Boat sales grew 4.4 percent in 2018

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Outboard boats have continued their rise in popularity.

Outboard boats have continued their rise in popularity.

Total recreational boat sales increased 4.4 percent in 2018 to an 11-year high of 281,800 units — an increase of 5 percent over 2008 levels, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

Outboard boats accounted for 63 percent of new-boat sales last year, according to the NMMA, which just released the section of its 2018 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract titled “Total Industry Sales by Category and State, 2006-2018.”

Total retail expenditures for recreational marine products and services increased for the eighth consecutive year in 2018 to $42 billion, up 7 percent compared to 2017. Spending on new boats accounted for $14 billion of the total and was up 10 percent from 2017.

Florida ranked No. 1 in for sales of powerboats, outboards, trailers and aftermarket accessories, followed (in order) by Texas, Michigan, North Carolina and Minnesota. These states accounted for 36 percent of the $22 billion in estimated retail sales for these product categories.

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