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Boat sales drop again in August

Fiberglass boat sales continued to drop in August, but sales of aluminum boats showed a slight increase for the month, with the aluminum pontoon segment leading the way.

Sales of all fiberglass boats, including personal watercraft, fell 21.2 percent on a year-over-year basis in 28 early reporting states that represent about 65 percent of the national market. Fiberglass sales in the popular 14- to 30-foot segment fell 22.6 percent. Sales of personal watercraft fell 20 percent.

Sales of aluminum pontoons rose 8 percent for the month. Overall aluminum boat sales rose 0.5 percent.

The fiberglass sales data were modestly improved from July, when sales fell 25.8 percent overall in 30 early reporting states and sales in the 14- to 30-foot segment tumbled 30.9 percent. The only fiberglass segments that showed sales gains in August were bass boats, electric boats and boats under 18 feet in length.

These sales figures are preliminary and help to identify the prevailing retail trends in the 30-foot-and-under marine market segments for states that are able to report either monthly or weekly.

The documented vessels file was not available for August because of data entry delays. Declines for boats over 30 feet could be overstated as a result.

Aarn D. Rosen

National Marine Sales Manager

Statistical Surveys Inc.

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