Boaters and would-be boaters seem to be more optimistic than for several years and, although there are still lots of boats up for sale, there seem to be more buyers entering the market.
Norbury Wharf, reports “phenomenal sales during the last few weeks,” and manager David Ray says they have almost sold out of boats.
He added: “Although there are still many existing boaters who have decided to sell, we are now seeing more people who are trading up to a better boat and a lot more new families deciding that they want to own a boat. There is also an increase in the numbers buying a boat in order to live on it.”
He feels the upsurge is something more than the impact of a lovely spring with a promise of a sunny summer. “You get the feeling that the many buyers now visiting us here on the Shropshire Union have decided the time is right to spend money they have not been willing to spend in recent years.
“Some are judging, probably correctly, that prices for used boats are now probably as good value as they are ever going to be.”
The boom in boat sales may also be linked to Norbury's policy of advising sellers on how best to present their boats before they are seen by the buying public.
“It is important that the broker has as much history of the boat as possible which will allow the broker to do a comprehensive write up,” said David.
“The boat should have all personal possessions removed and have a full inventory. It helps to have the boat clean, beds made up and feeling homely, with cushions on sofas, stove blacked, windows clean. The outside should be clean too with only the essential equipment left on the roof. It helps to have the cabin paintwork clean and maybe polished. If the boat has been docked and blacked it provides evidence that the boat has been well cared for.
“Whilst the boat is on brokerage owners are encouraged to continue to visit to keep the boat clean, tidy and well ventilated especially during the winter months. Potential purchasers will be looking for: dry cabin bilges, clean engine bilges with no oil or antifreeze evident, well kept, absence of leaks from vents and windows.
“Too much clutter makes them feel it can never be their boat, and they want to know they can impose their own style on the vessel if they decide to buy.
“It is basic advice really but you would be surprised how many scruffy, dirty and clearly unloved boats you can find at brokerages and even on sale privately.”
Once an offer has been accepted, expect the purchaser to commission an independent marine surveyor to carry out at least a non-destructive hull survey and if any items are picked up on the purchasers will probably come back with a reduced offer.
Norbury is still in search of boats to sell.