Boat sales regain strength in October

Posted on Written by Jack Atzinger

btnAfter stalling in September, the recreational boating industry roared back to life in October with double-digit sales increases in several categories during what is traditionally a low-volume month in the industry.

Sales in the main powerboat segments rose 22.1 percent, to 3,490 boats, from October 2011, and they were up 21 percent to 5,181 boats industrywide, according to figures compiled by Ryan Kloppe, national marine sales manager at Statistical Surveys Inc.

In October 2011, sales in the main powerboat segments and across the industry declined by double digits in early-reporting states. Kloppe believes the new figures show that consumers are gaining confidence as the economy and the job and housing markets gradually improve.

“People are starting to feel a little more comfortable in their situation,” he said.

Kloppe said the October sales information is based on registration data from 27 early-reporting states that comprise about 62 percent of the national market. October typically produces only about 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent of the industry’s sales for the year, but he said the month’s numbers were nonetheless impressive.

“It’s pretty significant,” Kloppe said of the gains. “I don’t want to overhype it, but it is nice to see these improvements.”

Sales of aluminum pontoon boats, an industry leader throughout 2012, rose 44.6 percent to 522 in October and sales of aluminum fishing boats climbed 16.8 percent to 1,062. Sales of small aluminum boats are “relatively soft, but the 16-foot-plus section is doing well,” Kloppe said.

Sales in the high-volume 11- to 40-foot outboard fiberglass segment rose 24.7 percent to 1,540 boats and sales in that category are up 13.1 percent for the year to 31,257 boats. Kloppe said New York, Florida and Texas are leading the way in sales of deckboats and bass boats in the 11- to-40-foot segment, and also in jetboats.

Even sales of 14- to 30-foot inboard and sterndrive fiberglass boats, which have struggled for months, rose 18 percent in October to 301 boats. They remain 2.2 percent lower for the year.

Sales in three categories of cruisers and yachts continued to struggle, dropping by margins ranging from 22.9 percent to 46.3 percent. Among those segments, only the 63- to 99-foot semi-custom and custom yacht category is showing growth for the year.

Reported sales of documented vessels are about 90 days behind because of data entry delays at the Coast Guard, Kloppe said, creating an incomplete report for boats larger than 31 feet and understating the cruiser and yacht markets.

Through October, main-segment sales are up 11.9 percent to 109,351 boats and industrywide sales are up 9.6 percent to 177,053 boats.

“We’re optimistic as the numbers tick upward, but are aware that the numbers aren’t what they used to be five years ago,” Kloppe said.

Sales of jetboats, ski boats and personal watercraft were sharply higher during the month, although the sales totals reflect October’s typically diminished market. PWC sales rose 50.7 percent, or 239 units, to 710, ski boat sales were up 41.2 percent, or 40, to 137, and jetboat sales rose by 35, or 67.3 percent, to 87.

Sales of sailboats fell 9.8 percent, or nine boats, to 83.

This article originally appeared in the January 2013 issue.

Welcome to TradeOnlyToday’s premium content! To continue reading, please register now, for access to 10 free stories per month. Or subscribe, for unlimited access to all TradeOnlyToday content!

Click here to Register ... it's free!

Basic subscription: Registered members get free access to 10 premium content stories each month!

Not a member yet? Click here to Register!

Already a member? Click here to Login!

Subscribe ... for unlimited access!

Individual subscription: $29 for unlimited site access for one year.

Small Business subscription: $140 for unlimited site access for up to 10 members of a company for one year.

Corporate subscription: $300 for unlimited site access for all members of a company for one year.

You may close this dialog after seconds.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.

Vote Today

What is the best outcome for the marine industry in the November mid-term elections?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Search Boats for Sale

Length
Year
Price

Login to Trade Only Today

Lost Password