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Is the Boating Industry Shifting?

Updated: Feb 22

How to adapt, what to do to sell how to get a good deal as a buyer.


Over the past 60 days there have been many price reductions. Florida is the largest boating market in the US and the sales season is currently in swing where many other states have slowed for winter. Currently (11/21/22) in Florida there are 6,495 active used listings. Of those listings there have been 2,243 listings with price changes in the last 60 days. That means 34.5% of all active listings have had price changes in the last 60 days.

While price change could include some increases or listings being manipulated to pop up in saved searches it is safe to assume most of the changes are reductions. As a buyer, this is a great opportunity to get back in the market. Many buyers were discouraged in the “hot market” driven by COVID with people looking to escape their homes and enjoy the water. The surge in buyer interest created bidding wars, prices climbing and inventory that would normally sit on the market due to not being pristine to sell in under 60 days.

With the market shifting buyers are getting more and more selective. They are looking for clean boats, priced well with clean surveys. As a seller you can make your listing more attractive by investing in a detail, updating canvas or upholstery. Also, having the boat looked over by mechanics or a surveyor and providing recent service records before getting to the survey process and having aggressive pricing.

Price drives buyers’ interest. However, it is also important to have quality photos in the listing, videos are helpful and options for virtual tours have become increasingly common. If using a broker to sell your boat, ensure they offer these services. Buyers looking at yachts over $100k will often travel to find the right boat. With the surge of poor inventory hitting the market more buyers are requesting virtual tours before booking plane tickets. There is much, much more that can be done to get interest, offers and contracts.

As a buyer it is important to monitor the market. There are some brokers that specialize in buyer representation, while all brokers can act as a buyers agent few do it well. It is important to qualify them, ask for case studies, the percent of deals they do as sole buyer representation, their willingness to do virtual tours and get videos for you and how many boats they sell annually and total volume numbers.

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