Brexit and it’s impact has been a topic of conversation with friends and clients for quite a while now. I’ve been keeping abreast of all the latest developments. I’ve been reading the industry guidance and talking to colleagues across the UK, Ireland and Europe. I’ve been watching the currency markets and the stock prices of all the major players in the industry.
And my most succinct analysis is this…
I haven’t a bloody clue what’s going to happen. And anyone who says they do is a bluffer.
And do you know what…
At the moment, I don’t really care anymore.
I’m fed up with the uncertainty, the game playing and effort of thinking about it.
We’re still selling boats, and enthusiasts will continue to go boating regardless of what happens.
That is for sure.
The arguments and rationale for Brexit having either a positive or negative effect on the market are both plentiful and largely pointless.
We don’t even know yet what Brexit means,
so trying to predict its impact at this point is impossible. I can only speak of my recent experiences…
Yes, I was (and still am a little) worried that the prospect of Brexit is going to stifle sales. We had a quiet first couple of weeks of the year which is normally a busy time. But since then things have been going great guns. Sales are now up on the same period last year and are showing no signs of slacking off.
We are seeing a slight reduction in the number of leads per boat and this means that with less competing offers sale prices are down a bit on last year, but not by much.
All in all the buyers who are active in the market are keen to buy and just want to get the best deal that they can.
They’re getting on with life… in spite of, or maybe because of, all the ongoing uncertainty.
The general sentiment was summed up nicely by a gentleman from Cork who was in my office finalizing a deal a few days ago.
He told me that he’d been having all sorts of advice from bar stool experts to hold off on buying a boat until after Brexit, when the market will surely collapse. Either that, or Sterling will drop to parity with the Euro (although it’s currently going the other way!), and then he’d get a cracking deal. The general consensus was that he’s mad to be buying a boat in the UK now.
His response was…
‘I don’t really care. I want the boat. I’m buying the boat. And if everything does go pear shaped in the near future, at least I’ll have my boat to enjoy!’
… I couldn’t have put it better myself.
At the end of the day buying a boat is not an astute financial decision. It makes terrible economic sense… it’s always gonna cost money and sometimes lots of it. But who cares.
It’s an indulgence. It’s a treat to yourself and your family for all your hard work and effort.
And it’s a release valve from all the stresses of modern life – Brexit included!
Being aboard your boat is one of the few places left that you can genuinely escape from work and hassle.
And picture-perfect days afloat when everything comes together at the right time (the weather, the company, the location and the boat) are priceless.
So, will Brexit affect the leisure boat market?
Although I suspect it’s going to be much more of a ‘bump in the road’ than a ‘wheels falling off’ scenario. After all when the barstool experts all think they have it sussed, it’s usually a safe bet that they’re totally wrong.
Should Brexit stop you from buying a boat?
If you have the means and desire to do it; absolutely not.
Go for it.
My advice is to buy the boat. Get afloat. Switch off and chill out. Brexit can do what it wants.
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