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The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show has now been over for 3 weeks and by all reports it was just a so-so show. Going into the show it was split between “It is going to be horrible.” and “It will be good.” It was not good, but it was not bad either.

Sellers were hoping that things were going to change and holding out on prices. Buyers were thinking that everyone who owns a boat is desperate to sell and they were the only buyers in the world.

The fact is is that sales have picked up, the boats that are selling are well priced, but not necessarily outrageous deals. They are good values and there is no question that it is a buyer's market right now.

The big question is, “Is now the time to buy a yacht?”.

Like calling the bottom or top of the stock market, I would love to be able to say “I can do that”, but almost no one can. All the indicators are that it is a very good time to buy and it could go a bit lower or just as easily start to firm and go the other way.

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The reason I think that now is the right time to buy has less to do with the absolute best deal than the outstanding inventory available. I have not seen the number of high quality boats available in the market for a long time. In the explorer/expedition/long range yacht market there never has been more available than there is right now. There just were not that many of these boats in existence in the past down turns to have the inventory on the market that we are seeing today. It is still much thinner market then any other type of yachts.

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One thing you can be sure of is is that top quality boats will be the first to go, they always are and they are going to be good values when they do. I would not expect them to be total steals.

If you want the highest chance of finding the right vessel to fit your needs in any price bracket and a good value, then I think you are looking at that window now. It will stay open for a while but what you are going to see through it is going to get thinner over the near future.

This is just my humble opinion and I look forward to HEARING anyone else's views on this matter.

Warmest regards,
John S. DeCaro
Expedition Yacht List
Northern Sun
Broker John DeCaro
Bahia Mar Yachting Center
801 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
Telephone: 954-646-1411

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