Skip to main content

Boat sales bounce back in June

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Boosted by solid improvement in three key categories, the recreational boat industry got back on plane in June with single-digit sales growth in the main segments and a double-digit increase industrywide.

After a mixed report disappointed builders and dealers in May, sales of aluminum fishing boats and pontoons and fiberglass outboards resumed their role as industry drivers. They helped propel sales 5.6 percent higher in the main segments to 13,089 boats and 13.3 percent industrywide to 23,586, compared with the previous June in 26 states that represent about 65 percent of the U.S. market, Statistical Surveys reported.

The pontoon segment sold the most boats, 4,794, and the fiberglass outboard category had the highest percentage gain (10.6 percent) as the main segments reversed a 2.6 percent sales decline in early-reporting states in May.

Pontoon sales rose by 345, or 7.8 percent, fishing boat sales rose by 198, or 6.9 percent, to 3,071, and fiberglass outboard sales climbed by 352 to 3,669.

Statistical Surveys national marine sales manager Ryan Kloppe attributed the turnaround to a combination of pent-up demand and improved weather that encouraged consumers to buy.

“It’s all come to fruition in June,” he said.

Last year, boat sales remained strong throughout the summer after a spring marked by cold and wet weather. Kloppe is optimistic that the industry can repeat that performance.

“I think we can sustain this positive momentum,” he said, adding that although the West is dealing with a drought, its effects shouldn’t negatively affect the overall market.

More new boats found owners in seven of the top-selling states in June than was the case a year earlier. Florida was the sales leader with 3,132, a gain of 782, Texas ranked second with 2,907 sales, a gain of 271, and Michigan was third with 2,806, an increase of 603.

Kloppe said dealers in Michigan had told him that customers were pressing them in late May for boats that were on order because the weather was warming up.

“The delivery of all those boats and the registrations occurred in June,” he said.

Sales were lower in Minnesota (1,710, down 187) and New York (1,522, down 54). Rounding out the top 10 were North Carolina (1,276, up 149); California (1,149, up 137; South Carolina (1,002, up 277); Ohio (972, up 175); and Tennessee (771, down 45).

The 14-to 30-foot sterndrive and inboard fiberglass category was the only one in the main segments that showed a sales decline in June. Sales fell by 209 boats, or 13.6 percent, to 1,332.

The Coast Guard was up to date in its reports of documented vessels, providing a complete picture of sales in the low-volume bigger-boat categories. Sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers rose by 10 to 116, sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts rose by one to 80 and sales of 63- to 99-foot yachts also rose by one to 27.

Among smaller vessels, sales of personal watercraft climbed 32.7 percent, or 1,718 units, to 6,979, sales of jetboats rose by 20.9 percent, or 68, to 393, and ski-boat sales climbed by 69, or 9.9 percent, to 766.

Sailboat sales fell by 31, or 11 percent, to 250.

This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue.

Related

1_AdobeStock_175388620

Clearing the Waterways

In Florida, in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, it was estimated that there were 6,000 derelict boats in southwest part of the state. In most cases, boat owners don’t know resources are available to remove them because until recently there weren’t many.

1_AdobeStock_40421038

A Window on the World

Inflation, supply-chain kinks and the continuing war in Ukraine continue to be serious concerns, but numerous companies with a global presence for exports are reporting optimism at the start of 2023.

1_BRP

BRP Announces Mexico Production Facility

The $165 million plant will open in early 2025 in Chihuahua and create up to 1,300 jobs while bolstering production capabilities.

1_COAST. GUARD.FOUNDATION

C.G. Foundation Announces Scholarships

The program each year awards more than $500,000 to qualifying children of active duty, active duty reserve and retired Coast Guard members.

PROPSPEED-HIRES

Propspeed Expands U.S. Sales Team

Josh McGuire and Cole Barone were named regional sales managers for the Northeast and West Coast.

NEWPORT-IMPACT

Newport Boat Show Had $26.1M Impact

The September show drew more than 40,000 attendees last year, with boat sales estimated at $35 million to $40 million.

AdobeStock_182031788

Consumers Feel a Bit Better

A key measure of U.S. consumer confidence rose in December as the economy added 223,000 jobs, the smallest gain in two years. The Conference Board reported that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 108.3 from 101.4 in November.

1_AdobeStock_272924647

How the ABYC Creates Standards

Standards are a full-time mission for the ABYC that goes beyond simply putting out a new supplement every July. As an organization built on a tradition of common-sense and real-world experiences, the ABYC works on standards development year-round with its Project Technical Committees.

1_5d02b934eb29f602144abe88

Year Three of Five

Fear of an impending exodus, especially with concerns about a looming economic recession, has leaders at the MRAA, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation urging the industry to start focusing immediately on improving customer service as the primary way to retain these boaters.