Nearly half of the visitors to Boat Trader’s website currently arrive via smartphones and tablets to search boats for sale.
By the Numbers
Monthly reports on sales of new, used and brokerage boats provide the industry with the information to understand its market and follow consumer trends and buying patterns.
Unit sales in the U.S. brokerage market in July dropped 8 percent from the same month a year earlier, to 3,287 boats, continuing a modest downward trend that has been in place all year.
Boosted by solid improvement in three key categories, the recreational boat industry got back on plane in June with single-digit sales growth in the main segments and a double-digit increase industrywide.
The shift to mobile computing among visitors to Boat Trader.com reached 45 percent of unique visitors in the second quarter this year. The chart at right shows the percentage of use of mobile phones, tab-lets and desktop computers in each of the last six quarters.
The second quarter of 2014 was positive for the U.S. yacht brokerage market, with sales improving significantly from the first quarter, more than 10,000 boats sold and year-to-date results above 5-year average figures for each month.
Recreational boat sales were mixed in May in 27 early-reporting states, a disappointing result for the industry.
Aluminum boats provide good value, and in many categories they have sold well, compared with fiberglass models, in the post-recession period.
U.S. brokerage sales have rebounded during the first two months of the second quarter after poor weather severely affected first-quarter sales in many Eastern and Midwestern states.
Recreational boat sales growth in March amounted to just a trickle, but the solid single-digit increases the industry saw in April suggest that builders and dealers could enjoy sustainable gains in the warmer months ahead.
A ranking of the total number of new and used models listed at Boat Trader.com during the past year reveals some familiar makes, and four of the top five predominantly build aluminum boats. This is, in part, because a number of major aluminum builders market new models heavily on the site.