April Roundup & Show Report

This weekend was the Bay Bridge Boat Show which usually is a great show with lots of enthusiasm and energy. To my surprise it had very little of either. Crowds where extremely disappointing and the boats on display where probably half if not more of what have been displayed in the previous few years. The show did fall a little later on the calendar but I have to say I’m a little disappointed as this show is usually one where Friday, Saturday and Sunday fly by as we are 4-5 deep in the booth. At 3pm on Saturday you could walk the docks and see boats with nobody on them and no lines to board even the sexiest and biggest boats. Are fuel prices starting to creep into people’s minds?

That said we have been seeing strong traffic on incoming leads for Knot 10 and our office  on Kent Island was busier over the weekend than the booth at the show. Sales have been running for us at a significantly higher pace than that of last year so I have to say I’ll take a slow boat show every year as long as the in house sales and traffic is as busy as we’ve seen this early in the season. Since April has ended I was able to run the month over month sales data for 2011 in the Mid-Atlantic (DC, MD, VA, PA) markets and the data shows  consistent #’s which also jibes with what Yachtworld and other industry reports are showing.

April Diesel Boats Settled:

2011=   71 Units

2010=   72

2009=   64

April Gas Boats Settled:

2011=   351 Units

2010=   330

2009=   291

I have another piece of data I find interesting that I will go into greater detail at a later date but it shows production units by all brands. When you compare units produced in 2007 to units in 2010 its shocking to see the fall off. The report does not show 2005 and 2006 as well which probably would have been as strong if not stronger. Regardless these numbers are really illustrative of the sharp decline of new boats. Should anyone have purchased new in 2009-2011 the extreme limited production will probably make those owners have the highest resale values two to three years from now as buyer who do not purchase new will see very few late model 2009-2011 boats on the used market. That will be an interesting trend to watch as the buyers of new boats in 2009-2011 who probably purchased at great prices may actually come close to break even as new boat production ticks back upward and cost do as well. Here is just a snippet of what the data looks like for a few brands:

                        2007    2008    2009    2010    Growth %

Sea Ray        7186   4432     2718    1802    -33%

Bayliner        6043  3586      2511    1547    -38%

Chaparral      2981  1589      1448     925     -36%

Four Winns   2334  1390      981      533      -45%

Regal           1112    823      577       433      -25%

Grady White  1028    662      394       368      -6%

Tiara              203    114       82          40      -51%

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