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Sunny in Seattle

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Martha Comfort

Martha Comfort

By Jason Y. Wood

The masses have spoken and the message is loud and clear: They’re tired of waiting for this economy to catch up with their boating needs. Summer is in full swing: It’s time to buy or sell, or sell and buy. Yacht brokers are hearing the same thing.
            “I think here in the Northwest it would be safe to say that most of us in the business feel that the bottom is behind us,” says Martha Comfort, a broker for Chuck Hovey Yachts in Seattle [(206) 499-0910,]. “There was considerable inventory buildup, of course, as people were trying very hard to sell and no one was buying. In the middle of last year we started to see people coming back into the market to take advantage of the situation: extreme selling pressure, a lot of inventory, and great prices.”
            Those three factors combine to create a great situation for buyers, and help them get to their comfort zone—a good thing for everyone. “We say in our office it takes two conditions to get the phone to ring: a sunny day and a stock market uptick,” Comfort says. “It’s quite predictable when both of those things are happening—we will get walk-ins, we will get people picking up the phone and calling us.”
            Anything else to consider? “Individual marine lending is very much alive and well,” Comfort says. “A buyer who can show reasonable income will have no trouble getting 80 percent financed at a great rate. I don’t think finance rates could get any better for marine loans.”
            Things are warming up. What better way to spend your summer than on the water, on your new boat?