Mid-year pre-owned report card offers much insight
As of July 1, sales of pre-owned Nordhavns were on pace to double last year’s totals, making 2015 another very active one so far for the Nordhavn Yachts Sales team. The uptick in sales demonstrates that buyers are still enthusiastic about making boat purchases and offers further proof that the industry is continuing to gain strides in health.
Year-to-date, 11 brokerage Nordhavn sales have closed with two sales pending. That puts the company in a position to finish out the year with close to30 brokerage sales under its belt. In an industry that has not fully rebounded, that’s an impressive number – and it rivals 2013, which currently stands as Nordhavn’s top-performing brokerage year since 2006 with 39 transactions.
As one yacht manufacturer after another failed to survive the recession, Nordhavn managed to persevere, although sales did take a dramatic hit. Now, seven years since the initial economic collapse, the company continues to climb its way back toward pre-recession numbers. One thing driving the charge is the stellar reputation Nordhavn has maintained throughout. “Pre-owned Nordhavns have a worldwide appeal with very little comparable competition from other manufactured boats,” said Larry Gieselman, Nordhavn’s senior sales representative. “Every year, more and more, the buyers that have set their sights on passagemaking tell me that Nordhavns still set the standard, in their opinion, as the best boat to own. With over 5 million verified cruising miles reported by past and present owners, the proof is undeniable.”
With 17 models capable of being purchased on the pre-owned market – those both currently in production and ones that have been retired – there is certainly a Nordhavn for everyone. That being said, Gieselman has seen a spike in requests for 43s and 47s specifically. “Over the past 34 years of selling boats, it is always amazing to me to see, for some unknown reason, a run on certain models that were not as popular the prior years,” he said. “It seems like every model has its year of fame. The last several years it has been the Nordhavn 55s.” Typically, the most interest lies in boats that are in short supply, notes Gieselman. To illustrate his point, a glance at Nordhavn’s current brokerage inventory reveals two Nordhavn 47s under agreement and zero Nordhavn 43s available.
While 2015’s strong sales performance certainly indicates a resurgence of the brokerage market, this year has shed light on another trend: the leveling off of brokerage inquiries vs. new inquiries. Pre-2008, money was more readily available and buyers wanted to buy newer, bigger, better. Inquiries coming in were mainly for new models. After the downturn, buyers had to reassess what they were capable of affording and so for the past six years brokerage sales and inquiries have remained robust. This year, however, comes the revival of the new boat inquiry. “To the degree that that the economy has somewhat recovered, buyers are still cautious about taking on too much debt,” said Gieselman. “They have not given up on boating, but in some cases have scaled back their purchases to a more conservative amount.” For many, this merely means opting for a smaller new boat.
Although buyers’ perceived net worth heavily impacts the direction of the markets, there is another key factor: the absence of newer model boats in inventory. “The lack of late model boats on the market combined with the fast pace of sales of those boats, continues to keep new boat inquiries strong.”
Indeed, it is an exciting and interesting time at Nordhavn Yachts. Buyers searching for new and used boats have kept the company’s sales representatives busily shifting gears. And, as Gieselman points out, there’s no one who can offer more knowledge or support than Nordhavn’s factory direct brokers. “For a buyer orseller to be able to work with any of the 20 sales people, and tap into all the information about their boat, new or pre-owned, is a terrific advantage for them.”
It’s a huge advantage, but not one people necessarily need to take. In fact, the president of Pacific Asian Enterprises (PAE), manufacturer of Nordhavn, commented in an internet post earlier this week that all owners are welcomed equally into the Nordhavn family – regardless of where they purchased their yacht. “All Nordhavn owners are considered VIPs by PAE and we are ready to support each and every one of them with advice, parts, information, drawings and more,” said Dan Streech. “Over the years, a number of Nordhavn resales have been made to people we don’t know. Those people don’t think to form a relationship with the original builder or might think they have a lower status with PAE or that we are annoyed they didn’t purchase their boat through the Nordhavn brokerage system. Not true. All are welcome and appreciated.”
While Nordhavn does maintain an open arms policy, it still encourages buyers and sellers to work with the company’s staff brokers. Inevitably, a Nordhavn owner is going to have to contact PAE for assistance. It just makes sense to have a liaison with an insider link to the support and answers you seek.
So what does this all mean for the potential Nordhavn buyer or seller? It all depends. If you have a late model Nordhavn to sell on the pre-owned market, expect to fetch top dollar and a quick turnaround. Meanwhile, older brokerage inventory is starting to stay on the market longer and those sellers are starting to soften up on their asking prices. At the same time, buyers searching for a new yacht can expect the latest and greatest tailored to their individual specs as the engineering team at Nordhavn works overtime ensuring every boat produced is better than the next. Of course, your Nordhavn broker is here to help guide you every step of the way – whichever way you decide to go.
If you’re interested in learning the most detailed and current information on all of the above, contact your local Nordhavn-direct representative.