Following an unprecedented period of catamaran sales within the last quarter, with four new Seawinds being ordered and eight used boats sold, four of which settled all last week, there is a feeling amongst the Multihull Central dealer network that the tide might be turning on boat sales and the buyers market may soon come to an end.
This feeling is even more so prevalent in the USA, where our fellow Seawind distribution colleagues in Florida and California report that quality used boat stock has all but tried up with only a few old poorly maintained charter boats still remain on the market unsold.
It’s no secret the US economy has been very unstable over the past few years, however recent financial data indicates that a more promising future is hopefully not to far away, with the US stock exchange hitting an all time high recently and jobs figures also up. Our US agents indicate that confidence seems to be slowly returning to the boat buying market.
The run off effect of the US boating market for Australia is two fold. The excess of used boat stock in Florida and other parts of the US has been absorbed back into the US market as buyers are less concerned about the economy, and much of the rest have been absorbed by the Australian boating market due to the high AUD and apparently stronger economy – therefore decreasing supply of used boats now on the market. The renewed confidence has also increased new boat sales, reducing the need for boat production factories to offer discounts to fill production. As supply drops and demand increases from a market growing in confidence, the last of the bargains are being snapped up.
We have seen this recently with motivated vendors selling to customers who have spent the last two years searching, but realizing that a well priced boat in Australia is ultimately a better deal than risking a grey import.
We recently spoke to Craig McKune who recently purchased a quality used Seawind 1000 about his experience with grey imports, “I nearly purchased a Lagoon 380 overseas but pulled out after the survey report showed there was too much work to do to the boat and we were hoping to sail back to Australia,” he concludes, “After looking at so many boats, when I walked onto the marina at Multihull Central and saw the Seawind 1000 I just said, ‘this is the boat’”.
So if you are in the market for a cruising catamaran, don’t wait out for that bargain too long as you might find you don’t have a boat when the tide comes in