The strong brands appear to be getting stronger as we look at recent searches by BoatTrader.com visitors. Sea Ray, the perennially most-searched boat brand in the United States, widened the lead it held in April, the last time we reported on brand searches.
The next-most-searched brand, Boston Whaler, has increased its advantage over the brands close behind it, as well, and has held the No. 2 spot all year. More than a million searches have targeted those two brands from January to August this year.
Rounding out the top five are Bayliner, another perennially strong brand, Chaparral and Mastercraft. In this ranking all three displaced Ranger, which dropped to sixth. In the spring, Ranger regularly appeared in the top three, but Mastercraft moved ahead during the summer. Steadily improving, Chaparral has joined the top five consistently, forcing Ranger and Mastercraft to take turns in the group.
In the lower half of the top 10, Grady-White held its eighth-place April position. Sea-Doo moved up to seventh, trading spots with Yamaha. Like Mastercraft, Sea-Doo is often searched for more during the summer.
Yamaha, however, has made the biggest gains since 2010, when it was ranked 15th and below. Rounding out the top 10, Malibu moved up, displacing Wellcraft.
This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue.