Boat-sales decline slows in third quarter

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The pace of sales declines in the U.S. boat market slowed in the third quarter of 2009.

The total fiberglass market for all lengths was down 21.7percent on 41,384units for the quarter.

All data is based on registration data from 45 states, or 95 percent of the U.S. market. Five states were not reporting for the period.

In the fiberglass 14-foot-and-up segment, sales decreased by 20 percent in the third quarter on 22,078units. Sales fell 19.6 percent in the 30-foot-and-up segment on 1,549 units.

Aluminum sales fell by 22.6percent in the quarter. Unit volume was 18,590 units.

Ski/wake boat sales dropped 18.4 percent on sales of 2,114 units. Pontoon sales declined 24.2percent on 6,960 units. Deckboat sales were down 17.6percent on sales of 1,746units. Jet boat sales dropped 19.1 percent on 1,481 units.

Personal watercraft sales also posted the steepest declines on 16,756 units, showing a 24.4 percent decrease in the quarter.

Ski/wake boats and deckboats faired the best in the quarter. Having all markets dropping in the low 20 percent range is considered good news, compared to the second quarter. Preliminary data for October is showing similar results as we move into the fourth quarter.

— Aarn D. Rosen

National marine sales manager

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