Boat sales hold steady before boat show season – Sun

“Most boat buyers don’t even start thinking about their next purchase or the additions they want to do before the end of the summer,” said Joyce, whose company builds and sells custom yachts in the 70-foot to 135-foot range.

Annual data from YachtWorld.com, an online boat brokerage and listings service, shows that traffic on the site spikes around the end of July and into August.

“Buyers are very knowledgeable right now. If they’re going to make this kind of commitment, they’re going to know everything about the boats they’re considering and go to several boat shows before making a final decision at Lauderdale,” Joyce said.

Last year, Florida brokerages defined their dominance in the “super yacht” sales market by selling more boats at a quicker pace, according to YachtWorld.com data. In 2011, Florida brokers signed deals in under 500 days.

Ninety-seven super yachts — those measuring more than 100 feet — were sold in Florida in 2011 for $660 million, close to $7 million each. Ninety-two super yachts were sold in Florida in 2010.

The number of exhibitors at the FLIBS in 2011 was up 10 percent from the year before. It is expected to grow again this October.

But yachts aren’t the only boats selling this time of year.

Intrepid Boats, a semi-custom builder of center-console power boats based in Dania Beach, has seen steady sales all summer, Vice President Mike Obolsky said. The company has an 11-month waiting list on certain models, he said.

Boats produced in 2012 are shadowed by the next year’s models, which debut each year on Aug. 1. So, for those looking to find a good deal on a fishing boat or sports boat, now’s the time, said Mario Aiello, owner of Davey Marine in Fort Lauderdale.

“This is the best time of year to buy a boat, with the 2012 closeouts, hands down,” said Aiello, who sells Seafox, Rinker, Sportsman and Hurricane brand fishing and sports boats for the more everyday buyer. “Now’s the time manufacturers are dropping prices and offering incentives to buy, like throwing in a free radio or other supplies as a bonus perk.”

Sales are up by more than 12 percent this year at both the Fort Lauderdale and North Miami Davey Marine locations, Aiello said.


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