Brokerage sales down in first quarter

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After weak sales of bigger boats in March, U.S. brokerage members of YachtWorld.com reported selling more boats longer than 46 feet in April than they did 12 months earlier.

Sales in the U.S. brokerage market were down 9 percent overall in April, from 3,098 boats to 2,822, but 225 big boats changed hands, up from 210 a year earlier, and they sold for an extra $12 million. The total value of boats sold for the month was $285 million, down just $3 million from April 2010.

For the first quarter, unit sales overall were down 2 percent, compared with the same period in 2010, and powerboat sales were nearly even with the previous year. In April, however, powerboat closings fell 9 percent, as 2,295 boats were sold.

The decline in sailboats sold was almost the same - 8 percent - to 527 boats. However, that was an improvement from sailboat sales for the first quarter, which were 13 percent lower than in 2010.

For the market as a whole, unit sales were off by 4 percent after four months, with 8,667 boats sold. The total value of those sales was $902 million, down $120 million, or almost 12 percent, from 2010.

The average time for a boat to sell in April was shorter than in the same month last year, falling six days, to 285 days. The average has moved a little higher in the spring, but the seasonality is normal; the average time to sell through April of this year is 273 days, which is also six days lower than for the same period in 2010.

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

— John Burnham

Dominion Marine Media editorial director

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