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Small boats and used boats lead US recovery

by Metstrade 2012/Sail-World Cruising on 24 Jul 2012
bought it - now I can’t sell it... SW
If you're wanting to sell your boat in the USA, don't despair, things are getting better. Dealers in the US are upbeat following a markedly better six months, the recovery being led by small boat sales and used boats rather than new vessels and megayachts.

The spring dealer survey has found that dealer attitudes have markedly improved in the last six months. RBC’s financial analyst, partly as a result of the dealer survey, reiterated an 'Outperform' rating for Brunswick Corp's stock, which releases its quarterly earnings on Thursday.

'We estimate that industry sales grew around 10 per cent in Q1, driven entirely by smaller boat segments,' wrote RBC's Edward Aaron in the report. 'Twice as many dealers surveyed reported y/y new boat sales increases than declines, and for the first time in recent memory, more dealers reported above-plan sales than below-plan sales.'

The survey found that US dealers across the entire product spectrum were 'more positive' than in the fall 2011 survey. 'About 35 per cent of dealers surveyed characterized the business environment as strong vs. 38 per cent characterizing it as weak,' wrote Aaron. 'In our fall survey, only 17 per cent of dealers characterized the environment as strong v. 63 per cent as weak.'

Aaron said that the improvement in attitudes seems to be driven by stronger boat sales as opposed to aftermarket sales, which remains strong.

'Dealers continue to indicate strong demand trends for used boats compared to new boats,' he wrote. 'However, readings on new-boat demand showed slightly greater improvement than used demand when compared to our fall survey results, a sign that the mix of new vs. used boat sales could be starting to improve slightly.'
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