Sail America is introducing a new monthly report of sailboat brokerage sales.
Developed by Sail America member YachtWorld.com, the Sailboat Market Report provides a glimpse into the previous month's activity, as well as annual trends.
The first report shows unit sales of sailboats are down by a third through the first five months of 2009, from close to 3,000 in the 2008 period to less than 2,000 this year. The collective valuation of boats that have been sold is off even more, declining 45 percent to $131 million from $236 million.
Sales in May showed slight improvement, with unit sales falling 28 percent to 545 sailboats, from 757 in May 2008. Dollar value declined 43 percent to $38 million, compared with $67 million last year.
The impact of the economic recession can also be seen in the breakdown of sales by boat size, with unit sales and dollar valuations off the most for boats 46 feet and above, by 40 percent or more, according to the report. By comparison, year-to-date sales of mid-size boats are down by roughly a third.
"It is likely that sailboat unit sales in the United States will show improvement in coming months compared to 2008 because of last year's second-half slowdown," said John Burnham, editorial director of YachtWorld.com, in a statement. "Whether valuations will begin to make any significant recovery remains an open question."