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
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?