December 1, 2010

blogger - Trojan Year

We are in the end of the 2010 year and unlike the forecast as at January many boat builders are still left hammering and suffering the crisis. 2010 has been a surprise Trojan year, and while many where thinking that the worst seen in 2009 was over we have seen quite a few builders in difficulty, with some companies also going bankrupt this year. May be reality is that this is the size of the market we have to live for the short term ahead, and after a decade of two digits growth the industry is realigning itself.
2010 showed the market to be still slow to what regards most sizes of new boat sales, and the used brokerage market while picking up in sales in recent months still remains on the over supply of things. This last definitely happened thanks to easy credit of banks and leasing schemes as before 2008 which brought loads of new customers to the yachting world.
The year which is ending also showed the full extent of the crisis to the UK builders, who in 2009 in the full force of the recession had the advantage of the weak pound which at the time helped reduce the inside pressure thanks to competitive exporting prices, and also for making importing boats in the UK looking much more expensive. While the pound is still away from its stronger side, the UK currency today is in more solid territory to how it was in the early part of 2009, and this actually saw two British builders change owners, and a third the well known Sunseeker who in the middle of the year also needed the entrance of fresh capital and a new major share holder.
The good side of 2010 seems to come from the US and some innovative products who seem to capture the attention of the market. The big apple, country home to the largest boating market and users in the World has seen better sales in 2010 with the increase coming from the smaller sub fifty feet sizes. While prise for innovation has also been a characteristic in the second part of the year with semi displacement or a hybrid of this hull shape with attention for a more economic to run cruisers and yachts, capturing more to the expected customer following.