Brokerage sales remain strong in July

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The brokerage sales market continued to do well in July, gaining 2 percent from the same month in 2010, as 3,117 boats were sold. That followed on the heels of a robust June when 3,446 boats changed hands.


The data are based on reports of actual sales by U.S. member brokerages that entered their sold-boat prices in the proprietary database

Even more impressive was the rise in total value of boats sold during July, to $338 million, an increase of $60 million, or 21 percent, from the previous July.

July was the third consecutive month in which the largest boats (longer than 55 feet) have been the market’s primary drivers. Although only 27 more large yachts were sold in the first seven months of this year, compared with the same period last year, the 539 that were sold went for almost $300 million more than the 512 that were sold a year earlier; clearly the sizes and types of boats changing hands are larger and/or more expensive.

The rest of the market was relatively quiet and has been so all year. In July, boats under 26 feet and those 36 to 45 feet also sold better than during the previous July, gaining 4 and 5 percent, respectively, in unit sales. The number of boats sold in other size ranges was flat, and across all boat sizes 55 feet and smaller, the total value of boats sold was relatively unchanged. Through July, sales of boats 46 to 55 feet have shown a modest increase, but sales of all smaller sizes have been flat or lower.

Mainly because of big-boat sales, the market as a whole has been down only 2 percent in units sold and is up 15 percent in the value of boats sold through July. The total value of boats sold after seven months was $2.2 billion.

Comparing the sale of powerboats and sailboats, the power side has been more active for most of the year, and nearly all of July’s gains came because of powerboat sales. Powerboat sales are off 1 percent through July, with 15,172 boats sold. Sailboat sales are down nearly 5 percent, with 3,324 boats sold.

The value of sailboats sold was $4 million higher on sales of $261.4 million. Powerboat sales were $284 million higher on sales of $1.9 billion.

John Burnham is editorial director of Dominion Marine Media.

This brokerage sales data is unaudited and is voluntarily supplied to by member brokers. These charts do not represent all boats sold by all brokers, but 95 percent of member brokers in the United States contribute sales information.

This article originally appeared in the September 2011 issue.