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Ending the year on a good note

The signs that 2011 will be a better year keep coming. So, let wrap up this year with some very encouraging news. 

One precursor to increased boat sales is the return of spending on “luxury” goods. Reports coming from Bloomberg News indicate that’s exactly what has led the way for increased retail spending during the 2010 holidays, exceeding predictions. Sales jumped 5.5 percent, the best performance in five years.

According to Mastercard Advisor’s SpendingPulse, which measures sales by all payment forms, retail sales (excluding autos) jumped to $584 billion between Nov. 5 and Dec. 24. The numbers include Internet sales. Stores like Macy’s, Tiffany and Bloomingdale’s saw consumers up their spending, particularly on jewelry and apparel. The latter grew the most with sales up 11 percent, more than 10 times last year’s pace! Jewelry rose 6.7 percent compared to just 0.9 percent a year ago. Following the trend, furniture sales turned around from a 2.2 percent drop last year to a 3.8 percent increase this holiday season.

Our industry is truly better off having won exemption from the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that is slated to open shop in the New Year. Call it a powerful protector of consumers or another bureaucratic nightmare, this agency will have broad powers to write and enforce rules and regulations on banks, credit unions, mortgage services, credit card issuers and many similar businesses. But, NOT boat dealers!

Dealers are exempt from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (financial reform bill) and in case you haven’t realized it, this is one of the great victories for our industry, not just in 2010, but looking back many years. Dealers were initially included under the bill which would have resulted in a host of unnecessary new rules, restrictions and reporting requirements. The work of our Washington-based advocates led by MRAA’s Larry Innis and NMMA’s Cindy Squires and Mat Dunn was nothing short of amazing.

All attempts to exempt marine dealers from the CFPB had failed in both the House and the Senate. At that point, it appeared we were sunk. But, they kept working at it and engineered a victory in the conference committee, thus getting the exemption for marine dealers after all. Outstanding! That’s why I give each of them my “Dealer Outlook Legislative Achievers of the Year” award. Their work has positively impacted the retail side of our industry.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all.



Volvo Penta Reports Q4, FY22 Results

Net sales of $470 million for the quarter were a 33% increase compared to the prior year period.


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Our monthly Pulse Report survey asks this and other questions about your dealership. Take the survey here.


NMRA Sets Scholarship Deadline

Students pursuing education in the marine trades can apply for the National Marine Representatives Association awards until April 1.


Marine Products Reports Record Q4

The builder of Chaparral and Robalo boats reported net sales were up 42% for the quarter and 28% for fiscal year 2022.


Shurhold Appoints COO

Forrest Ferrari has years of management, business development, IT and quality-assurance experience.


RBFF, Pure Fishing Partner for a First Catch Center

Pure Fishing will equip a mobile trailer with tackle and gear to bring fishing experiences to areas of South Carolina where participation is low.


An Oft-Overlooked Sales Opportunity

A recent report from the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation showed that women comprise 37% of all anglers. If you haven’t tapped this segment, you’re missing out.

1. 2023 new boat retail outlook

Too Many High-Priced Boats

To wrap up 2022, marine retailers reported lower demand, expressed more negative sentiment and voiced concerns about rising inventory. Boat prices and the economy remained top of mind for dealers in December.

Soundings Nov 2022

New-Boat Registrations Continue to Slide

As the gaudy sales figures from the pandemic continue to return to more realistic numbers, the main segments of the recreational boating industry saw new-model registrations of 4,421 in November, a 30.3% drop from 6,340 during the same time in 2021. .