Brokerage sales decline in November, but values rise


U.S. brokerages sold 1,670 boats in November, a decline of 152, or 8 percent, from the same month a year earlier, and a drop in powerboat sales was the clear reason.

According to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database,, powerboat sales were down 14 percent, from 1,457 to 1,257. Catching a late-season tail wind, perhaps, sailboat sales moved in the opposite direction, gaining 13 percent, from 365 to 413.

Despite the significant decrease in powerboat sales the aggregate price paid for those powerboats sold increased by 1 percent, from $182 million to $184 million. Among the sailboats sold, the total price rose 28 percent, from $29 million to $37 million, and for all boats sold the figure was $220 million, 4 percent higher than in November last year.

The main slowdown in the market took place in smaller boat sizes. Among boats under 26 feet, sales were down the most, from 488 in November a year earlier to 401 this year. In the 26- to 35-foot category, sales declined 8 percent, with 666 boats sold.

In both categories, however, although the volume of sales was lower, the average price paid per boat increased. This was not the case with average prices in the 36- to 45-foot category, where sales fell slightly, from 432 to 426 boats, and the total value declined 16 percent, from $59 million to $50 million.

Among the larger sizes, although a similar number of boats were sold year over year, the aggregate price paid on all sales increased. In November of 2011 182 boats over 46 feet sold for $101 million. This November, 177 boats sold for $123 million.

With 11 months of 2012 sales reports on the books, total brokerage sales were up 3 percent, with 27,941 boats changing owners in the U.S. market The total value of the boats sold was down 8 percent, with $2.5 billion paid.

A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the January issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— John Burnham

Editorial director,