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.
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.