Astronomically speaking, the spring season began last week, but in the recreational boating industry the spring selling season starts in February. This year, it did not start well.
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.
The runabout category has struggled to bounce back post-recession, but the ski and high-performance market has performed well for the last couple of years. That’s according to Jack Ellis of Florida-based Info-Link, who says the segment has exceeded growth in 2003 in several markets. “Ski boats used to be about a 12,000-unit market at one…more
Closing a year marked by modest but steady growth, the recreational boating industry topped the 200,000 mark in sales for the second year in a row in 2013 and saw a gain of nearly 6 percent in its main powerboat segments.
Large fiberglass boat sales were up 20 percent in 2013 from the previous year, but not across the board.
History would suggest that a slowdown in pontoon sales trends is imminent, but the most recent data from Info-Link suggests that it won’t be happening anytime soon.
New-boat sales in December tracked largely with expectations, rising from about 120,000 units sold in 2012 to 140,000 units in 2013 on a 12-month rolling basis, a trend one industry analyst attributes in part to the rebounding housing market in Florida.
Like the stars on a professional sports team, two stalwart categories of aluminum boats and the largest segment of fiberglass boats delivered solidly higher sales in December that enabled the recreational boat industry to finish 2013 with a month of double-digit gains.
Industry leaders peer into their crystal ball and most see slow but steady growth
Where the weather was warm, boat sales remained bright, and even though it was October enough Americans were still buying that the industry reached double-digit percentage gains for the fourth month in a row.
The seemingly unsinkable aluminum pontoon market contributed what it could in November, but it wasn’t able to keep the recreational boat industry from experiencing a modest decline in sales, its first since the spring quarter.