U.S. yacht brokerage sales increased seasonally in April and remained ahead of their 2015 pace for the second month in a row.
The 20-boat gain was unremarkable, as 2,926 were sold during the month, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.
The total value of sales was down 2 percent, mainly because of lower prices paid in the superyacht category — boats larger than 80 feet.
For the first four months of 2016, compared with the prior year, unit sales were up 2 percent, with 8,500 boats sold, but the total price paid fell 5 percent, to $1.17 billion.
This month we chose a small segment of the U.S. brokerage market to review — sailing multihulls — and we feature the nine most-sold brands in the adjacent table. One reason we chose to spotlight this segment is because multihulls sold in brokerage are generally more recent models than other sailboats for sale.
During the period from April 1, 2015, until March 31 of this year the median model year of a monohull sail cruiser was 1992. For sail catamarans and trimarans it was 2002.
During this 12-month period 292 multihulls were sold for $56 million — an average price of $191,866. That’s a little more than twice the average price of a monohull cruiser sold during the period, though admittedly the purchaser sails home afterward with at least twice as many hulls.
The median length of a multihull sold during the period was 36 feet, which might surprise the casual observer of the many large cruising cats for sale at boat shows. This is mostly attributable to the fact that the most-sold brand was Gemini, a cruising catamaran with models in the 30- to 37-foot range, and the third-most-sold brand was the performance-oriented Corsair, with trimaran models of 24 to 36 feet. The average prices for these two brands, both below $100,000, attest to their relative affordability.
Larger cruising cats dominate the rest of the top nine in this segment. Thirty-two Lagoon models sold for an average price of more than $330,000, nearly 20 percent of the dollar value of the entire segment. The other high-volume French cat builder, Fountaine Pajot, ranked No. 4 in sales, with 19 boats changing hands at an average price of slightly more than a quarter-million dollars.
Rounding out the top five were 16 Robertson & Caine boats, with a median length of 43 feet. These South African-built boats included Leopard catamarans and those originally built for charter with The Moorings and Sunsail.
Even though the Manta and PDQ brands (Nos. 6 and 7 in the table) are no longer in production, these North American-built boats continued to sell at an average price above $200,000.
No. 8, Seawind, is an Australian brand that has many smaller cruising cats on the market, and No. 9, Catana, is a French cat brand that sold for an average price that was more than $100,000 higher than any other brand in the top group.
John Burnham is the managing editor of Dominion Marine Media.
This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue.