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February 22, 2012 shows promising signs for the luxury yacht market.

Luxury Yachts Show Positive Signs

Led by high-value big-boat sales, the U.S. brokerage market turned sharply upwards in May, with an extraordinary $552 million in total value of boats sold, according to reports by member brokers of This dollar value was up 94 percent, or $267 million, from April sales and 67 percent, or $221 million, compared to May 2010.

US Monthly Boat Sales 2010-2011 - Download this image

The total number of brokerage boats sold in May was 3 percent lower than in May 2010, with 3,253 boats changing hands compared to 3,359 a year ago. In most size ranges, sales were slightly lower or even with the previous year, but among the largest boats, over 55 feet in length, sales increased 39 percent, from 82 to 114, and the boats that were sold brought much higher prices. The total value of those 114 boats was $317 million, compared to $93 million for the 82 boats a year ago.

Year to date, U.S. brokerage sales remain 4 percent lower than through five months of 2010, with 11,913 boats sold. With the recent month’s increase in the total sales value, year-to-date sales are now valued at $1.45 billion, an increase of $106 million over the same period in 2010.

The average time to sale for brokerage boats climbed to 308 days in May, which was 3 percent higher than May 2010. The biggest increase came in powerboat sales, which moved from 297 to 309 days. Sailboats’ average time to sale dropped 5 days from a year ago to 301. Year to date, sail is still taking longer to sell than power — 302 to 278 days.

John Burnham is Editorial Director of Dominion Marine Media

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