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Old 08-06-2024, 04:16   #1
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It's a buyers market

According to the Wall Street Journal, It's a Buyers Market for Boats, RVs and Other Pandemic Toys.

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The National Marine Manufacturers Association forecasts that combined U.S. new and used boat sales this year will be about 22% below their 2021 peak.
Totally anecdotal, but lots of nice used boats for sale in my boatyard and a bunch of people aging out of boating are just giving them away. In some cases, literally donating them to others.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...ys/ar-BB1nNEKn
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Old 08-06-2024, 04:56   #2
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Re: It's a buyers market

I've been expecting to see this for a while now. Makes sense that people who bought into boats, RVs, and other recreational purchases, because they had no other choice during the pandemic, will want to shift their money back to the things they really want to do.

I'd love to see actual data, broken out by category. New vs used, but also by categories of boats. The market for a 14' tinny open boat is far difference than an old cruising sailboat.
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Old 08-06-2024, 05:26   #3
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Re: It's a buyers market

Comparing to 2021 is pointless, it was a stastical anomaly. How are we doing compared to 2019?
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Old 08-06-2024, 05:41   #4
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Re: It's a buyers market

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Comparing to 2021 is pointless, it was a stastical anomaly. How are we doing compared to 2019?
Here's another quote from the linked article. Brunswick makes powerboats:

Quote:
Take Brunswick, the world’s largest maker of pleasure boats. Its first-quarter sales dropped 22% from the year earlier period and its operating income plunged by 53%. Brunswick’s retail boat sales this year probably will retreat to what they were in 2012 or 2013.
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Old 08-06-2024, 07:07   #5
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Re: It's a buyers market

There are over 100 boats that have not launched yet where we are just west of Toronto. Marina refuses to launch them as they have yet to pay for launch and docking for the season.
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Old 08-06-2024, 07:32   #6
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Re: It's a buyers market

Right, marina fees, club fees, taxes.
Boats have become a revenue target.

And of course, the cost of parts or anything nautical is inflated. West marine comes to mind
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:04   #7
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Re: It's a buyers market

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Comparing to 2021 is pointless, it was a stastical anomaly. How are we doing compared to 2019?
Poorly.

Globally, growth averaged 3.5%+ in 17, 18, and 19, while we've been hovering around recession numbers (2.4%) for the last three years. High fuel costs, inflation, and high interest rates directly impact discretionary spending.

Not sure the pandemic has very much to do with anything.
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:05   #8
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Re: It's a buyers market

That's my take too....
Back in the day, I'd see dozens of sailboats chugging down the ICW or offshore.
These days, might be lucky to see one.

Exorbitant marina charges, insurance, etc, has...in my opinion.... taken the wind outa da sails so to speak.
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:05   #9
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Re: It's a buyers market

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
There are over 100 boats that have not launched yet where we are just west of Toronto. Marina refuses to launch them as they have yet to pay for launch and docking for the season.
What change does this represent from the average in the past? How long? Or is this a change in marina policy?


I agree, the ongoing costs of simply owning a boat, let alone doing anything with it, can be significant, depending on your location. If it's not really what you want to be doing with your recreation money, then it becomes easier to shift into "just get rid of it" mode.
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:43   #10
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Re: It's a buyers market

Some years ago, some bright spark in the Florida Guv'mint enacted a "luxury" tax on boats.
Virtually overnight, the bottom fell out of the boat market, which took years to bounce back.
I see the ongoing exorbitant marina, fuel, restrictive anchorage spots, and insurance costs, etc in the same light.
Boating has become a very expensive hobby, affordable only by a few, who are also now saying...'nuff is 'nuff"
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Old 08-06-2024, 08:55   #11
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Re: It's a buyers market

Here is an interesting graph from the Wall Street article of new and used boat sales for the last 5-6 years. Doesn't say if it's just US sales, but I would assume it is. It shows that used sales are less than pre-pandemic, but stabilizing. Looks like the new boat sales are hardly phased.
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Old 08-06-2024, 09:18   #12
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Re: It's a buyers market

I’m trying to figure out why anything thinks inflation wouldn’t affect the boat market. Or why record personal debt wouldn’t..?
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Old 08-06-2024, 09:20   #13
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Re: It's a buyers market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
What change does this represent from the average in the past? How long? Or is this a change in marina policy?


I agree, the ongoing costs of simply owning a boat, let alone doing anything with it, can be significant, depending on your location. If it's not really what you want to be doing with your recreation money, then it becomes easier to shift into "just get rid of it" mode.
No policy changes, I've no doubt it's the covid buyers who had no idea of the true costs of owning and maintaining a boat. Very few of these people could change their own oil. Two out of the three brokerage/dealers here have not sold a new boat this year, the third has sold only one.
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Old 08-06-2024, 09:53   #14
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Re: It's a buyers market

In the northeast, dockage and fuel prices seem to have stabilized although in many locations, they're still high. The complaints most frequently heard are insurance cost, repair costs, and repair delays. The insurance has been a deciding issue in many getting out of boating, especially when factoring the cost of using the boat for four weekends a year, but the complaints about the delays in getting repairs done has to be a close second. A working family plans a two week vacation at the lake using their 20' bowrider, brought 100 miles by trailer, for waterskiing and rides. The second day of vacation, it won't start. The local marina is called to repair it and the response is that they're backed up and to drop it off next Tuesday. The repair is complete on Thursday afternoon then one of the two days left on vacation has thunderstorms. They return home Sunday then by Wednesday the boat is in the front yard with a "for sale" sign on it. When toys can't be used, they get sold. It's the old law of supply and demand, more boats are on the market than customers so the price drops. Those interested in a boat may buy a slightly used one at a low price rather than a new one at a much higher price. It's likely to get worse before an improvement is seen.
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Old 08-06-2024, 10:03   #15
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Re: It's a buyers market

Repairs in my area of SoCal are definitely a factor. I do most of my own work. But the times I have called a specialist its anywhere from a week to "Ill call you when I can to take a look" (that means weeks, if they remember). If I didnt have time or inclination to do my own repairs for most things it would be a terrible off-putting experience. Not that I enjoyed changing the macerator pump last week....
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