After several months in which the high value of big-boat sales drove the overall U.S. brokerage market higher, sales in September indicated a cooling-off period.
The total value of sales and the number of boats sold slipped 5 percent, compared with September of last year, according to member brokerages of YachtWorld.com reporting in the proprietary database SoldBoats.com.
A total of 2,140 boats were sold at a total sales value of $197 million.
Powerboat sales declined 5 percent, from 1,827 boats to 1,731, and sailboat sales fell 3 percent, from 423 boats to 410. The value of powerboat sales was down 4 percent, to $171 million; sailboat sales took a bigger hit, dropping close to 9 percent, to $26 million.
Unit sales were down in every size category, led by boats over 46 feet; 169 boats of that size were sold, a decrease of 14 percent . The smallest category of boats, those under 26 feet, declined the least, 1 percent, with sales of 634 boats.
For the first three quarters of this year, the biggest change from 2010 remains the strength of the total value of big-boat sales. Unit sales were up incrementally for bigger boats and down incrementally for smaller boats.
In terms of valuation, smaller sizes showed small declines and boats 46 to 55 feet were 3 percent higher, with sales of $353 million. Boats over 55 feet sold for much more — $1.05 billion -- compared with $732 million during the same period a year earlier.
A more detailed report summarizing recent U.S. brokerage sales will appear in the November issue of Soundings Trade Only.
— John Burnham
Dominion Marine Media editorial director