Wealthy cautiously starting to spend

NEW YORK — A recent article in the New York Times includes several boating examples in a discussion of how high-end spending is beginning to increase, albeit very cautiously.

For example, Sabre Yachts of Maine tells the paper that after selling well below 100 yachts last year, it expects to build as many as 120 this year.

“This was by far the worst downturn since the luxury tax nearly wiped out the boat builders in the very early 1990s,” owner Daniel Zilkha said. “Business is picking up relatively slowly, but it feels as if the recovery has substance.”

The yacht charter business is also starting to show signs of life, but people aren’t asking for the same yachts they did before. Shannon Webster, who runs a charter business in Flagler Beach, Fla., said, “Everybody has cut back somewhat. Even people who rented a 225-foot boat are saying, ‘Can I get something that is 50 feet shorter?’”

One takeaway from the article: Today, even the wealthy are not willing to overpay.

“Today if they buy, they are not willing to be embarrassed by overpaying,” Jane Bayard, executive vice president at Warburg Realty Partnership of Manhattan, told the paper.

To read the complete article, click here.

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