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Sea Sure 2021 - Transom Fittings - LEADERBOARD

The state of the yachting industry according to Bob Denison

by Denison Yachting 10 Mar 06:42 PST

Hi, it's Bob Denison and today we're going to talk about the year 2021. Which as you probably know was a historic one for a lot of people, and a lot of places, and a lot of industries.

Specifically, here in the yachting industry, it was one of the best of all time depending on how you measure. There are people in sales, charter, crew, yacht management. It depends on what you do and where you are at geographically.

But most people were throwing up their hands and saying, "We had the best year ever". And many people think we're going to look back on the year 2021 and say, "That will never be repeated again". That's one of those great questions here in 2022. How do we repeat it? How do we grow? Is it even possible? And today we're going to talk specifically about some of the data.

First thing that I wanted to dig our teeth into here is total boats sold. So, I go to SoldBoats.com for the data that is going to reflect all boats sold. Power, sail, catamaran, trawlers, big boats, small boats. And the sold boats data shows us in the 2021 there were 58,983 boats sold.

And when you break that number down and get a little more specific, the powerboat side of things represented a total number of 46,870. And you sail boaters out there made of 12,113 boats sold. When you take a look at a map of the US, and the US by the way was the country that was responsible for the most boats sold.

When you look at the entire map of the US, the top 5 states that were responsible for more sales than anywhere else was Florida, of course. Number 2, California. Number 3 in the Mid-Atlantic, Maryland. Number 4 going back to the west coast, Washington, and number 5 New York. And the interesting thing about that, when you look a little bit closer is my home state, the best state, Florida, represented about 20% of total boat sales.

So Florida, 12,025 boats sold. And you look at that total number 58,983. It represented just about 1 in 5. Which not only shows you the importance of Florida to the boating and yachting world, but it also shows, and I think points to broader, even outside of yachting, the growing economic impact and the strength of Florida when you look at the country as a whole.

And now when you turn your eyes over to the big boat side of things, and for that we look to Boat International. And we look at a year where every record was seemingly smashed. In the year 2021 there was 887 total superyacht transactions. Boat International actually takes the data and reports all the data and collects it all of 24 meters or 80 feet and above. And a few things that are noteworthy about that.

Number 1, that's a 75% uptake from the previous year. So not only was it one of the best years in total volume, it was also one the best years in terms of giant leaps upward. Also, in the year 2021 there were 2 firms for the first time ever that achieved 100+ superyacht transactions, and I'll get to who those 2 are in a moment.

One of the other exciting thing that happened in the year 2021 was the return of the boat show. As many of you guys know, and we're going to try to refrain from using the Covid too many times in this video. But because of Covid in the year 2020 there were very few boat shows. Many of them came back in the year 2021. We participated in about 15 of them. But one of the things that I wanted to talk about as we look boat shows returning is not only how that helps overall boat shows but also the economic impact of those boat shows, and those local playgrounds of boating and yachting. So Fort Lauderdale Boat Show just released its data. The 2021 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show actually had an economic impact of $1.79 billion. Which again is just one of those numbers that's hard to digest and it's just gigantic.

But, it's worth diving a little bit deeper into that. That 1.79 billion means the grocery stores, the hotels, the airlines, anything and everything. Any place people would spend money on their visit to Fort Lauderdale. But if you look at the data and you look at the number of direct sales as a result of the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show is $899 million. Then when you look at it in terms of tax collected, $85 million in sales tax was collected for the state of Florida, and $24.5 million specially for Broward County. So just a taste of how important boat shows are not only to our industry but also to local communities where those boat shows happen.

A lot of people are wondering, "How is the industry so strong? What can we look to?" And I've got my own opinions, I look to a lot of other smarter people that have opinions of their own, and I've been collecting about 20 different reasons why. I'm going to actually hone in on 3 or 4 of those today without using the word Covid. Actually, I'm going to have to use the word Covid again. That is the number 1 reason.

This Covid effect where you have people that were on the fence before in the year 2020 that decided to do this thing called boating. They decided to do it because of things like social distancing. So that effect is still continuing and it's not just that new audience. The most encouraging thing for guys like myself is that those people in the year 2020 that bought boats, kept their boat. Or they may have actually upgraded their boat. And the most exciting thing is, the friends that were invited along with that boat ride in the year 2020. Many of them decided to buy a boat themselves.

Number 2 on my list of why's is the creation of new wealth. So not only looking to the S&P and the Dow and the Nasdaq and you have obvious indicators that things are healthy but there's also a lot of startups occurring. There's also a lot of the opposite. There's also a lot of sales, there's a lot of these new wealth events that are occurring around us. Not only in the traditional sense but also crypto. There's people today in the year 2021 that couldn't afford to buy a yacht yesterday that are now able to do so.

So number 3 I think is an extremely important one, it's also the most boring one, which is low interest rates. I don't have the data, it hasn't been released yet. But there is seemingly, at least from our list of transactions with clients there's a higher percentage of people that are actually financing their and yacht purchases today because rates are so incredibly low. Now as you know, rates are starting to tick up a little bit here in the US and elsewhere, it's going to be interesting to see if that does affect the sales overall globally.

And the fourth reason and maybe the hardest to define for the reason that our industry had such a great year, I think, and I hope this is the last time I use the word Covid during this video but Covid did introduce a short fragility of life moment for people. And our industry along with many others benefited from this idea of "I'm not going to be here forever, and I want to have fun now, I want to have meaningful moments with my family". So, we saw a lot more people opening up their wallets making that investment in life experiences and having the best time ever with the people they love, and that continued to happen in 2021. And I believe, and many people in our industry hope badly that that effect will continue for the next 5, 10, 15 years. So, I have 20 reasons, those are my 4 best, for why our industry had the year ever.

And now, I get to talk about the top five coolest things, most significant things that I'm most proud of that happened here at Denison Yachting. The first thing is, I referenced it earlier, there were two firms for the first time ever that were responsible for 100+ superyacht transactions. I am excited to tell you that not only are we the first to get to 100 but we ended the year ranked #1 for superyacht transactions. And I've got the data, and I just want to share it really quickly.

For the first time ever, two firms, 100+, it was Denison and Fraser. We were responsible for 115 total superyacht transactions, and when you break that down we were happy to represent 62 buyers in superyacht transactions and also 53 transactions where we represented the seller. The cool part about that is it's the third year in a row. So, 2019 was the first year we ranked #1. 202 of course the second and I'm proud to say 2021 we were able to grab that trophy as well.

Also, number 3, and it very much pertains to the superyacht part of our business. We saw a 65% increase in charter bookings. Not only on the retail side but also growing wholesale charter fleet is something we're incredibly proud of. I just wanted to tip my hat to that entire team. Not only are they really hard working, they're nice people, they love what they do. 65% uptick is massive.

Number 4, Frank and Gertrude Denison honored by the city of Fort Lauderdale in History Fort Lauderdale. The first ever family to be honored in the industry of yachting here in Fort Lauderdale. It was a big deal to me and my family and that also was kind of connected to the launch of our first ever magazine which was called FRANK. So, a very exciting thing for us as we look back and honor the people that make all this possible.

And finally, number 5 here at Denison Yachting in the year 2021, social media growth. And social media growth means, like everybody says that we're good. We're awesome, our team out there across these halls did a great job and we're the only firm in yachting that achieved top 3. So, we ranked top 3 in the top 3 social media channels of Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. We ended the year on Facebook's 60,000+ followers. Instagram across all the Denison properties just missed 200,000, we're at 199,000. YouTube, we were the very very very first firm to reach 200,000 subscribers. We ended the year at 263,000. When you look at that, the video part especially, I think is the backbone of all things social media. We had 46 million people watch our videos last year which is something I'm unbelievably proud of.

So that's a wrap. The year 2021 here was awesome. 2022 is here. As we look back on the data and the charts and the graphs and all that stuff, it's really all rotted in a bunch of good people hell-bent on making sure the client experience of buying or selling or chartering or operating a yacht is a really good one. So, the year 2022 is going to be full that, just us being hell bent on making the client experience better. For that, we're excited and thank you guys very very much for being on this journey with us. Bye!

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