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Old 11-12-2003
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boat market

To find my present boat I just walked the docks where I was a club member and contacted 12 owners of boats that looked a little neglected. None were officially ''on the market'' but over half the owners were anxious to sell.
I''m sailing a balboa 27 right now but plan to go to a larger boat within a few years and maybe again to something in the 40'' range within ten years. Does anyone have a feeling about where the market may be headed in the future? Seems to me people interested in sailing are more likely to be over 50 than under.
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Old 11-13-2003
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boat market

From the deals that I have helped along lately it appears that there are relatively few clean quality boats on the market and that they seem to sell relatively quickly at seemingly higher prices than a few years back. High production boats, and boats with issues seem to be much slower to sell, and seemed to have dropped a little bit. The brokers tell me that they are selling a lot of both new and used boats right now. Several brokers commented that the year started very slowly and looked like a disaster only to pick up with a vengence so that now they claim to have had a record year in terms of dollar and boat count volume.

I would say that you are somewhat correct that average age of people who own sailboat is creeping up as a lot more retirees are buying liveaboards. On the other hand, based on the folks that I encounter cruising and at boat shows (which obviously is not a scientific study) I think that the average age of coastal cruisers is still lower than 50 years old but is probably somewhere over 40 years old.

Jeff
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Old 11-14-2003
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boat market

Thanks for the response Jeff. Can I ask where you are located. I''m wondering if N. California has been hit a little harder than other places by the economy. I think our real estate market is a little softer than a lot of areas. Around here it seems to me that the market is creating boats with ''issues'' because discouraged owners can''t get rid of the boat and get tired of doing the maintanance. I''m starting to think sailing is ''boomer thing'' that doesn''t excite the next generation much. Thats what I see in my kids and their friends. Its the same thing you see backpacking. Backcountry permits are way down and when you go in its mostly ''seansoned'' backpackers.
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Old 11-15-2003
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boat market

I sail out of Annapolis, Maryland but monitor prices around the country on a list of what I consider interesting or indicator models. I have seen some aging of the sailing population from sailors who were largely in their 30''s back in the 1960''s to people mostly 40 years of age and older today. One thing that seems to be driving that was the types of boats people buy for a first boat. When I was a kid it was not unsual for people to buy simple 23 to 26 footers for a first boat and to keep them for quite a while as they learned to sail and maintain a boat. They might then move up to a 32 to 38 footer that they might own for a decade or much more. Today people want to start with big, relatively modern and/or offshore capable boats loaded with gear. Frankly that is far beyond the means of most younger persons.

Small race boats have gotten much more complex as well and are much more expensive to keep competitive so again it is hard for younger folks to own boats. I will say that the crews in the racing fleets are full of men and women who are in their teens, 20''s and 30''s and they seem to go on to buy boats at some point. A lot of the discussion is about the boats that this one or that one plans to buy.

Jeff
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