Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Stuart / Fort Pierce (affectionately known by the spoonerism Port Fierce) are the three areas where I most often interact with yachts. I have been reminded of this fact over the last few weeks as I have been tearing up the road on sales and service among the three cities. It is a two hour drive from Lauderdale to Stuart versus an hour drive to the Miami River area. Without doubt the largest brokerage market of the three is Lauderdale with 1,631 yachts for sale compared to 1103 for Miami and 574 in Stuart. Due to democraphics, geography, and infastructure, the areas vary dramatically in the type of people and yachts you will interact with.
The defining characteristic of Miami is her large latin demographic. And let’s be honest a seriously degraded infastructure from the Bertram and Merril Stevens heydays. The yachts here are mixture of 15% sportfishers, 20% motoryachts, 10% sail, etcetera. The key geographic structure is Biscayne Bay, a protected area for daysailing, racing, and otherwise messing around. Another 15% of the inventory is asking over $1 million.
Lauderale is all about the luxury motoryacht market and crew lifestyle. The best facilities and support groups make their home here to an ever higher end clientele. About 25% of the yachts in Lauderdale are asking over 1 million, 10% of the inventory is over 100-feet in length. Geographically there are 300 miles of navigable water among the Dania Cutoff, New River, and Intracoastal.
Stuart is a more rural area with less sophisted infastructure than in the more developed south. It reminds many of what Lauderdale once was with an important difference – shoaler water. This depth problem has limited the size of yachts with only two 100-footers currently in the area and less than 5% with a valuation over $1 million. The lack of shoreside entertainment in the retirement style area has hurt the area’s growth (Orange Ave isn’t exactly Las Olas north). The area does have the deep and large basin port of Fort Pierce which eventually will see greater use when the local economy turns around.
Miami, Lauderdale, and Stuart harbor most of South Florid’s yachts. The other missing link I drive to is Saint Petersburg on the west coast of Florida, an area with 516 yachts for sale. The four cities account for 25% of the inventory in Florida.
Joke of the Week
A man walks into his doctor.
“What seems to be the problem, Johnny?” the doctor asks.
“Well Doc, I am just too smart,” says the patient. “I wish I wish I was normal and could enjoy myself like everyone else instead of over thinkng everything. Please help me.”
“I can make you of normal intelligence, but I must warn you the procedure cannot be undone. Do you want to still do it?”
“Yes, yes anything Doc!”
The doctor hooked him up to the machine.
“Now I am going to turn this dial, and it will lower your intellignce until we get to an average IQ.”
“Whatever you say, Doc. Let’s do it,” replied the patient.
The doctor started turning the knob.
“How are you doing?”
“Feeling good, Doc.”
Then all a sudden the doctor’s hand slipped and the knob went all the way down. The doctor panicked and tore off the electrodes from the patient.”
“Johnny, Johnny! Speak to me!”
The patient looked up at the doctor and said, “Go Gators Go.”
He had reached the lowest possible level of intelligence.