Balancing Act

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Though sales of pre-owned boats were down slightly last year, sales of used inboard ski/wakeboard boats were up 5 percent.

Though sales of pre-owned boats were down slightly last year, sales of used inboard ski/wakeboard boats were up 5 percent.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association said it has released the fourth section of its 2018 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract. The “Pre-Owned Boat Market” report includes retail unit sales data, retail market values, and average price information.

Last year, according to the data, 976,200 pre-owned boats valued at $9.8 billion were sold, down 0.6 percent from 2017. That includes traditional powerboats, personal watercraft and sailboats. The NMMA said that the ratio of pre-owned boat sales to new boat sales returned to pre-recession levels in 2018. In 2008, the ratio of boat sales was 70 percent pre-owned/30 percent new, but by 2010, it had changed to 81 percent pre-owned/19 percent new. Last year, the ratio was 71 percent pre-owned/29 percent new.

NMMA President Thom Dammrich told Trade Only Today that the return to the normal balance between new and pre-owned sales, driven by increases in new boat sales, “could result in less pressure” on pre-owned sales. Dammrich said that pre-owned sales tend to “be constrained” by limited inventory of sterndrive boats and smaller fishing boats.

“The pre-owned market continues to contribute significantly to marine accessory sales and services,” he added.

For the fifth consecutive year, unit sales growth in 2018 was led by the inboard ski/wakeboard boat segment, up 5.4 percent compared to 2017.

The statistics are available on NMMA’s website


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