Slower sales decline marks July boat sales

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Florida posts second consecutive month showing lower rates of diminished selling

July registration figures from new boat sales in early reporting states showed a slower rate of decline in all boat segments. These statistics include 30 early reporting states that represent approximately 64 percent of the national market. This early release report is intended to provide a snapshot of early retail sales data on the marine industry for states that are reporting on a weekly and monthly basis. Final new-boat sales results for July are not available until all states report to Statistical Surveys Inc.

Fiberglass boats in the popular 14- to 30-foot segment were down 20.5 percent from July 2008. On a 12-month rolling basis, the market was down 35.2 percent. Total fiberglass sales dropped by 24 percent for the month and 32.9 percent for the 12-month rolling period.

Aluminum boat sales were also down in July, falling 24.7 percent and were down 24.1 percent for the 12-month period since July 2008.

Sales of personal watercraft fell 26.5 percent in the month and, for the rolling 12-month period, this segment fell 30.7 percent.

The 2009 retail market volume through July was highlighted by Florida showing much lower rates of decline for two second consecutive months. This is a nice way to start the quarter. Continued slow improvement moving into the fourth quarter is anticipated in all market segments.

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 October 2009 issue.

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