U.S. yacht brokerage sales slipped to 2,387 in March from 2,437 a year ago, a 2 percent decline.
However, the total value of sales moved substantially in the other direction, climbing from $281.7 million to $350.6 million, a 24 percent increase, according to YachtWorld member brokers reporting in SoldBoats, their proprietary database.
The loss in volume was mainly attributable to a 122-boat drop in sales of boats smaller than 26 feet from 860 to 738. That decline was somewhat offset by increases in other categories, especially sales of boats from 46 to 55 feet, which rose from 127 to 168. Small volume increases also were reported among boats from 26 to 35 feet and 36 to 45 feet.
Gains in the prices paid for boats occurred in all size ranges above 26 feet. The biggest increase, $27.5 million, came among boats 80 feet and larger. Boats from 56 to 79 feet delivered an additional $16.3 million, compared with March of last year, and boats from 46 to 55 feet gained in aggregate price by $10.8 million.
Powerboat sales for the month fell 4 percent as 1,940 boats changed hands. Sailboat sales increased 6 percent as 447 boats were sold.
Through the first quarter this year, U.S. sales volume totaled 5,709 boats, an increase of 3 percent from 2016. The total price paid rose from $701.9 million to $904.1 million, a gain of 29 percent.
John Burnham is the managing editor of Boats Group (formerly Dominion Marine Media).
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the May issue of Soundings Trade Only.