Gains that spread beyond aluminum fishing boats and pontoons and fiberglass outboards to bigger-boat segments gave the U.S. recreational boating industry a strong single-digit sales increase in the first quarter.
New Boat Sales
Statistical Surveys, a Michigan company that tracks new-boat registrations, provides monthly, quarterly and annual reports on boat sales from every state in the country.
Marine wholesale and retail lending trends are strong with the selling season starting earlier than in the previous two years.
Recreational boat sales stayed on a level growth plane in April, helped by spring weather that was improved from a year ago, particularly in the upper Midwest.
Not too hot and not too cold — just like typical early spring weather in much of the country — recreational boat sales continued to make moderate gains in March.
Last February, amid a bitterly cold winter across much of the nation, the marine industry’s spring selling season opened with a single-digit sales slump.
Led by four segments that topped 40,000 in sales, the recreational boating industry finished 2014 with moderate growth of 6 percent in the main powerboat segments and 8.5 percent industrywide.
Pontoons were the big winners in 2014 — a year that saw overall new-boat sales rise about 10 percent from 2013 by September, when about 95 percent of sales typically have been made.
New powerboat sales in 2014 grew for the fourth year in a row, including the strongest fourth quarter the industry has seen since 2008.
Richard Dumont, who was instrumental in setting up the first marine retail reporting system at Statistical Surveys, retired Jan. 1.
Continuing to show surprising strength as the year ends, recreational boat sales achieved double-digit gains in December for the second month in a row.