Megayacht sales improve in South Florida

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Sales of megayachts are turning a corner in the improving economy, according to some South Florida-based yacht sellers and builders.

There has been a notable upswing in interest this year for new custom-built yachts of 80 feet or more and less price slashing on used boats of this caliber, industry specialists tell the (Fort Lauderdale) Sun-Sentinel.

"We've reached the bottom of the [megayacht] market," Mark Elliott, yacht consultant and charter agent at International Yacht Collection in Fort Lauderdale, told the paper.

In recent years it's been a buyer's market because of the recession and a pullback in luxury spending, Elliott said. "Right now we're seeing yacht sales starting to increase and our inventory shrinking."

At IYC, sales of yachts 60 to 100 feet have been "very strong" and the firm is starting to see some life with yachts priced at $15 million or more, Elliott added.

At Horizon Yacht USA in North Palm Beach, Fla., sales activity for the year to date has been "steadily busy," compared with the same period in 2012, said Elise Moffitt, a sales and marketing agent.

"The signs are encouraging," said Moffitt, who is seeing keen interest for custom-built yachts of 80 to 100 feet. "The boat shows have been packed, and our boat show traffic is up."

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