U.S. brokerage market bounced back in February as sales rose 3 percent from the same month a year earlier.
By the Numbers
Monthly reports on sales of new, used and brokerage boats provide the industry with the information to understand its market and follow consumer trends and buying patterns.
Center consoles are the most popular class of powerboat in many states, especially on the East Coast and Gulf Coast. They are generally versatile boats for fishing and family activities, and they’re capable in rougher water, although they can also be wet, which makes them preferred in warmer water.
Fishermen, pontoon-boat buyers and people who are attracted to small to midsize outboard boats have been leading the recreational boating industry’s rebound from the Great Recession. They may be getting some company.
Pontoons, also known as “party barges,” have been hot in the U.S. boat market for the last few years. We recently did a study of Boat Trader site visitors, counting every time they viewed a page with a pontoon model on it.
When it comes to the yacht brokerage market, Florida has long been the major player in the United States, and 2014 was no different.
Continuing to show surprising late-year strength, recreational boat sales achieved double-digit gains in December for the second month in a row.
2014 ended with a 6 percent gain in U.S. brokerage sales in December, but the year’s headlines were not positive. Sales for the year were down 5 percent, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.
What boat classes were most popular among visitors to Boat Trader last year? Center consoles, drawing nearly double the views of the No. 2 class — cruisers.
The numbers weren’t nearly as large as boatbuilders and dealers typically see at midsummer, but the industry had another strong month in November, posting double-digit sales gains.
In our annual review of Boat Trader’s inventory of boats listed for sale, this year we compared average asking prices within different length ranges for the period Nov. 1, 2013 to Oct. 31, 2014. There were two distinct trends, as reflected in the table above.