Sales of brokerage boats in the United States were up strongly in October as 2,198 boats changed hands, a 13 percent increase from October 2011, when 1,937 were sold.
Defying the usual seasonal trend, the October sales total also represented a significant increase from September, when 1,962 boats were sold. A surge in sales of boats under 55 feet was responsible for the increase, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in their proprietary database, SoldBoats.com.
Despite these gains, slower sales and lower average prices paid among boats over 55 feet lowered the total value of sales by 7 percent, compared with October 2011, from $259 million to $242 million. Sales of smaller boats, which represent the great majority of transactions, were $13.7 million higher, but among the relatively small number of larger boats sold the aggregate price paid was down $29.2 million. Nonetheless, the total value of sales in October was higher than in September, August or July.
Particularly notable is that sales of boats in the high-volume end of the market — under 35 feet — were not only higher in October, but the boats also were selling at higher average prices.
Among boats under 26 feet, sales were up 6 percent, with 575 sold, and the total price paid was up 12 percent to $12.5 million. The average price increased from $20,500 in 2011 to $21,700 in 2012.
Among boats 26 to 35 feet, sales were up 17 percent, with 879 sold, and the aggregate price was $47.1 million, up 23 percent. The average price paid rose from $51,000 to $53,600.
In contrast, the average price paid for a boat that was longer than 56 feet declined from $1.9 million in October 2011 to $1.3 million this year.
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the December issue of Soundings Trade Only.
— John Burnham
YachtWorld.com editorial director