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.

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December sales figures conclude a down year

Early numbers point to 32 percent loss for ’08; results of early winter shows provide some lift Boat registrations in December showed a continuation of the yearlong decline in sales. Total fiberglass boats, including personal watercraft, fell 28.4 percent on 2,508 units for the month. These statistics are based on data from 27 early-reporting states…more

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Unemployment rate high, but not unprecedented

One of the principal reasons consumer confidence is at an all-time low is fear of job loss, economists say. U.S. Department of Labor figures show unemployment surged to 7.2 percent in December — a month in which 524,000 jobs were lost. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the number of unemployed people…more

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U.S. YachtWorld brokers rang up $3.1B in 2008

Any way you look at 2008, it was a benchmark year, and all 2009 activities are going to be judged against it. With this in mind, here are some key 2008 YachtWorld.com numbers that will provide guidance as to how 2009 compares: • As of Dec. 31 there were 1,498 U.S. brokerages and 1,037 international…more

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Third-quarter sales decline affects every boating segment

Sales of new boats continued to drop in the third quarter of 2008. The total fiberglass segment, including personal watercraft, fell 31.6 percent, while aluminum sales were off 25.6 percent. The information here is based on registration data from 47 states, which make up 99 percent of the U.S. boat market. The closely watched 14-foot-and-up…more

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Already, this recession is longer than average

If the past is, indeed, prologue, then the recession should end sometime in 2009. Now that the National Bureau of Economic Research confirms that we are in one — and have been since December 2007 — some recession facts and figures seem appropriate. As the chart shows, the longest post-World War II recessions have lasted…more

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Fiberglass boat sales down 40.5 percent in October

Sales of fiberglass boats dropped 40.5 percent in October, according to early release data. Last year at the same time there was slight growth, showing a healthy clearing of inventories closing the fall selling season. This year, the market was stagnant in October because of a record low in consumer confidence and unstable financing resources.…more

The economy’s one bright spot: gasoline prices

It comes too late in the year to be of much help to the marine industry, but the one bright spot in an otherwise economically volatile autumn has been the steady downward trend in gasoline prices. The descent began in August, after prices hit all-time highs in June and July and were threatening to go…more

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Big boats for Florida, small for Massachusetts

This month we are taking a look at the sales by length in the top five states for sales for the nine months to Sept. 30. We have also shown the totals for the U.S. as a whole. It will not come as a surprise to find Florida in the No. 1 spot in terms…more

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Consumer confidence dips to all-time low

The global financial upheaval has driven consumer confidence to the lowest level ever recorded by the Conference Board. After showing modest improvement in September, the board’s Consumer Confidence Index plunged more than 23 points in October. The index, which stood at 61.4 in September, hit an all-time low of 38 in October. The 23.4-point decline…more

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