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post #3167 of Old 11-02-2012
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Re: Nautical Market

Originally Posted by PCP View Post
Some interesting facts and comments:


Today the number of produced boats is less than half of what it was is 2007.

There is a 40% increase in the boats over 40ft and a 60% decrease on boats with less than 40ft. That make the total decrease in market value effectively a lot less than 50% comparing with 2007.

The average age of the buyer of a new boat is 60 years old

Somme comments:

It seems to me that the crisis is here to stay at that many of the boats are bought by retired guys, with age to enjoy the boats, by guys that have been saving all along their live or enjoy a comfortable financial position at the end of its working life.

Young people are not buying and I guess the reasons are clear:

One factor is that what was initially convenient for big boat builders seems to be turning against them: Most of them change of model each 3 or 4 years and that leads to a devaluation of almost new boats on the market making in fact a good business to buy a 5 year old boat at 50% of a new boat.

Another factor is the cost of owning a boat in a nice place. They are high and have been increasing. When I sold my 6 year's old mass market 36ft I made some calculations and found out that it had cost me over 15 000 euros a year and that is in Portugal. On most Europe you will pay a lot more, and even more if it is a bigger boat.

This kind of money will allow you to charter a new boat for 7 weeks on a year (on the nicest spots) and that is more than what most people enjoy in a year, so it is only natural that young guys that have money for new boats opt for charter and leave all the hassle and money that cost to maintain a boat behind.


I don't see any indication that the costs associated with having a boat are decreasing, nor the crisis, quite the contrary, so I would guess this is a tendency that is going to be maintained:

A bigger target market for old guys that want boats bigger than 40ft (many retired), a target Charter Market for 40ft boats or bigger, a small market for guys rich enough to race/cruiser on new top of the cream boats, and a tiny market for true racing boats. The market for cruisers smaller than 38ft will continue to decrease, while inexpensive day boats (and even expensive ones) will be on the raise.

Looking at the positive side, the interest on sail and sailboats and the boats on the water seems not having decreased I would say that has even increased:

The Boat show tickets had not decreased in number and it seems to me that on charting grounds the number of sailing boats is bigger each year.

Care to comment?

Hi Paulo

My thoughts
  • Sailing is an expensive hobby that requires some serious disposable income
  • It also requires time
  • Unless you are a trust account kid, it is totally understandable that the average age for private ownership is on the up for these 2 reasons
  • This also explains the massive growth in the charter market that can cater to sailors of all ages. If you want to sail for 2 or 3 weeks a year, then charter
  • If you are wanting to sail for more than 2 or 3 weeks , I believe that fractional ownership is the way to go. The initial cost is shared as are all the running costs.
  • If you are able to sail for 12 weeks and longer, then you could consider outright ownership either via a charter company ownership scheme or direct where you are responsible for maintenance etc
  • Some charter companies have ownership schemes which offer a lot of flexibility providing you are able to make use of the boat for around 12 weeks per year. Sailing for less than 12 weeks makes these schemes expensive. The downside with these schemes is that you are often told what to buy by the charter company. This of course may or may not be a bad thing . At the end of these schemes, you can either roll your investment into another new boat or adopt fractional ownership. The other downside is that the depreciation in value is often under estimated by the the charter companies
  • If you have the time to sail for at least 3 months a year, then buying your own boat makes sense. If you wanr to avoid the inevitable depreciation of buying new, then the best value purchase is from a reputable charterer at the end of 5 years when you can have the boat surveyed, have all the problems fixed and get a new set of sails. The engine hours on the boat should be irrelevant. A well maintained diesel engine is capable of doing 15000 hours. If you want to sail for more than 2 to 3 weeks but don't have the time to sail for more than say 12 weeks per year, then buy one of these boats and get some co-owners to share the costs - this way, you will avoid the capital depreciation cost.
  • The charter companies are buying boats that are becoming bigger and bigger because many charterers are sharing the costs and the need for more accommodation on board is on the up
  • On the other hand we know that sail boats and common sense often have nothing to do with one another ))))

Just my opinion of course

Onwards n upwards


Last edited by daviid; 11-02-2012 at 05:03 AM.
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