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Brokerage sales are flat in August

Brokerage boat sales in the United States last month were roughly equal to sales in August 2009, according to reports by member yacht brokerages. Unit sales of 2,743 boats were virtually even, but total sales valuation declined $10 million, a 4 percent drop, to $251 million.

In July, sales valuation was up a couple percent and unit sales were down 4 percent, the first time boat sales for one month had been lower in 2010 than in 2009. August's results indicate that July was no fluke.

Most of the difference in valuation was attributable to lower sales values for boats more than 55 feet long, although virtually the same number of boats was sold (63). The only size category in which substantially fewer boats changed hands was the under-26-foot category, with a drop of 50 boats, or 6 percent, to 828 boats. For boats between 26 and 36 feet, however, 40 more boats were sold, an increase of 4 percent, to 1,179.

As usual, powerboats outsold sailboats in August by a roughly 4-to-1 ratio. In unit sales, powerboats improved on August 2009 by less than 1 percent; sail was down 2 percent. However, for the same months, powerboat sales valuation declined 7 percent, or $15 million, while sailboat valuations increased 15 percent, or $5 million.

Because of the strength of sales in the first six months of this year, year-to-date figures show 2010 still well ahead of 2009, with 21,599 boats sold, up 14 percent from 19,006. Sales valuations stand at close to $2.2 billion, up 20 percent from 1.8 billion a year earlier.

A more detailed report on August 2010 brokerage sales, including a comparison of sales on Florida's two coasts, will appear in the October issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— John Burnham, editorial director and


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