Hi gang, Rick here from Used Pontoon Boats with an interesting article from the Central Florida Boat Show, taking a mental time-travel trip back to 2005, when owning a Regal Sport Yacht was not just a fantasy.
I'd sell you my house for a $200,000 profit.
You'd sell me your house for a $200,000 profit.
And we'd each buy one, let Citigroup hold the titles, and head off for the Bahamas and drink rum punches on the equity loans.
Ah, those were the days, when what you bought didn't depend on what you were worth.
And if you actually were worth something, you upgraded to the 4060 Commodore Express, an oceangoing luxury RV with the electronics of an aircraft carrier.
Want to go to Grenada? Type in the coordinates and hit autopilot.
This thing will even go sideways. Just push the joystick controller to whichever side you want to go. Twist the top around to do a pirouette.
If you get hot, pull down the cabin enclosure and turn on the AC. The bathroom is nicer than the one in my house.
The twin Volvo engines suck down 30 gallons of fuel per hour, meaning an afternoon cruise would cost you about $500.
If you're interested, it has been marked down $25,000 to $467,643.
Remember when a downtown condo was worth that? And the Commodore Express has about the same square feet.
But this is no fire sale. Salesmen here at the Orange County Convention Center say such luxury boats remain a hot item because the people who actually have money still are spending it. As one noted, "It always is the little people who get hurt in times like this."
I disembark from the Commodore Express, one of the little people now stuck forever in his lesser boat. It sits in my garage, a 13-footer that couldn't make a decent dent in a manatee.
I have no more inflated assets to leverage, not even to buy a 33-foot Hydra-Sports with twin Yamaha 350s on the back. Just the cooler costs $4,000. It keeps ice frozen for two weeks.
"Boats like this are selling," says salesman Steve Musso. "I have more deals for boats over $200,000 than anything else."
So let's see how the five-figure inventory is moving.
Here is a measly 23-foot Nautique, marked down to a boat show special price of $72,299. The 11-speaker stereo system, including a big subwoofer under the passenger seat, cranks out more than 1,000 watts. You can upgrade to three more subwoofers and three more amps in case you want to share with everybody else on the lake.
"I sold one of these to Vince Carter," says Jason Webster of Southeast Correct Craft. "Our buyers are higher-end buyers. They're not as affected by the economy."
To find the little-people boats, I continue on to the pontoons, where I find a SunChaser for $16,999.
"They're two hollow pieces of aluminum strapped to a deck. and that's it," says Jeremy Prouty, a professional bass fisherman representing Advanced Marine.
"For everything on this, it's half the cost of my bass boat," he adds. "Don't tell the guys, but I'd like to get one of these."
I find a Sun Catcher pontoon for the bargain price of about $13,000 from Sonny's Marine Center. Owner Jim Eazsol admits sales are slow in the little-people category.
"I've been up and down with recession and gas shortages," he says. "But if you treat people right, they'll come back when the times are tough."
Thanks to Mike Thomas, Orlando Sentinel for this.
Used Pontoon Boats, By Rick Ostler
Used Pontoon Boats-North American Waterway
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