Far from slipping into a “lull,” as it did in 2016 after strong March sales, the U.S. recreational boating industry achieved moderate gains in April this year that included double-digit growth in the pontoon category.
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.
Last year, the recreational boating industry was celebrating its best March results since 2008 — sales gains of 21 percent in the main powerboat segments and 20 percent industrywide.
After higher-volume sales to begin the year, U.S. yacht brokers have reported slightly lower sales in recent months. Volume declined by 82 boats in April as sales slipped from 2,916 to 2,834, a 3 percent shift.
The shift toward use of smartphones among unique visitors to the Boat Trader website continued during the last 12 months.
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.
There were smiles on the faces of many brokers during the first quarter this year. After moderate gains in January and February, U.S. brokerage market volume eased slightly in March, but total volume for the three months was 3 percent higher than in 2016 at 5,709.
Power-cruiser models were the second-most-viewed class of boat on Boat Trader in 2016. Visitors to the site looked at listings for power cruisers, new and used, nearly 6.5 million times during the year.
Retail sales fell in March for the second month in a row and consumer prices also declined, the government reported Friday.
Whether because of a warm winter, a rising stock market or a post-election bounce, U.S. brokerage sales volume and total valuation increased for the second month running in February.
Center console models were the most viewed class on Boat Trader last year. Site visitors looked at listings for center consoles, new and used, about 12.7 million times, nearly double the 6.5 million times that boats in the No. 2 class, power cruisers, were viewed.