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Second-quarter sales set an industry low

Sales of new boats continued to drop in the second quarter of 2010, with aluminum boats showing the only sales growth. The decline for the period set another industry record low at 47,497 units for total fiberglass, including PWC.

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The fiberglass 14-foot-and-up segment dropped 19.8 percent on sales of 24,252 boats. Brunswick Marine Group was the market share leader for the fiberglass 14-foot-and-up segment as it took 12.9 percent of the sales. Following Brunswick was Tracker Marine at 9.3 percent, Yamaha at 5.7 percent, Carolina Skiff at 4.1 percent and Ranger at 4 percent.

The sterndrive boat segment continued to decline across all segments, dropping 30.6 percent on 7,801 units. Brunswick took 25 percent of the sterndrive market share, followed by Tracker Marine at 12.4 percent, Marine Products Corp. at 7.8 percent, Glastron at 6.2 percent and Stingray with 6 percent.

The deckboat segment posted declines on 1,841 units, falling 23.3 percent, a similar drop to 2009's second quarter. Brands with the greatest growth in market share year-to-date were Godfrey Marine, Tahoe, Starcraft, Nautic Star, Regal, Vectra and Rinker.

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The 30-foot-and-up fiberglass segment fell 16.3 percent. Builders with positive unit growth included Formula, Boston Whaler, Catalina, Azimut, Rinker, Intrepid, Lagoon Cat, Jupiter Marine, Sunseeker, Yellowfin Yachts, Silverton, Donzi and Island Packet Yachts.

Sales of aluminum boats increased in the quarter to 33,518 units, or 2 percent. Aluminum market share leaders were Tracker Marine with 22.9 percent of the market, Brunswick at 17 percent, Alumacraft at 9.3 percent, Bennington at 5.5 percent and Yamaha (G3 Boats) with 5.1 percent.

The PWC market was down 10 percent in the quarter on sales of 18,227 units. Market leaders were Bombardier Sea-Doo with 40.2 percent, Yamaha Wave Runner at 31 percent, Honda with 15.2 percent and Kawasaki Jet Ski at 13.5 percent.

The sterndrive segment was the hardest-hit category in the period, and the aluminum market was the bright spot. Ongoing economic uncertainty continued to negatively influence retail activity in most boat segments. Preliminary data show a slight increase in the rate of decline for fiberglass with the aluminum market still outperforming fiberglass as we move into the third quarter.

Information is based on registration data from 47 states, or 98 percent of the U.S. boat market.

Aarn D. Rosen is national marine sales manager for Statistical Surveys, the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based firm that tracks retail boat sales.

This article originally appeared in the November 2010 issue.

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