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Brokerage sales drop on small-boat decline

Sales of brokerage boats in the United States declined in September as 1,962 vessels changed hands, 8 percent fewer than in September 2011.

The drop was attributable to fewer sales of small boats, according to reports by YachtWorld member brokerages in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.

Improved sales of larger yachts, however, raised the total value of boats sold during the month by 13 percent to $221 million. The aggregate sales figures represent a shift from the summer months, when small-boat brokerage sales generally were higher, compared with 2011, and large-boat sales generally were lower.

The drop in sales volume could be attributed largely to fewer sales of powerboats. Although sailboat sales were lower by 1 percent, with 406 boats sold, powerboat sales declined 10 percent, with 1,556 sold, down from 1,726 the previous September.

Among all boats sold under 35 feet, sales were down from 1,502 boats in 2011 to 1,304, a 13 percent decline. The total value of sales also was down 13 percent, from $56 million to $49 million.

By contrast, sales were up 11 percent among boats over 45 feet, and the total value of those transactions was up 37 percent, from $87 million to $119 million. The middle range of boats, 36 to 45 feet, was essentially flat in terms of boats sold (473 boats) and total value ($53 million).

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

— John Burnham

YachtWorld.com editorial director

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