Brokerage sales dip in May

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U.S. brokerage sales fell in May, but volume for the month was the second-highest for a single month of sales since 2008.

May sales totaled 3,653, down 3 percent from 3,783 in the same month a year earlier, according to YachtWorld member brokers reporting on SoldBoats.com, their proprietary database. Powerboat sales declined modestly from May 2013, sailboat sales posted a slight gain and the overall price paid increased 3 percent to $446 million.

May marked the second successive month of improvement in brokerage sales from the previous month after a first-quarter slump.

Compared with last May, sales of powerboats and sailboats in most size categories showed slight to modest declines, especially in the 26- to 35-foot segment, where sales dropped by 6 percent to 1,410 boats from 1,504.

Sales of both types of boats under 26 feet and between 36 and 45 feet declined by 3 percent to 1,206 and 739, respectively. Sales of boats in the 46- to 55-foot segment increased by 2 percent with 181 sold and sales of yachts larger than 80 feet were flat at 21.

By contrast, in the 56- to 79-foot category volume rose 19 percent to 96. Total dollar sales in that size range were up 44 percent to $76 million from $53 million.

The powerboat segment posted a 5 percent decline to 3,023 boats from 3,175 in May 2013. Yet dollar sales increased 3 percent to $396 million. The strongest results were evident in the sales of larger boats; the best-performing powerboat group was the 56- to 79-foot category, where sales rose 21 percent to 88. The aggregate price paid for boats of this size was $72 million, a 43 percent gain from $50 million a year earlier.

Sailboat sales in May rose 4 percent to 630 and the total value of sales rose 7 percent to $50 million. The best-performing sailboat segment was the 26- to 35-foot category, in which sales rose 9 percent to 317 and dollar sales rose 27 percent to $14 million. Only the under-26-foot segment had a decline in volume in May, but it was sizable —19 percent to 46 units from 57 in the same month last year.

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

Gary Beckett regularly writes for the quarterly YachtWorld Market Index, which is published by Dominion Marine Media.

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