June brokerage unit sales exceed last year’s

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For the first time this year, more brokerage boats were sold in a one-month period than in the same one-month period a year earlier. As reported to      SoldBoats.com by the member brokers of YachtWorld.com, unit sales increased to 3,182 boats in the United States during June-10.5 percent more than the 2,879 boats sold in June '08.

The split between powerboat and sailboat sales we discussed last month has continued. If only power were considered, unit sales made dramatic gains in June, from 2,245 to 2,630. By contrast, sailboat sales declined from 625 boats sold to 552.

If we review the data reporting sales by length of boat, one reason for this variation comes to light. June '09 shows a sharp increase in sales of boats under 36 feet, including higher total valuations.

Leading this trend is the region for which we provide a snapshot this month, the Mid-Atlantic, an area that currently accounts for 18 percent of the boats sold nationwide. We looked at boat sales from Delaware to Georgia and found a 15-percent increase in unit sales, comparing June '09 with June '08. And year to date, the region is down only 5 percent in unit sales. Power, in particular, is up strongly in the Mid-Atlantic, with 454 boats sold in June '09 versus 356 sold a year earlier. And year to date, brokers in the region have sold 1,937 powerboats against 1,847, a year ago.

As with the national trend, the Mid-Atlantic's recovery is powered largely by sales of powerboats under 26 feet. As you might expect, the total valuation of boat sales isn't as high, proportionately: year to date, valuations of all boats sold are off by a third and sailboat sales only are down by a third in units and roughly 40 percent in value.

This article originally appeared in the August 2009 issue.

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