Ireland’s boating enthusiasts navigated the choppy waters of the pandemic with ease, with leisure boat sales soaring over the past two years.
ugh Mockler, a broker at Crosshaven Boatyard, said he’s finding it difficult to keep up with demand.
“We really have few boats. Normally we would have offers for 60 or 70 boats, but at the moment we are in our mid-20s and that is very unusual. As soon as we get something decent, people wait to buy it. For example, we sell Dufour sailboats, for which there is a two-year waiting list. The majority is between 250,000 and 700,000 euros.”
His clients come “from all walks of life,” he said. “There was a time when sailboats were considered elitist, but thank God that’s over. People can get on the water for as little as €4,000 or €5,000.”
Most of his customers spend between 30,000 and 70,000 euros. “Obviously there are others that will go higher, but they make up a significantly lower percentage. I sold a Rodman Spirit 31 this year that cost around €250,000.”
Boat prices have risen by as much as 10 percent, but the market remains undeterred. “There is no doubt that people say to themselves: ‘We only have one chance in life, we better enjoy it,'” said Mr. Mockler.
During Cork Week, the annual sailing regatta, which takes place from 11th to 15th July, the owners of Cork’s most exclusive waterfront homes are letting their properties for as much as €3,500.
Gerry Salmon, owner of MGM Boats in Dún Laoghaire, said he had seen new business increase by 10 to 15 per cent over the past two years.
“It took the pandemic for people to realize that we live on a beautiful island with amazing scenery – and to be on a boat in Dublin Bay and see the city from the water is an amazing thing,” he said .
He also downplayed the idea that sailing was the domain of the wealthy.
“If you look out over Dublin Bay on a Thursday evening you will see over 100 yachts sailing together with crews of around four or five people and often you have groups of friends investing between €30,000 and €60,000 together in one Boat.
“That would work for the same price as a golf membership or even buying one of the better bike brands.”
The motor boat hire market on Irish rivers is also booming, said Barbara Smyth of Silver Line Cruises, based on the River Shannon in Banagher, Co Offaly. “In the last two years, 80 percent of customers were new customers.”
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/boats-no-longer-the-preserve-of-the-rich-as-pandemic-effect-hoists-sales-41626704.html Boats “no longer the preserve of the wealthy” as pandemic effect drives sales up