July boat sales soar

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Boat sales in the main powerboat categories increased 10.7 percent year-over-year in July, dramatically up after a lackluster June.

Overall sales grew 11.1 percent, according to preliminary data released by Statistical Surveys Inc., a Michigan firm that tracks new boat registrations. The data represents 30 states, roughly 66 percent of the U.S. boat market.

Aluminum fishing boat registrations grew 15.1 percent, from 3,007 in July 2017 to 3,460. Pontoons were up 11.5 percent, from 4,828 to 5,383. The ski and wake segment continued its upward trajectory, rising 10.6 percent to 1,002 units last month.

Fiberglass outboard-powered boats grew after a few flat months, up 7 percent to 4,916 units from 4,594.

Large boat sales climbed dramatically in July — sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers grew 29.1 percent to 133 units (from 103), yachts between 41 and 65 feet increased 53.4 percent to 112 (from 73), and semi-custom and custom yachts 66 feet and above grew 33.3 percent to 20. Though smaller volumes, the dollar amount and margins are high on large boats and yachts.

Florida once again led boat sales for July, with 3,673 new boats registered. That was incrementally more than July 2017, when 3,645 boats were registered.

Texas was second, with 3,639 boats registered, and Michigan came in third, with 2,980 boats registered in the state.

Read more about July sales in the October edition of Soundings Trade Only.

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