Wednesday, May 29, 2013
BOAT SALES DISCONNECT
We have been talking to quite a few people in the marine industry this past month and something perplexing is happening. Marinas for the most part have slip sales up ... but only marginally. Brokers on resale boats are having a soft spring – mainly explained by the late rather cool windy spring we have been experiencing so far. Let’s say there is some optimism looking forward this season. Yacht charters have been slightly busier this spring than last year but summer is looking quiet at this early stage.
So here is the disconnect ... boat surveys are way up. Like a few that we talked to are doing double the yacht surveys from last year. Why all lthe boat surveys if the broker sales and slip sales don’t support it? Could they be owner surveys in advance of boats going up for sale? Or perhaps a lot of owners that have been putting off work for the past number of years who are at the point that they need to access the overhaul situation to get their boats back in shape? Or is it boats that had bad surveys ... that didn’t close with brokers? Maybe a combination of all three of the above? Seems strange doesn’t it?
My observation when I drive around the marinas is, things are a bit quiet - probably due to weather. Even when it is sunny, it blows like stink during the day and at night, when the wind drops, it’s feeling like the middle of winter. Add to that a few torrential rains thrown into the mix for a few days per week and you have a situation where folks aren’t in a hurry to get their boat in the water this year. Seeing the odd guy sitting out with the beach umbrella up waiting for fellow boaters to come down the dock to shoot the breeze and socialize makes me feel sad for them ... because the dock socialization circuit hasn’t started this year - yet. I’m betting all hell will break loose with the first heat wave and everyone will want their boat fixed and in the water instantaneously ... putting a lot of pressure on marinas to deliver at the last minute and pull a rabbit out of their hat.