Boat market reflects changing Auckland
The boating market is reflecting the changes we are seeing in wider Auckland, says marine broker Tony Smith, and he has some advice for those wanting to buy and sell this summer.
Tony specialises in the ‘entry level’ boat market. That generally means keelers and launches priced between $15,000 and $100,000.
With Auckland fast growing and fast changing in its demographic, he says that immigrants represent many of his enquiries and purchases.
“Most of purchasers are in their late thirties and early forties, and a lot are new immigrants to New Zealand,” he says.
“When they decide to come and live in Auckland, buying a boat and getting out on the Hauraki Gulf is part of the equation.”
While people continue to upgrade and downgrade their boats at different stages of their lives, many of Tony’s buyers are first timers, and he suggests that they look for something under 10m in length, because there are more berthage options in this category, and the ongoing cost of ownership is usually less with a smaller boat.
He believes that while prices have dropped significantly in the last few years, it’s likely that they won’t get much lower, and that good boats will always sell.
“People will still pay very good money for boats in good condition that they can buy today and sail away tomorrow - they are not interested in doing maintenance.”
If you do have a boat, what can you invest in to both make it more enjoyable to sail, and easier to sell when the time comes?
Tony says that a bimini or dodger is a great investment to keep out of the wind and sun, as is electronic equipment that will make it easier and safer to navigate at night. People are also looking for boats that have Leisure Furl mainsails, or Lazy Jacks, to make going boating safer and easier.
“Toys that make the boat well equipped, safer, and more comfortable are always good investments,” he says.
And once we (fingers crossed) receive confirmation that the next America’s Cup will definitely be held in Auckland, he believes that the market will take off.
“We are coming out of winter now and I think it’s the lull before the storm,” he says. “People will want to be out there to watch the training and racing, and it will be really exciting.”
Lastly, he says that if you are new to boating, look for a local, experienced yacht broker, who knows the conditions experienced in our local waters, and the boats themselves.
“People come to me and ask what they should buy. I go out on the water with them, and get an idea of how confident they are, and help them find the right boat,” he says.
Tony Smith, who owns the popular racing yacht Fast Company, has been a yacht broker at Westhaven for more than ten years, but has recently started working from home, which has given him the opportunity to decrease his commission rates significantly.
He can be contacted on 022 520 0647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org