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.
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.
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.
Troubles in the eurozone have hit British boat exports, but domestic demand helped the marine industry eke out sales growth for the year that ended last April, new figures showed on Monday.
The U.S. recreational boat industry ended the third quarter with the kind of moderate, steady growth that positions it to end 2014 with single-digit sales gains.
New-boat sales are tracking to be up about 10 percent this year from 2013, with about 95 percent of the sales that will commence in 2014 having already been made.
For the second month in a row, U.S. recreational boat sales showed single-digit gains in October that built on double-digit advances a year earlier as a late-blooming selling season extended deeper into the fall.
Just as the sun was setting on the summer of 2014, the industry had one of its best performances of the year in September, posting sales gains of nearly 10 percent in the main powerboat segments and across the industry.