Brokerage sales drop in April

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Sales of brokerage boats in the United States picked up significantly in April, compared with recent months, but they trailed the results from April 2013 by 2 percent.

A total of 2,975 boats changed hands during the month, up from 2,439 in March but below the 3,045 that were sold last April, according to YachtWorld member brokers reporting in their proprietary database, The aggregate price paid for the boats was $311 million, a 5 percent increase from $295 million in April 2013.

The market segments that showed gains in April were the smallest and largest boats. Increased sales volume came from a 6 percent rise in sales of boats under 26 feet to 1,093. Increased value came from the superyacht segment, where 24 boats larger than 80 feet were sold (up 50 percent) for a combined price of $65 million (up 82 percent).

The number of powerboats sold during the month totaled 2,484 — 1 percent shy of 2,510 the previous April — mainly on the strength of a gain among small boats. The total price paid increased by 8 percent to $274 million from $255 million, but the figure was skewed by high-value superyacht sales. Excluding boats above 80 feet, the total price paid declined by $10 million to $210 million, a 5 percent decrease from the previous year.

The sailboat segment was off 8 percent in April with 491 boats sold. The total price paid was $37 million, a 9 percent decline, although the average prices paid were higher among all sizes of sailboats below 80 feet.

Through four months of 2014, volume in the U.S. market was 5 percent lower than in 2013 at 8,655 boats. The total value of sales was $1.03 billion, 15 percent below the previous period, yet the average prices were higher or the same in all size ranges below 56 feet.

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

John Burnham is the editorial director of