Activity Increases for Brokerage Sailing Yachts

Nautor's Swan USA East says inquiries and sales are both up substantially post-recession.

Swan 601 Chessie Racing 4

Keith Yeoman, president of Nautor's Swan USA East, has moved beyond cautious optimism into feeling pretty darn good about the market for luxury sailing yachts these days.

He took over the Newport, Rhode Island-based business in autumn 2007, just before the bottom fell out with the global economic crisis. "The market was very, very iffy from then until the beginning of 2012," he says. "What I've seen is that since January 2012, there's been a much more consistent level of activity on the brokerage side."

Specifically, he is seeing brokerage sailing yachts up to about 60 feet long really starting to move. Since January 2012, he has sold a 39, a 40, two 43s, two 44s, two 46s, two 48s, and two 60s—and he has several more deals expected to go to contract soon.

Not only that, but the number of inquiries coming in is continuing to remain healthy, too. The recent sales aren't draining the market. They're stoking it.
"I think everyone is still being cautious with their money," Yeoman says, "but they're starting to open up a little bit. We also just sold a new-build Swan 80 FD, and it's close to a $9 million boat. We're now seeing the super-wealthy start to loosen the purse strings."

Yeoman says that owners have settled into the realization that they aren't going to get the price they wanted five years ago for their yachts, so they are being more realistic in setting the bar. Buyers, meanwhile, are watching their stock portfolios zoom to record levels with no potential bubble-bursts in sight. It's the first time in a long time that the two sides have both been keen to make a deal, Yeoman says.

A few of the brokerage boats he thinks will find homes next include a 2008 Swan 66 listed at $3.7 million, a 2005 Swan 46 listed at $849,000, a 1996 Swan 44 listed at $297,500, and a 2004 Swan 601 with what Yeoman calls a highly motivated seller.

"A lot of people seem to want to buy boats again," Yeoman adds. "It's just a question of finding the right one for them."

Learn more at or contact Yeoman directly at (401) 846-1090.