Getting Ready for the Newport International Boat Show
The way you approach a boat show determines just what you’ll get out of it. Do you go in ready to make informed decisions? Many boaters just play catch as catch can with the knowledgeable brokers, the best boats (and they don’t last long), and the good deals (their shelf life is even shorter!). And while we all like a nice surprise, the smart buyers are turning their broker on to their goals for this year’s show season.
As always the greater economy, including the price of fuel, taxes, the business climate, and consumer confidence, all have an effect on the brokerage market. But even these factors can pale in comparison with boaters deciding to live in the moment. “I think it’s been summer vacation: The kids are home, people are on vacation time,” says Larry Rutter of Rudders & Moorings. “It usually gives me a little time, to sit back and relax a little bit, and plan for the boat shows. But not this year: We’ve had a busy time since February. In the first few months it was sailboats. In the last month or two It’s been all powerboats. I think in general most everybody wants to get a newer boat if possible. I am seeing a lot of interest in liveaboards, which I think is a trend that’s been coming down for a while now. People know now that they can deduct a boat as a second home, so instead of buying a condo on the water they get a boat on the water.” Be aware: A trend like that can change the market for boaters who are looking for a boat in the similar 35- to 45-foot range. A good broker can guide his clients to where the market opens up opportunities.
Larry Rutter’s Hot Tip
“I’m focused on Reliant Yachts, which is a new boat line started by the guys that used to own Alden Yachts. It’s a very classic-looking New England-style boat along the lines of a Hinckley or an MJM or a Hunt. It’s getting rave reviews and I’m spending a lot of time focusing on them for the boat shows.”