Buoyed by successful winter shows and good early spring weather, the recreational boating industry had its best March in eight years as sales soared 21.3 percent in the main segments and 19.9 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.
Sailboat sales declined 25.3 percent in 2015, returning to 2013 levels after seeing a spike in 2014, when new sales rose 33.9 percent.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This begins a two-part special report on the industry’s declining baby-boomer client base and the reluctance of the next generations to commit to boat ownership.
The richest 1 percent of people globally continued to buy superyachts and other luxury goods last year despite a decline in their overall wealth after turmoil in the financial markets.
After a disappointing start to the year, recreational boat sales rebounded in February with strong single-digit gains that suggest the big Miami boat shows and smaller regional events attracted a significant number of buyers.
Growth in U.S. recreational boat sales slowed during the fourth quarter, but builders and dealers sold 15,477 more boats in all of 2015 than they did the year before, marking the fourth straight year of gains for the recovering industry.
RV shipments in January were the largest in 10 years and marked the second-best start to a year since 1973.
The United States is continuing to see an increase in boatbuilders from abroad who want to bring their brands here, and although it’s not a new phenomenon it is one that continues to gain traction in light of the strong dollar and relatively robust North American boating market.
After two consecutive months of double-digit gains, U.S. recreational boat sales fell in January in the main powerboat segments and industrywide for the first time since last spring.
Buoyed by a strong November, the recreational boating industry got the holiday present it wanted — a second consecutive month of double-digit sales gains in December, traditionally one of the slowest months of the year.