Yacht and Sportfishers Sellers Guide for 2023

August 10, 2023

Kusler Yachts is proud to have earned a reputation for service and expertise. Our team of dedicated, professional yacht brokers specializes in helping clients successfully navigate the process of buying or selling a boat. Be the boat new or used, center console or sportfisher, our commitment remains the same. This 2023 Market Update provides insight into not just the boating landscape, but the value of having a seasoned, professional yacht broker by your side.

Kusler Yachts flagship location in San Diego’s Kona Kai Marina

With offices serving Southern California and Baja, the Northeast, and South Florida, Kusler Yachts helps clients across the country. Our approach combines the expertise and reach of a large, national brokerage with the care, service and attention to detail of a family operation. Our point of difference lies in leveraging our expertise and knowledge of boats and boat systems to help clients navigate the marketplace.

The Kusler Yachts Approach

When looking for a boat to buy, our approach adapts to the needs and experience level of the client. For boat owners and captains looking to upgrade their current vessel, this likely means helping refine a search to find the right brokerage boat or initiate a new build.

As it relates to first time or prospective buyers, the first step in the process often includes a conversation about how and where you plan to use the boat and how much you are comfortable spending (in terms of purchase price and operational and maintenance budgets).

For more on our industry-defining approach to customer service, click here.

Once we define the landscape of available options, we then work with clients to navigate the purchase process. This involves not only getting the boat at a fair price, but going through the logistics of warranties, insurance and other considerations.

Selling Your Boat with Kusler Yachts

Selling a yacht is a complex, highly specialized transaction. Kusler Yachts understands the brokerage market for center consoles, sportfishers and motor yachts. We have our finger on the pulse of the industry and work with a network of boat builders, boat owners and professional captains that spans the sportfishing landscape.

Right now, Kusler Yachts’ inventory averages less than 90 days from listing to sale. There is nothing worse than overpricing your boat and enduring a cascade of price drops. Our seasoned brokers excel in helping clients price their boats correctly—finding the sweet spot that maximizes value while creating interest and generating offers.

Our approach to selling your boat includes not only expertise and understanding the market, but showcasing it the right way. This involves marketing exposure, professional video and photography services, advice on best practices for preparing a boat for sale and more. For more on Kusler Yachts’ sale process, click here.

Market Update: August 2023

Whether you are buying or selling a boat, understanding the market is an important consideration. Kusler Yachts is here to help.

Is now a good time to buy or sell a boat? The short answer is yes. A more thorough market analysis reveals the benefit of working with a professional broker. After all, the more complicated the transaction, the greater the benefit of working with an experienced professional.

In many ways, the boating market shares similarities to the housing market. Each is currently defined by inventory levels that are less than you might expect in years past. The pricing structure for buying or selling a boat, like that of a house, could also be influenced by interest rates and general economic trends.

Low, But Steady Inventory

The market for used sportfishers, center consoles and motor yachts is currently defined by low, but steady inventory. In these segments, the market tends to be stabilizing.

In early 2022, the market experienced a shift marked by decreased availability and uncertainty from buyers. That general atmosphere extended into the start of 2023. After a rocky start to the year, things are now stabilizing and the market for boats began picking up steam in spring of 2023.

While used boat inventory levels are nowhere near what they have been in recent years, they are steady. Making the right moves (i.e. buying the right boat for you at the right price) involves understanding the market and what opportunities are available.

Pre-Owned Yacht Market Dynamics

In broad strokes, here is an overview of what to expect from the current market:

  • In the pre-owned market, boats from 30-45 feet made in 2010 or later are moving well when priced under $750,000. 
  • The market for pre-owned 2015 or newer sportfishers and motor yachts in the 45-60’ range, priced between $1 million and $2 million is also strong.
  • Vessels in this class that are priced at $2.5 million or more have moved with a bit less pace.

The low availability of inventory has increased competition for certain markets. Among the most prominent examples of this lies in the used boat market for vessels priced between $750,000 and $1,500,000.  With fewer options available, some buyers are opting to pursue new builds. The build times and pricing structures of new boats vary by builder and type.

New Builds

Kusler Yachts has helped many clients through the process of building boats, including the Regulator 37.

For center consoles under 40’, the current build time averages around 6 months. When it comes to production sportfishers in the 50-70’ range, current build times hover between 10 months and 18 months on average. For custom sportfishers, you might expect a build time in the neighborhood of three years or so.
Our team has plenty of experience helping clients through the process of building center consoles and both production and custom sportfishers. When initiating a new build, you can expect a deposit of around 20% to start the project, followed by step payments throughout the build. We can not only help navigate the build, but provide insight every step of the way from signing the contract to taking delivery.
One important consideration for the new build process is obtaining insurance. Depending on where you plan to keep the boat, getting the right insurance policy is becoming a bit more nuanced than it once was. This is especially true for boats in travelling to Mexico or those kept in the southeast.
A good rule of thumb is to get quotes prior to your build completion and to know your options before closing on your pre-owned boat.  The team at Kusler Yachts can help with this also—we have quite a bit of experience in helping customers get the right policy for their situations. 

Understanding the Market and Selling Your Boat

With limited inventory and increased competition for available boats, now is also a good time to sell your boat. That said, working with an experienced, professional yacht broker can help your bottom line and remove quite a bit of stress from the equation. This is especially true when you plan to sell your current boat and upgrade to your next one.

Click here for more on our approach to selling your boat.

Beyond pricing your boat correctly, Kusler Yachts can help in a variety of ways. In our decade plus in business we have sold more than 500 vessels with an average time of less than 90 days on the market. We have helped clients through all types of market conditions and would love to work with you.

Our team consists of seasoned, full-time, professional yacht brokers. Selling boats is their full-time job and each has earned a reputation for being good at their craft.

In many parts of the industry, we are seeing a rise in the number of part time sales people who work without an office. You simply will not receive the same level of concern or quality assurance from someone without the commitment, resources, and experience of being a full-time, dedicated yacht broker. 

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