While a reasonable portion of the sales in 2021 was attributed to the long backlogs carried over from 2020 and the effects of the COVID:19 pandemic, the market’s performance this year has so far been primarily driven by new orders.
The first quarter had the third highest first-quarter boat sales of the last 15 years. The U.S. market started the year on a high, with sales in Quarter 1 2022 only marginally below Quarter 1 2021 levels. America was the only one of the three key yachting areas with higher sales than the five-year average. Sales in the top three major boating destinations – the Southeast, the Gulf Coast, and the Mid-Atlantic – dropped by 14% from Q1 2021, but were still 19% higher than Q1 2020.
Center consoles continued their dominance over other boating categories in Quarter 1 2022, edging out motoryacht sales by a staggering 75%. Additionally, center-console sales dropped by 4% from Quarter 1 2021, compared to a 27% slump for motoryachts. Sportfish and trawlers, the next two best performers, registered drops of 18% and 27%, respectively, from Q1 2021.
Superyachts, the surprise performers of the entire year in 2021, also racked up decent sales in Quarter 1 2022. Sales of yachts measuring 78 feet and longer were higher in the first quarter this year than over the same period in 2020 and 2019.
Denison sales in Q1 2022 mirrored the industry’s overall performance, exceeding pre-pandemic numbers and our five-year average. The top Denison categories – superyachts, motor yachts, sportfish, sailboats, and trawlers, all had a strong showing in Q1.
We had a remarkable Quarter 1, with sales exceeding $160 million for the second consecutive first quarter. We attribute this performance to the uptick of people looking to finally sell their old boats and take advantage of the increased demand or upgrade to larger or more modern options.
In addition to being the ideal way to sample the high-end yachting lifestyle, chartering gives customers the chance to book a yacht in a different location every time they go on vacation, without having to worry about maintenance or storage fees. Denison charter clients also get additional benefits, such as concierge services to take care of all the nitty-gritty vacation details.
Denison’s charter business has achieved commendable growth in the past two years. In terms of the future, 2022 appears to be a promising year ahead. As the yachting season kicks in, Denison is excited to see how the market will develop in the coming months.