Lingering cold slowed early-spring boat demand in parts of the country, but builders and analysts expect those lost sales to be recouped as data point to the strongest first quarter in four years.
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.
After appearing to gain momentum in April, recreational boat sales were mixed in May in 27 early-reporting states, a disappointing result for the industry as it tries to climb out of an early-spring slump and repeat the summer gains it achieved in 2013.
Early spring weather was unkind to the U.S. marine industry again this year, but first-quarter numbers from Statistical Surveys suggest that 2014’s signature bitter chill was somewhat less of a sales deterrent than the raw and wet conditions were a year earlier.
It’s still early in the boat-buying season, but April numbers show signs that the bad-weather slump is largely behind the industry and sales are back on the upswing. April sales are typically the first that the industry reviews to take the overall selling season’s pulse. “We’re on a continued upswing,” Info-Link managing director Jack Ellis…more
Recreational boat sales growth in March amounted to just a trickle, but the solid single-digit increases the industry saw in April suggest that builders and dealers could enjoy sustainable gains in the warmer months ahead.
Sales of brokerage boats in the United States picked up significantly in April, compared with recent months, but they trailed the results from April 2013 by 2 percent.
Mecum Auctions said it will hold the world’s first superyacht auction on Friday and Saturday on South Beach in Miami.
With all the buzz around aluminum fishing and pontoon boats, one segment that has been overlooked until recently is the saltwater fiberglass fishing boat segment. Though it’s a relatively small part of the overall market, this segment has taken off since late 2011, when Florida’s housing market first began to recover from the 2008 bust.
The long winter undoubtedly impacted boat sales, but data reveal the strongest first quarter since at least 2010, with sales that slightly outpaced those in 2012, a year characterized by a mild winter and early spring.
If you were selling outboard fiberglass boats — or vessels ranging from personal watercraft to small fishing boats and jon boats — the spring selling season probably started to look brighter in March.