US boat sales still buoyant

The US boat market is still in good shape, despite rising fuel and product prices, according to a key survey.

Boat Trader, the US’ largest online boating marketplace, says that 39 per cent of respondents said the reason for selling their boat was to upgrade, with just three per cent saying they could no longer afford to keep theirs.

The survey was carried out on its For Sale By Owners platform, where boat owners were asked to give their reasons for sale.

Meanwhile, 18 per cent also said that they expected to sell their boat for a good price – bucking the current global trends of concerns over the cost of living and the overall economy.

Some of this may be due, in part, to the fact that boat owners generally appear to have higher incomes or more settled lifestyles and are therefore less concerned about a possible recession.

Just four per cent said they were selling their boat due to economic uncertainty.

Boat Trader’s vice-president of marketing, Courtney Chalmers, said: “As we look towards the future and overall health of the boating industry, the number of boat owners expressing their desire to upgrade is a sign that we are successfully retaining boaters after the 2020 surge.

“Private sellers are very much aware of the current boat market conditions and it’s exciting to see their commitment to a lifestyle on the water has sustained.”

Indeed boat values are understood to have actually hit a record high during the Covid-19 pandemic – up an average of almost 30 per cent compared with pre-pandemic levels.

Courtney added: “The pandemic-driven rush to boating pushed the industry to focus on retention. Based on our survey findings and marketplace data, high prices and inventory shortage haven’t deterred boat buyers.

“We’re heading in the right direction, which is a positive sign for the long-term health of the boating industry.”