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Navigating the Waves: An In-Depth Analysis of Global Boat Sales in 2023

The maritime world is no stranger to the ebb and flow of market dynamics, and the recently released report by Permira-backed Boats Group provides a comprehensive snapshot of the current state of the boating industry. As the largest network of boating marketplaces globally, including renowned platforms like YachtWorld,, and Boat Trader, Boats Group’s data offers valuable insights into the trends shaping the industry.

In a surprising turn of events, the report reveals a slight rise in global boat sales in 2023, marking a departure from the downward trajectory observed in recent years. The modest increase of 0.86% in boat sales suggests that the market may have reached a state of full normalization following the initial surge triggered by the pandemic.

One notable trend is the shift in dynamics between new and used boat sales. New boats emerge as the primary driver, experiencing a robust 16.8% increase in sales, contributing to a remarkable 27% higher total value. This surge in new boat sales could be attributed to increased inventory in the market, enticing buyers with favorable financing rates and warranties, thereby tilting the scales in favor of new purchases.

Conversely, the used boat market faced a dip, with sales declining by 2.2%, resulting in a 5.6% reduction in total value. The report suggests that the abundance of new boat options may be diverting buyers’ attention away from pre-owned vessels, despite the potential advantages they offer.

Interestingly, the report indicates that boats, both new and used, are taking longer to sell. New boats, in particular, are spending an additional 41 days on the market, reflecting a more deliberate decision-making process among buyers. This trend could be linked to increased scrutiny and consideration, as purchasers weigh their options in the face of a diverse and expanding market.

A compelling finding is the sustained demand for budget-friendly boats, particularly those in the less than 35-foot segment. Data from underscores that these smaller vessels continue to drive global unit sales. However, this surge in demand has led to a paradoxical scenario, as the average sold price of smaller boats is decreasing. The influx of supply and a normalized consumer demand seem to be exerting downward pressure on prices, creating an intriguing market dynamic.

As the boating industry charts a course through these shifting waters, stakeholders must remain attuned to these nuanced trends. The delicate balance between new and used boat sales, coupled with the prolonged selling times and evolving consumer preferences, paints a complex picture for market participants. The upcoming Miami Boat Show provides an opportune moment for industry players to converge, deliberate, and adapt strategies in response to these findings, ensuring a resilient and thriving future for the global boating community.

  • Largest network of online boating marketplaces globally – with over 100 million annual visitors to its portals – offering the largest inventory of boat listings
  • Over three decades, Boats Group has developed a comprehensive suite of data-driven digital products and features – contributing to the digitalisation of the industry & helping its partners sell more boats, faster
  • Boats Group is owned by Permira Funds and based in Miami (US), with co-headquarters in Fareham (UK) and offices in Padova (IT) and Barcelona (ES)
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