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Old 25-02-2021, 23:23   #1
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Covid and the boat market

Speaking with a Boat Broker and confirming the little inventory of sailboats there is online Yacht sales, I would never have thought a pandemic could have spurred such activity.

I see the numbers are way down now that people are paying closer attention to personal safety of themselves and others around them. Now with 3+ vaccines on the market, I can't help but think this thing will soon be behind us. But what will this mean for the used sailboat market? With everyone going back to work, will the used market gain more inventory? Will all those boats that sold, sell again. What do you think?
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Old 25-02-2021, 23:56   #2
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Re: Covid and the boat market

Everyone is not going back to work. A huge portion of service segment of the economy will evaporate. Eventually, those people may start contributing to something more in demand, but it may take years. Also, many office-based jobs will remain virtual, allowing people to work from almost anywhere. Starlink will further improve opportunities to work from remote locations.
The building I live in had 100% occupancy two years ago. In fact, there was a waiting list. It has several vacant units now, some of them have been empty for a few months. I will be moving out of here to the boat in May too, further contributing to the trend.
One thing that will upset the demand for boats is a future stock market crash. Who knows, perhaps it has already started.
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Old 26-02-2021, 02:28   #3
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Re: Covid and the boat market

In Australia boats are selling at the advertised price and within weeks. This applies to small runabouts to cruisers to yachts. Since we cannot travel overseas, everyone wants to be on the water in Australia.
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Old 26-02-2021, 05:47   #4
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Re: Covid and the boat market

From what I can surmise, here in the Great Lakes of the USA, there are many that are working, and have just gone virtual, or "Critical Workers" who have not lost their jobs. When you add in government stimulus checks, and close many other means of vacations, we have had a storm of sales. Last spring/summer you could not find a PWC within 500 miles that was unsold, along with very brisk camper/rv,caravan sales. This winter there is not a snowmobile to be had for rental anywhere in the area.

Thanks to the stimulus checks, those that "have", just have more, and everyone else struggles to make ends meet.

What will be the future, I cannot predict. Hopefully our government here in the US will get better(I hope) at targeting those who really need the checks in this current stimulus plan being debated. I suspect that in some time there will be a glut of used "toys" and other such things hitting the market, but quite possibly not as hard as one might suspect.

Just my .02
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Old 26-02-2021, 06:13   #5
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Re: Covid and the boat market

This is going to be the first "full" boating season in N America for those who were spurred on last year by the pandemic to get their boat. There might be a few "what was I thinking?" sales in the late spring, but in general I'd bet that the boat market stays strong through at least 2021. The pandemic might have helped make the final sale of many boats that were near end-of-life, so they will only return to the market as salvaged hardware and ground solids.

Solid demand, fewer good used boats around ... it's hard to imagine there will soon be a glut of cheap used boats.
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Old 26-02-2021, 07:01   #6
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Re: Covid and the boat market

My calculation is that the market will remain a sellers one through much of this year. Even with the vaccines rolling out, it's going to take till 2022 before we really get control of this pandemic, and that assumes the current jabs stay ahead of the variants.

Once the COVID-19 numbers start to come way down, and life returns to whatever new normal we have, my bet is a lot of these pandemic purchases will come back onto the market. So I expect to see things shift to a buyers market for used boats, RVs and even recreational properties as people return to their previous pattern of recreational purchasing.

Just my guess though... what do any of us know .
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Old 26-02-2021, 08:00   #7
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Re: Covid and the boat market

I work at a plumbing and heating company. We were told this past week that sheet metal and black iron pipe were going up 50%. PVC products were also expected to go up significantly. The cost to build everything is going to go up.

Gas has gone from $2.29/gal to $2.79/gal in just the last few weeks. I believe there is a strong desire to get oil back to the $90 a barrel range.

The financial news keeps talking about inflation..inflation...inflation.

Prices are going to rise and your dollar is going to buy less.

The cost to own and maintain/store these new toys will become burdensome in the next few years and many will end up back on the market.
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Old 26-02-2021, 08:13   #8
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Re: Covid and the boat market

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Originally Posted by SV_Galateia View Post
The financial news keeps talking about inflation..inflation...inflation.

Prices are going to rise and your dollar is going to buy less.

The cost to own and maintain/store these new toys will become burdensome in the next few years and many will end up back on the market.
I share your concern re inflation, but that might take a few years to become significant. I also suspect that most of the people who have jumped into boats because of COVID had the money to begin with, so the cost of ownership won't be that daunting for them, even given inflation.

Just my guess.
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Old 26-02-2021, 09:35   #9
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Re: Covid and the boat market

As a broker in Georgian Bay, Ontario, I have never seen a year like last year, and although I'm staring at 2 feet of snow wherever I look, I barely have time to even read these Forums early into this year.

I'm on the computer from sunup to beyond sundown searching for boats for clients. Yesterday I found one that had popped up only minutes before and I had a client looking for that very boat. But in answer to your question, I don't have an answer. Last year was the exact opposite of what I predicted; nobody buying, empty slips...
I see the current trend continuing thru this year, possibly into next, with people finally pulling the trigger on their dream purchase they've had in mind all along.

Only one person last year was a definite FOMO, (fear of missing out) and I talked him out of buying just any old boat and to think his decision through more carefully.
It usually takes a serious downturn in the economy to slow the pace of boat sales down.

But think on this for a moment. All that stimulus money has to be paid back somehow. The billions paid in support payments may have to be made back through additional, or higher taxes.

But in the meanwhile, cast caution aside, cast off your lines and enjoy your dream. Remember, none of us gets out of here alive! Fair winds all.
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Old 26-02-2021, 09:49   #10
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Re: Covid and the boat market

I think it's tough to say. People are spending less on nights out, vacations, etc., and spending more on new hobbies, like sailing and outdoors activities that require investments. Maybe half will go back to their old habits, and half will stay with what they invested in. I'm thinking it will be a very gradual transition back to the used boat market of old - not dramatic.
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Old 26-02-2021, 09:51   #11
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Re: Covid and the boat market

Good morning, I have been following the used yacht market for the last 10 years with the plan to purchase in 2021. (38-42 Catamaran) Most communications I have had with brokers have been very disappointing. Especially when I tell them that I will be brining in a Buyers Broker on any broker listed yacht. They tell me their inventory is low and demand is high. They donít want to provide any details on the yacht and ask me to have my broker contact them. Wow, I wouldnít want them listing my yacht as they donít seem to care about their customer. I have seen more and more sellers list their yachts privately. This trend will continue as the acceptable 10% commission across the board is not always equitable. Donít get me wrong, brokers are needed in some cases but we will see more and more owners selling privately as our world becomes more and more digital.
My thoughts are that it is still a buyers market. There are many yachts available today with more to come. The cost of maintenance , storage, travel, etc will definitely generate more yachts for sale.
Yes the demographics of yacht buyers is changing.
Good luck everyone with your yacht search or thť sale.

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Old 26-02-2021, 10:05   #12
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Re: Covid and the boat market

I am agreeing with what everyone is saying here (accept the above post). I'm doing a refit on my Westsail 28 at the moment. My trend is to buy boats that have had deferred maintenance and clean them up. I had planned on keeping this one but thinking more to sell it in the summer and wait for the market to return to "normal", what ever that means. Vaccine are rolling out in my area now and i doubt 20% have been vaccinated. probably looking into late summer before the 70% magic number is achieved. Then of course another 6 months minimum, for thing to equalize.
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Old 26-02-2021, 11:08   #13
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Re: Covid and the boat market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestialsailor View Post
Speaking with a Boat Broker and confirming the little inventory of sailboats there is online Yacht sales, I would never have thought a pandemic could have spurred such activity.

I see the numbers are way down now that people are paying closer attention to personal safety of themselves and others around them. Now with 3+ vaccines on the market, I can't help but think this thing will soon be behind us. But what will this mean for the used sailboat market? With everyone going back to work, will the used market gain more inventory? Will all those boats that sold, sell again. What do you think?


My guess is when things are back to some kind of normal post COVID as long as the housing market, economy and stock don't suffer significantly supply will gradually come back but prices are likely to hold on cruising sailboats. If the economy, housing market and stock market suffer significantly and things get back to some kind normal post COVID, supply will increase a lot and prices will suffer. Mono hulls will suffer more than Cats. Just one man's guess.
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Old 26-02-2021, 11:40   #14
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Re: Covid and the boat market

On the other hand - it may be that if a buyer has already done the preliminary research, and is consistent and fast on researching new listings - some reasonable deals can be had. When word reaches some fence-sitting sellers that it's a good market to sell, some well maintained but long-held boats may hit the market.
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Old 26-02-2021, 11:57   #15
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Re: Covid and the boat market

There are many people currently working remotely in Hawaii. What most (maybe all) of these people don't seem to realize is they are subject to Hawaii state income tax which the Governor and legislature is hell bent on making the highest (15%) in the US (its now number two). This situation may effect the whole universe of remote workers who come from states with no or low income tax to those with great weather.

Move from North Dakota to San Diego to work remotely and enjoy the weather? Same story. California tax agencies are experts and relentless at extracting every Nickle of tax out of everyone within their boarders.

Years ago they tried to tax airline pilots and flight attendants for flying over the state, say between Hawaii and Atlanta, for the time spent in "California Airspace." This ended up in the Federal Courts where the Cal bean counters were politely informed that there is no such thing as "California Airspace." The navigable airspace over the US is owned and controlled by the US Government and it extends down to the surface of the earth.
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