Yacht brokers are reporting that January sales of boats were down by about 5 percent year-over-year, according to TradeOnlyToday.com. The data was reported to SoldBoats.com, a proprietary database used by brokers to monitor industrywide sales. Overall, 1,635 boats changed owners in January, lower than last year's total of 1,728.
Much of the decline was in the category of boats under 26 feet, which saw a decrease in sales of 21 percent. However, the industry is still looking much healthier now than it did just a few years ago. In the past five years, the monthly average for boats changing hands was 1,559, so January 2014 was still well above the norm.
Additionally, despite the decline in the number of boats that were sold, the actual revenue generated from those sales was 2 percent higher than last year, at $242.7 million.
The industry is hoping that as the economy improves and people feel more secure in their jobs and incomes, that more boaters will think about investing in a new vessel. Recreational vehicles such as boats and RVs tend to be the first purchases that get nixed during hard times. But given the falling unemployment rate and rising equity markets, it seems as though the worst days for the boat sales industry are behind it.
If you've decided you'd rather hold on to your yacht rather than trying to upgrade to a newer one, you may want to consider replacing some of your components with state of the art models. For example, if your GPS unit is starting to show its age, we recommend checking out ePal's inventory of the latest Garmin marine electronics. This simple upgrade can make a huge difference in your boat's navigational system!