Welcome to our new BASCO Briefing for Boat Owners. Our aim with this blog is to keep you informed of boat market trends and developments that we are seeing from Asia in these interesting times.

The last four weeks have seen a lot of enquiry activity and quite a number of people booking viewings for when the lockdown lifts.

Offers are still being made, but as these offers are being made without viewings, and as expected some of them are at lower than desired prices.

An Example of a 40-foot 2011 Sailboat

The boat has been on the market for close to a year. The owner dropped the price from USD135,000 to USD120,000 in early 2020. We know of one offer on this boat at 30% less than what the owner is wanting, that’s after the price drop and a further discount. But as there is a lot of interest in this boat currently, the owner is expecting the offer price to increase.

There is a lot of interest in this sailboat due to the following reasons:

– Not many on the market in the location

– It is at a popular price point USD100–150k

– It is a popular size boat for a first-time boat buyer

– Good brand boat

We are encouraged to see the rise of buying-without-seeing which is something BASCO Boating is committed to achieving for buyers and sellers where appropriate. We do this with our BOBBAS platform, and we have personally transacted numerous online boat deals over the last 3-years without the buyers seeing the boat. Two examples are boats sold to Australian buyers, sight unseen. Both sales were in the USD400–700 price range and excellent quality boats.

This trend will only increase, and Covid-19 has now made this purchasing trend more visible. The possibility is more real in boat owner’s minds compared to pre-Covid-19 when many boat owners may have said they believed this could never happen.

One of the main reasons we found some boat owners take this position was that many boat owners themselves would never buy a boat sight-unseen. While this is certainly a fair enough position, it doesn’t mean that others won’t, especially the younger generation!

Accurate and complete information means your boat will sell faster

Accurate and complete information means your boat will sell faster

Market Outlook

It was reported in several media outlets that boat brokers haven’t slowed down. We certainly can vouch for this as well. There was a lot of sales activity and boats changing hands in March and early April before the lockdown. We could say that boat sales were booming during this time.

What we have noticed in Asia is boat buyers (and those who we call boat deciders and boat searchers) have had time to browse more online, time to reflect on their boating dreams and goals and have had the space to move forward on these previously ‘pushed to one-side dreams’ and buyers are starting to make enquiries and put in place concrete steps to explore their boating lifestyle questions in earnest.

News headlines below indicate boat sales booming amid the pandemic. While these two are USA centric, there is certainly similar sentiment here in Asia with reports of Hong Kong dealers and brokers being very busy as well.

“Boat sales booming as other industries struggle to stay afloat amid pandemic shutdowns”

“Boat dealers, marina managers’ report business is booming during coronavirus shutdown”

Here in Asia, we are expecting a strong surge in demand in June, July, and August as the lockdown eases. There is pent-up demand from the desire to get away from it all, and what better way than boating, even among social distancing requirements.

Our boat “decider “coaching services and our boat buyer sourcing services have experienced an uptick in the last two months. It is perfect timing for boat buyers to get prepared, do their research, get their goals and objectives lined up so they are ready to hit the ground running when the time to travel and view is upon us.

Additionally, there may be good deals to be had during the next 6–9 months, so boat buyers, searchers and deciders are definitely wondering about this opportunity as well.

Here’s what Blake Phillips, general manager at MarineMax had to say which sums it up quite nicely.

“I think coronavirus amplifies your appreciation for a great day,” he said. “Because every day on a boat is a great day, people are connecting the dots.”

Quite well said, and if you’re a first-time boat owner, like me, you may certainly agree with that.

In closing here’s something to think about if you are planning on selling. If you’d like to get a personalised assessment of the boat market specific to your boat, get in touch, we’d be glad to provide some recommendations.

And finally, not sure how to get a trouble-free, faster boat sale at the highest price?

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2. Are you willing and able to spend 100 hours researching buyers and markets for your boat, posting across all the 50+ platforms, to generate 4 offers? (If no, go to #3)

3. Are you able to waste months and months in trial and error trying to use traditional boat sale methods, only to have to drop your price in a year’s time? (If no, go to #4)

4. Shortcut the process with a result-guaranteed boat sales program and project managers who get results.

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Hope that makes your decision easier for you, whatever you decide to do. 🙂