Sailboat brokerage numbers are up in May


Yacht brokerage sales volume in 2010 has been running ahead of 2009 all year, but as brokerages moved into the typically high-volume selling season of May, the difference between sales in the two years has diminished.

According to member brokers who report their sales in the proprietary database, units were up 7 percent from 3,020 to 3,219, and total value of the sales increased 24 percent, from $264 million to $327 million. Year-to-date, the increases have been 22 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

Mid-sized and bigger boats had the best unit sales gains in May compared to May 2009: boats 36 to 45 feet were up 27 percent to 685 boats, 46 to 55 feet up 33 percent to 157 boats, and above 55 feet were up 38 percent to 84 boats.

By comparison, unit sales of boats 35 feet and below increased only 11 to 22 percent in May. Increased valuation of sales followed a similar pattern; in small boat-size ranges, valuation was up between 15 percent or less compared to May 2009, while larger boats sold at 25 to 35 percent higher valuation. The two highest-valued categories were among boats 36 to 45 feet and boats over 55 feet, both with total valuations close to $100 million.

On a percentage basis, unit sales of sailboats showed a greater increase than powerboats when comparing May 2010 to May 2009. For the year to date, 9,682 powerboats have been sold, a 21 percent increase over '09, and 2,385 sailboats have changed hands, a 25 percent increase. The total valuation of all powerboat sales is up slightly more than among sailboats, 40 and 37 percent, respectively. Powerboat sales account for $1.2 billion in total, while all sailboat sales have been valued at $180 million.

The time required to sell the average boat reported sold in May remained high - more than 300 days, for the second straight month. Both the power and sailboats sold during the month took an average of 314 days to sell.

A more detailed report on May 2010 brokerage sales, including a special report on sales in the Great Lakes region, will appear in the July issue of Soundings Trade Only.

— John Burnham,