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Fuel price hikes take lesser toll on diesels

Broker data indicates they’re selling better than gasoline-powered boats during crunch


With volatile prices at the fuel dock, consumers are paying more attention to fuel types and cost of operation.
In this report, we are looking at the volume of boats marked as sold on based on whether the boat was powered by a gasoline or diesel engine.

While overall boat sales are down in 2008, the year-over-year difference in diesel-boat sales, has not been as great as that of boats powered by gasoline engines.

Starting with the second quarter of 2007, we begin to see a greater increase in the volume of diesel-boat sales than for gasoline-powered craft. The difference in the volume of diesel-boat sales between the second quarter of 2006 and the second quarter of 2007 was an increase of 7.45 percent, compared to a year-over-year difference of 2.37 percent for gasoline-powered vessels during the same dates.

Comparing second-quarter sales volume from 2007 and 2008 of diesel-powered boats to those powered by gasoline, we can see a slight increase in the percentage of total sales for diesel boats.


In the second quarter of 2007, diesel boats accounted for 36.61 percent of total boat sales, while in the second quarter of 2008, this number rose to 38.54 percent of total boat sales — an increase of 1.93 percent.

Additionally, it is interesting to note that diesel-powered vessels make up a greater percentage of total sales in the first and fourth quarters when compared to gasoline-powered vessels. This shows that sales of diesel-powered vessels are less affected by seasonality than sales of gasoline-powered vessels.

This brokerage sales data is unaudited and is voluntarily supplied by member brokers. These charts do not represent all boats sold by all brokers: 95 percent of’s 1,689 members contribute sales information. and Soundings Trade Only are owned and published by Dominion Enterprises.


This article originally appeared in the October 2008 issue.


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