Originally Posted by MrPelicano
Speaking from my own perspective, I think we are starting to experience the full impact of U.S. economic decline across the board. For the money it costs me to pay for my health insurance every year, I could be sailing a new Archambault 31, Malango 888 or Dehler 32, and I'm fortunate to be able to afford health insurance right now. Instead, I'm sailing a Laser. All around me people are struggling and concerned about keeping their jobs. Not a great climate for selling boats.
That is not the reason regarding the full picture. In Europe the crisis is not less and sailboats even if in less number continue to sell, including performance boats. Rich guys are not buying less and we have seen a proliferation of brands making over 50ft very expensive sailboats.
That has to do with what the ones with the money do with it and in America rich guys don't buy sailboats, at least like in Europe. Also regarding retired couples or almost retired, that is one of the main market for sailboats in Europe, there are more going for that option here and while an European will want a brand new boat many Americans still think that older boats are better and will gladly spend a fortune repairing an old boat instead of buying a new one.
I think that is related with a question of status among sailors. While here an old boat is for most sailors just an old less performant design needing a lot of work and maintenance, on the States an old boat from a reputable brand is for the majority a mystic thing and having one will raise admiration among other sailors and will show that the guy is a connoisseur and will not just buy what the market has to offer but a "better" boat, some kind of rare and princely object