December of 2010 Comparison

Despite the cold weather and dodging some snow we have had a nice start to the 2011 season. By the middle of last week phones started ringing and we had solid calls from both local and out of state shoppers. We ended up with contracts on 4 boats and a 5th expected. It’s a nice way to start the year and helps to keep the blood flowing having to do sea trials in this weather.

Over the next few weeks we will see the start of the winter boat shows. We will have 5 boats shows in total between the end of January and beginning of March and expect to meet and talk with buyers looking to get an early start on the season and have a boat in the water as soon as the weather breaks.

For the month of December 2010 the settled boats in the Mid-Atlantic looked as follows versus the past 2 years:

Gas Boats Sold

2010=   123 units

2009=   177 units

2008=   111 units

Diesel Boats Sold

2010=   54 units

2009=   61 units

2008=   30 units

I found it surprising that 2009 beat 2010 by a significant amount in both gas and diesel sales. With the really bad weather (trying not to remember) of last winter hitting in Jan and Feb it will be interesting to see how that trend looks in the next 2 months comparison.

As far as shopping trends we still see buyers in the $75k and under boats at a much higher rate than the $100-$250k buyer. That segment for 2 years has been the absolute slowest to come back to the market and only seems to do so when the deals are extraordinary. We hope to see that segment return as time goes on as the inventory for those buyers is tremendous and deals are still attractive for those that do decide to enter the $100-$250k segment. Some of the problem can also be attributed to the fact those buyers are not first time non trade boaters. We speak with lots of potential customers who have boats to sell or trade that where bought in 2001-2006 and have so much negative equity that trading makes no sense and selling for the price they need to sell takes them out of the possibility of buying that next boat. Very linear to what is happening with certain segments of the real estate market. It will take some time to work itself thru but all said I think we are in a better place today than the same time in 2008 or 2009.

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