Led by sales of large high-value boats, the U.S. brokerage market turned sharply upward in May, with an extraordinary $552 million in total value of boats sold, according to reports by member brokers of YachtWorld.com.
The dollar value was up 94 percent, or $267 million, from sales in April and up 67 percent, or $221 million, from sales in May of last year.
The total number of brokerage boats sold in May was 3 percent lower than in May 2010, with 3,253 boats changing hands, compared with 3,359 a year earlier. In most size ranges, sales were slightly lower or even with the previous year, but among the largest boats — over 55 feet in length — sales increased 39 percent, from 82 to 114, and the boats that were sold brought much higher prices. The total value of those 114 boats was $317 million, compared with $93 million for the 82 boats a year earlier.
Through May, U.S. brokerage sales remain 4 percent lower than through the first five months of 2010, with 11,913 boats sold. With the recent month’s increase in total sales value, year-to-date sales are now valued at $1.45 billion, an increase of $106 million from the same period in 2010.
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the coming issue of Soundings Trade Only.
— John Burnham
Dominion Marine Media editorial director