Skip to main content

Despite Brexit cloud, U.K. boat sales make big gains in 2018

UK Builders

British Marine reported that industrywide boatbuilding revenues have increased by 21.3 percent for 2018 to $972 million (£777 million). The U.K. boating market is worth about $1.75 billion (£1.4 billion) annually to the nation’s economy. Output grew 2.9 percent to 9,477 units.

The trade association released the figures this week at the Southampton boat show.

“We’re pleased to see that the UK’s boatbuilding sector enjoyed positive growth last year, despite Brexit and economic uncertainty,” said Lesley Robinson, CEO at British Marine, in a statement. “We are seeing increased demand across nearly all vessels, from motor yachts to canal boats and dinghies.”

The rising sales come against a backdrop of declining business confidence, the association said. Domestically, U.K. marine businesses are experiencing flat sales. Only 7 percent of companies surveyed reported an increase in domestic revenues in the last six months.

Robinson said that the revenue gains were due to rising exports, with over 65 percent of U.K. production going overseas. He said that inboard cruisers and motoryachts have seen 11.4 percent gains in 2018. Rigid inflatable boats were up 5.5 percent to 1,060 units for the year. The motoryacht category is leading the way.

The statement noted that motoryachts from 39 to 79 feet LOA saw a 12.3 percent expansion in production. Sunseeker International and Princess Yachts reported record sales and forward orders, while other builders like Pearl Yachts and Fairline Yachts saw double digit sales growth.

The U.K. domestic market accounts for less than 1 percent of new boats in that category. Exports in the category totaled $858 million (£686 million) in 2018.

Production in the UK’s inland narrowboat market grew 1.2 percent to 204 boats, with total new boat registrations up just 0.5 percent. The Sailing Dinghies & Small Sailboats category also saw growth of 2.5 percent, with exports of $18.8 million (£15 million) in 2018.

“The figures released today show promising growth across the sector, at what is a challenging time for the market,” said Antony Sheriff, executive chairman of Princess Yachts, in the statement. “We’ve enjoyed record sales and forward orders, which is a testament to the fact that more and more people are seeking to buy UK-manufactured boats.”

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see the UK remain a global hotspot for boat production, we’re also reminded that the sector continues to face challenges such as lower consumer confidence in the UK,” added Robinson. “Over the past year we’ve seen local sales remain flat and with the prospect of further Brexit delays dampening domestic spending, the future health of the sector is uncertain.”

Related

VOLVO-EARNINGS

Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.

Pulse-Report

DEALERS: Are You Improving the Service Experience?

Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.

NMRA-SCHOLARSHIP

NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.

MARINE-PRODUCTS

Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.

1_SHURHOLD

Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.

MOBILE-CATCH-CENTER

RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.

Norm

An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .