Sailboat brokerage sales experienced uptick in September

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. – The brokerage sailboat market took an uptick in September when, for the first time this year, more sailboats were sold in a one-month period than in the same month a year earlier, Sail America reported in a recent release. The association has teamed up with to produce this monthly sailboat market report.

Total valuation of all boats sold was still lower, but only by 10 percent. This was largely due to slower sales among boats larger than 46 feet, according to the association.

Monthly data from broker members of showed that, for the fourth consecutive month, slightly more than 500 boats were sold. Total sales in September were 524 boats, as compared to 501 a year ago. Year-to-date sales remain 23 percent behind ’08, and total valuation of sales for the year is off by a third, Sail America reported.

In September, all size ranges showed sales close to or greater than September ’08, except in the largest size of 55 feet and above. Small boats witnessed a 50-percent increase in the number of boats sold and the value of boats sold, and the 26′-35′ size range also saw some healthy gains, according to the association.. Only five boats larger than 55 feet were sold in September ’09 year compared to nine boats a year ago, and those boats sold for about $3 million as opposed to over $6 million a year ago. Overall, the difference in market valuation in September was only $4 million, with the big boats accounting for most of the difference, Sail America stated.

For all sailboats over the first nine months of 2009, the average length of time brokerage boats have stayed on the market before selling has moved up slightly compared to 2008, from 271 days to 276 days. Within different size ranges, the results are mixed. For boats under 35 feet, it has been taking two to four weeks longer to sell, and in boats 46 to 55 feet, the average time to sell has increased even more, by 43 days. However, in the 36- to 45-foot range and for boats over 55 feet, there have been reductions of 13 and 29 days, respectively, the association explained.

Compared to sailboats, which have seen an increase in time to sale of less than 2 percent in the first nine months of 2009, powerboats are taking three weeks longer, an increase of nearly 9 percent. Given that powerboat unit sales have been ahead of 2008 for several months running, this suggests that there are relatively more powerboats than sailboats on the market this year.

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