Veteran yacht broker STEVE CURRAN quoted in New York Times/Associated Press article, citing strong boat sales during pandemic
(click here) https://nyti.ms/30PplCk
Selling my Boat, Acquiring a Boat, During Today’s Pandemic
By Steve Curran
Today’s economic crisis has changed many of our lives causing us to face a great deal of uncertainty. It’s like sailing, the winds have shifted and we probably need to adjust our course and sails too. Some of us at California Yacht Company have faced similar life changes in the past and are prepared to help those of you who are trying to adjust your life to the situation you have currently found yourself in. Some of you may find that the boat you have enjoyed over the years is no longer right for you and that it is time to sell. For others you may decide that this is the time for a change of life style. You may want to try boating or even living aboard. Whatever your situation, the staff at California Yacht Company is uniquely qualified to assist you.
Some of my friends and customers have used it as an excuse to go cruising. One couple, that loves to surf, took their Cal 30 to Catalina, Santa Barbara, Hollister Ranch (a surf spot North of Santa Barbara), and Smugglers Cove at Santa Cruz Island. We’re seeing lots of people hanging out on their docks, anchoring at Paradise Cove in Malibu and just fooling around on and around their boats. The obvious advantages of sun, open space and fresh air is perfect for this time of social distances. It’s often said that God does not take the time spent on the water away from your total time here. Not sure I believe it. I do preach it though.
Because California Yacht Company deals only in used boats, we are uniquely positioned to help sellers. Our attention is not diverted by expensive new boat inventory that becomes a huge problem in these downturns. This allows us to concentrate on all sizes and prices. I started a Hobie Cat Dealership in Marina del Rey in 1969, when Hobie 14’s sold for $1195, and I have never forgotten my roots. Some of our competitors only concentrate on the large, $100,000 plus boats. We are prepared to handle price points far lower than your average boat dealer.
Staging the boat properly, with good photographs is also important.
We also work hard to find creative ways to make deals happen, for example we sometimes take trades on brokerage boats. We guarantee slips, help with financing, and help with liveaboard slips and advice and have access to admiralty attorneys, mechanics, and financial institutions. We’ve been through this before and know how to help boat owners work through many issues such as working with banks and dock masters.
If you need to sell your boat due to this crisis, you must be prepared to be realistic with your pricing. The economic pressures are lowering values. And the costs of ownership and seasonality of boats continue. This further emphasizes selling the boat to eliminate the monthly drain of money.
Exposure and proper display are key. At our Long Beach location we have 26 slips displaying customers boats as well as our trades. It’s like a year-round boat show. The convenience of showing boats there results in many more potential buyers being exposed to our boats, more potential sales!
Advertising is also key. All our listings are placed on Yacht World, Boat Trader, Boats.com, Moreboats.com, Facebook, Instagram and our website, cayachtco.com. When appropriate, boats are placed on Yacht World’s “Enhanced Listings”. Depending on the vessel, Craigslist might be utilized. We also advertise locally in the California Yacht Club membership publications, where I have been an active member since 1971.
In addition, California Yacht Company sends out email blasts every 4-6 weeks to its database of over 9,000 addresses. In these blasts we spotlight notable yacht listings from our current inventory, Living Aboard, Cruising Catalina Island, local events, boat shows and other industry news of interest. We have display boards at both of our locations. Under normal circumstances, we participate in nearly all of the Southern California boat shows, always concentrating on only used boats.
Most importantly, California Yacht Company is committed to having a broad used boat inventory, both power and sail, brokerage and company-owned. This opens up the opportunity of taking trade-ins on brokerage boats. Since we are driven to buy boats, why not use this purchase as a means to help sell another boat? This is a unique position in Los Angeles/Southern California marketplace. There is no other are broker that does this.
If you feel it is time to sell your boat, be proactive. Contact us now so we can help you work through this time. Don’t try to do it alone. We have two offices to serve you.
- Marina del Rey Yacht Sales is located in Fisherman’s Village, 13763 Fiji Way, Unit E4. Phone: (310) 822-9813.
- Long Beach Yacht Center is located at Shoreline Marina, Gangway P., Shoreline Village Drive, Long Beach. Phone: (562) 983-6622
- Or visit our website: com.
Notes: Curran highlights six key points for those who are forced into selling their boat during the economic crisis: Be proactive. Realistic sales pricing. Exposure and display. Access to maritime attorney. Contact with bank representatives. Aggressive marketing.