Sail America recently introduced a new monthly report of sailboat brokerage sales, courtesy of one of YachtWorld.com, the world's leading marine brokerage sales Web site. A report of the previous month's activity and annual trends will be issued during the second week of each month.
It will surprise nobody that sailboat sales have been slower nationally in 2009 than in 2008. This segment of the market has been hit harder than power (probably because a year ago, the powerboat market was already depressed by other factors, including the high cost of fuel). Through five months of the year, as reported by member brokers of YachtWorld.com, unit sales of sailboats are down by a third, from close to 3,000 in 2008 to less than 2,000 in 2009. The collective valuation of boats that have been sold is off even more, from $236 million to $131 million (a decline of 45 percent).
Sales in the month of May showed slight improvement, with unit sales of 545 sailboats compared with unit sales of 757 sailboats in May 2008 (a decline of approximately 28 percent) and dollar value at $38 million compared with $67 million last year (a decline of 43 percent).