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A six-month look at popular brokerage brands

Ever wonder which brand of yachts are most popular? At YachtWorld.com, we have some pretty good indicators and this month, instead of our usual report on the number and type of boats sold in the previous month, we took a look at a different set of numbers - brands listed, brands searched for and brands sold - spanning the six months of brokerage activity on the Web site between Oct. 1, 2009, and March 31, 2010.

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Due to its long-standing popularity and sales volume, we weren't surprised to find that Sea Ray came out ahead in all categories, but the numbers are still impressive. As of April 9, a total of 10,522 Sea Rays were listed for sale through YachtWorld.com worldwide - close to 10 percent of the 108,075 boats listed that featured a manufacturer's brand.

The second and third most commonly listed brands were Carver and Bayliner, in almost a dead heat, with 3,345 and 3,336 boats listed, respectively. Beneteau sells a mix of sail- and powerboats and had 3,146 boats listed, the majority of which were sailboats, making the company the leading sailboat manufacturer in this category. In fifth was Sunseeker with 2,309, followed by Jeanneau, Hatteras and Silverton, all with more than 2,000 boats listed.

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What brands were Web site visitors searching for? Sea Ray models again ranked first. Of the roughly 21 million searches made of the YachtWorld.com database of boats for sale, only 7.8 million specified a manufacturer name as a parameter. (Those searching use a wide variety of other parameters, such as boat length, price range, and location.) Of those that went looking for a specific brand, 4.8 percent (372,228 searches) asked for Sea Ray. Second was Hatteras (2.8 percent), followed by Viking (1.9 percent), which is a notable stat because Viking didn't register in the top 10 brands among the boats listed for sale.

Among sailboat brands - or those builders selling a mix of the two - Catalina and Beneteau were most commonly searched (1.6 percent of all power and sail searches that included a manufacturer). Hunter and Tartan were next, with brands searched by 1.1 percent and 0.7 percent of site visitors, respectively.

Among boats reported sold by brokerages in the United States during the six-month period, 1,060 were Sea Rays. Second on the list were Bayliner boats, which outsold Carver boats 411 to 255. A sailboat brand, Catalina, ranked third among all boats sold, with 339, and another sailboat brand, Hunter, also finished just ahead of Carver, with 263 boats, in fourth place. Sixth and seventh were Grady-White and Boston Whaler with 222 and 211 boats.

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The April SoldBoats.com report for U.S. brokerage sales by YachtWorld.com member brokerages is expected to be posted at the Trade Only Web site by the time you read this.

This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue.

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