Heading into this year’s Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show, we reached out to industry leaders for their take on the boat buying and selling climate. We found them uniformly positive.
YI: What’s the state of the superyacht market as we head into the Miami show?
“The market is firming up. Owners know that demand is surpassing quality inventory, so those great deals where clients were able to negotiate millions off an asking price are gone. The ‘economy’ end of the superyacht market is seeing a lot of movement, with the $8 million to $12 million sector especially hot right now.” —Alex Clarke, director of Denison Superyacht Division
“From a builder’s perspective, the market is positive; the best it’s looked since the recession began. Demand has returned, especially for larger and more complex yachts. The reputable yards all have full order books. Clients continue to push hard on prices, but are typically staying with the yards that have proven to deliver quality.” —Timothy Hamilton, director of Feadship America
YI: How is the buying climate for the American consumer around this year’s Miami show?
“All indications are that the yacht market in the U.S. is finally in full recovery. We just saw the best Fort Lauderdale show in many years. A number of buyers are still waiting to re-enter the market, [but] sales are trending up and I expect Miami to be as good or better.” —Andrew Cilla, president of Luke Brown Yachts
“Record stock market highs and a recovering real estate market have created a positive environment for pleasure purchases, though the lessons of the recession have made consumers more careful with their spending.” —Lon McCloskey, president/director of The Marine Group, and president of the Florida Yacht Brokers Association (FYBA)
“The chatter I’m hearing suggests it is the perfect time to buy a yacht, with a strong period of sustained yacht sales, particularly in the 90-foot to 120-foot range.” —Alastair Callendar, creative director of Sanlorenzo Americas
“Strong demand for new and late-model boats in the 70-plus range. Older models aren’t selling as well but have gained some traction as they continue to be great buys for boaters who don’t mind older technology, etc.” —Jon Burkard, brokerage & charter president, Allied Marine
YI: How can consumers get the most value out of a brokerage yacht this spring?
“As you trust your Realtor, attorney or stock advisor, find a broker you are comfortable with to apprise you of the strengths, weaknesses, and historic and current pricing of the yachts you’re interested in. Your broker should direct you to yachts that fit your criteria and also offer alternatives.” —Kevin Merrigan, CEO of Northrop & Johnson
Clarke: “Shop around. There are always deals to be had at a boat show—that’s why owners put their boats in the show—and there’s always room for negotiating. Some of the best deals happen at the show, not after it.”
YI: What are some highlights attendees can expect this year at the Miami Yacht & Brokerage Show?
“There will be plenty of events and seminars to attend at the show. We have revamped our transportation system to make getting around the various locations easier for attendees. The water taxi is a new shuttle option this year, and we’ve expanded the show into Miami Beach Marina with a new ‘Superyacht Miami’ exhibit—a collection of yachts over 150 feet. Our MyBoatShow mobile app is a great tool to help attendees navigate the show.” —Vladimir Danylyshyn, director of IT & MIS at Show Management
Merrigan: “An excellent selection of product, many of them aggressively priced for sale. Miami is an appealing open venue for inspecting a large variety of yachts.”
McCloskey: “Located in the yachting capital of the world, the Miami show attracts boating professionals and enthusiasts from all over. Miami’s international reputation also helps draw the world’s ‘jet set’ to the event. The Yacht & Brokerage Show is free, so one can come and go as they please. Utilizing adjacent accommodations allows a relaxed schedule and repeat visits to a favorite exhibit.”
YI: What’s new and exciting in the market this year for consumers?
Clarke: “We’re noticing a few cool new trends. High quality 30-, 40-, even 50-foot RIB tenders are hitting the U.S. luxury market, a testament that Mediterranean-style, open-layout cruising is gaining popularity here in the States.”
Hamilton: “Builders are finding ways to use less fossil fuels while providing increased performance and incredible onboard experiences conceived around the personality of the individual owner.”