Sales of mega yachts are turning the corner in the improving economy, according to some South Florida-based yacht sellers and builders.
So far this year, there's been a notable upswing in interest for new custom-built yachts of 80 feet or more in length and less price slashing on pre-owned boats of this caliber, industry specialists say.
"We've reached the bottom of the [mega yacht] market," said Mark Elliott, yacht consultant and charter agent at International Yacht Collection in Fort Lauderdale, noting that in recent years it's been a buyer's market due to the recession and a pullback in luxury spending. "Right now we're seeing yacht sales starting to increase and our inventory shrinking."
At IYC, sales of yachts 60 to 100 feet have been "very strong," and the firm is starting to see "some life" with yachts priced $15 million or more, Elliott added.
Over at Horizon Yacht USA in North Palm Beach, sales activity year-to-date has been "steadily busy" compared with the same period in 2012, said Elise Moffitt, a sales and marketing agent.
"The signs are encouraging," said Moffitt, who's seeing keen interest for custom-built yachts 80 to 100 feet in length. "The boat shows have been packed, and our boat show traffic is up."
Taiwan yacht builder Horizon, which exhibited at the Palm Beach International Boat Show in March, specializes in new boats that range from 46 feet to 120 feet in length, according to its website.
Moffitt said the company recently signed an order for a yacht more than 100 feet in length and is getting ready to deliver a 110-foot yacht before year-end.
Tuesday, IYC's Elliott invited several of the area's top yacht brokers to view and tour the 170-foot mega yacht DREAM, which is docked at the Hyatt Regency Pier 66.
"We want to get her exposed to the marketplace for sale or charter to foreign clients," said Elliott, who noted that due to tax regulations, DREAM is not available for sale or charter to U.S. residents while it's in U.S. waters
The 2003 vessel, built by Dutch yacht maker Feadship, is listed for sale for $34.9 million and is also available for charter in the Mediterranean this summer.
The yacht has seven staterooms, a sundeck with two lounges, a Jacuzzi and two Sea-Doos, among other amenities.
"DREAM's like new and ready to go," said Elliott.
The yacht recently got a complete paint job and a new 10-year Lloyd's Register survey done at Dania Beach-based Derecktor Shipyards.
(Source: Google News: Sun Sentinel. View the original story here.)