An uptick in watercraft sales yields opportunity for agents and brokers looking to help boat and yacht owners navigate some risky waters.

The Great Recession was expectedly rough on boat sales, which saw widely reported declines of 50% or more in revenues as the economy sunk. However, that tide is now turning—and producers who understand the exposures can make hay by writing coverage on new watercraft.

Sales of recreational boats (up to 26 feet in length), which account for 95% of craft on the water, were up about 10% in 2014. Sales of yachts (over 26 feet) were reportedly flat compared to 2013, but brokers and underwriters report smoother waters in the large-craft sector than in recent years.

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