Boat sales flat in August

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Sales of all fiberglass boats, including personal watercraft, fell 5.1 percent in August, but the aluminum boat market showed solid gains.

A total of 8,060 fiberglass boats were sold during the month, down from 8,497 in the same month a year earlier, according to figures compiled by Aarn Rosen, national marine sales manager at Statistical Surveys Inc.

Sales of aluminum pontoon and fishing boats rose 10 percent, to 3,392, for the month, up from 3,051 in August 2010. Pontoon boat sales were up 12.7 percent, to 1,645 boats, and sales of fishing boats were up 9.7 percent, to 1,747 boats.

Total industry sales across all categories fell 0.5 percent for the month, from 12,450 boats in August of last year to 12,385 during the same month this year.

The sales information is based on registration data from 27 states, or 66 percent of the U.S. boat market. Reports of sales of documented vessels were incomplete in the data because of entry delays at the Coast Guard.

Within the fiberglass market, sales in the popular 14- to 30-foot segment fell 2.3 percent, to 1,775 boats, from 1,816 in August 2010. Sales of personal watercraft fell 6.6 percent, to 2,962 units, from 3,171 in the same month a year earlier.

Sales of outboard-powered boats from 11 to 40 feet rose 0.9 percent for the month, to 2,127 boats, from 2,108 in August of last year. Sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers fell 33 percent, from 115 boats to 77; sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts fell 8.8 percent, from 68 boats to 62; and sales of custom and semicustom yachts ranging from 63 to 99 feet fell 52.6 percent, from 19 yachts to nine.

Sales of ski boats rose 4.7 percent, from 364 units to 381, but sales of jet boats fell 20.6 percent, from 291 boats to 231. Sales of houseboats fell 30 percent, from 10 boats to seven, and sales of electric boats fell 71.4 percent, from 28 boats to eight.

Sales of sailboats dropped 8.5 percent, from 142 boats to 130.

Click here to see sales figures across all industry categories.

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