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Dealer sales, optimism rise

Recreational marine dealer sentiment improved in February, and a larger percentage of businesses surveyed in the MRAA/Baird Marine Retailer Pulse Report said they had higher new-boat retail sales than the companies that responded in January.

Consumer confidence has been running at its highest levels since 2004 and boat sales were off to a strong start for 2017.

A business climate that’s tricky to read

To boost the economy, President Donald Trump has said he wants “historic tax reform” that would benefit corporations and the middle class, a 10 percent increase in defense spending and $1 trillion worth of infrastructure improvements over the next decade.

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Boat sales top 5,000 in January

Driven by the three boat types that have been the industry’s strongest sellers since the last recession ended, recreational boatbuilders and dealers began 2017 with high single-digit January gains.

Boat sales continue gains in February

Led by a 12 percent increase in sales of outboard-powered fiberglass boats, the recreational boat industry followed a strong January with moderate February growth that put sales for the year about 1 percent ahead of 2016.

Boat sales topped 250,000 in 2016

Marking another milestone in its recovery, the U.S. recreational boat industry sold more than 250,000 boats in 2016 for the first time in eight years.

Dealer index shows boost in confidence in February

Recreational marine dealer sentiment improved in February and a larger percentage of businesses surveyed in the MRAA/Baird Marine Retailer Pulse Report said they had higher new-boat retail sales than the companies that responded in January.

Employees at Great Lakes Boat Top’s Tennessee plant sew and assemble canvas for the company’s boatbuilder customers.

60 years later and it’s still tops

In a three-car backyard garage in 1954 Detroit, retired bus and streetcar driver William Parks, his 18-year-old son and his wife decided to start a business that made and sold boat covers.

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Boat sales rose 5 percent in 2016

Recreational boat sales slipped in December, but full-year figures based on results from 27 early-reporting states, including Florida and Texas, show that industry sales rose about 5 percent last year.

Boat sales make a jump in January

Driven by the three boat types that have been the industry’s strongest sellers since the last recession ended, recreational boatbuilders and dealers began 2017 with high single-digit January gains.

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Boat sales make more gains in November

Lifted by Florida and Texas, the nation’s top two states for sales, the recreational boating industry achieved moderate growth in November that raised the year’s percentage sales gains to levels more in line with forecasts.

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