Brokerage sales see modest gains in February

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The U.S. brokerage market improved in February as 1,652 boats were sold, 85 more than changed hands in January and a 3 percent increase from the same month a year earlier.

The total value of boats sold was $208.6 million, a 1 percent increase from the previous February, according to YachtWorld member brokerages reporting in

Powerboat sales accounted for volume and value gains as 1,357 boats were sold, a 4 percent increase. The total value of powerboats sold was $184.3 million, a 2 percent rise. By comparison, sailboat sales declined 4 percent to 295 and the total value was down 7 percent at $24.3 million.

Superyacht sales volume (boats larger than 80 feet) was nearly level with 14 boats sold, but the aggregate price paid for boats of this size declined 48 percent from $55.9 million to $29.2 million. By contrast, the rest of the brokerage market showed a 19 percent increase in total value with $180 million changing hands, up from $151 million last February.

The number of boats sold was higher or the same in every size range except the 36- to 45-foot category, which showed a 3 percent decline with 334 boats sold. The mid-range category was also the only market segment other than superyachts to report a decrease in the total value of sales, a decline of 16 percent on sales of $40.7 million.

Although sales of boats smaller than 35 feet were level, strong gains were made in the larger-yacht categories. Among boats 46 to 55 feet, sales increased 47 percent with 125 boats sold and, among boats 56 to 79 feet, sales were up 17 percent with 49 sold. The total price that was paid increased in both segments, climbing 83 percent to $39.4 million for boats 46 to 55 feet and 53 percent to $49.2 million for those 56 to 79 feet.

Sales through February were down 1 percent from 2014 with 3,220 boats sold.

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

John Burnham is the editorial director of