Good news for the high-end houseboat market?
If luxury yacht sales are any indicator of what may be coming down the pike for the houseboat industry, our market should be braced for some excellent business in the coming months. Out West, the 33rd annual Newport Beach Boat Show boasted the largest display of luxury and mega yachts for sale in its history--more than 300, double the number of luxury yachts from last year.
This year the yachts ranged from the same type of go-fast boat used by Tom Cruise in the new Mission Impossible III movie to multi-million dollar mega yachts with helicopters and Jacuzzis. Southern California's KTLA television station broadcasted the news each morning from Zemba III, a 95 foot Brazilian built Inace. The expedition luxury mega yacht with a helicopter sitting on the top deck is for sale by Fraser Yachts Worldwide at $4.1 million dollars, helicopter not included. The media coverage helped produce a record number of attendees at Orange County's Lido Village Marina. According to show producers weekend attendance was up 30 percent from last year.
The California yachting market is booming right now despite rising fuel prices, limited slip availability, and last year's enforcement of a 7% sales tax on yacht purchases. In Orange County alone there are over 5000 slips, yet at one marina in Newport Beach there is up to an eight year wait for a slip over 45 feet. Mega yachts in Southern California are increasing not only in the number but in size. "The size and price of toys the wealthy are purchasing is going up and up. Homes are bigger. Cars are faster. Boats are larger," said Vince Krivanek, General Manager of Fraser Yachts Azimut Dealership in San Diego.
Fraser Yachts Worldwide, a division of the Azimut/Benetti group, is the largest luxury yacht services provider in the world. Fraser had the largest exhibit of mega yachts on display; seven yachts totaling almost $18 million and measuring 577 feet/176 meters in combined length.