Boat sales show increase in May

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Dealers got a dose of good news in May as sales of fiberglass boats in the popular 14- to 30-foot category rose 7 percent from the same month last year and sales of aluminum boats rose 12.8 percent.

Within the aluminum segment, sales of pontoon boats rose 17.4 percent and sales of fishing boats rose 9.8 percent.

Across the entire fiberglass market, however, including personal watercraft, sales rose a nominal 0.1 percent. Sales of PWCs fell 7.6 percent for the month.

Reports of sales of documented vessels were incomplete in the data because of entry delays at the Coast Guard. For that reason, sales in the overall fiberglass market could be understated. Only states that provide weekly or monthly information are included, and the data are year over year.

The data are from 28 early reporting states that represent about 70 percent of the national market. The gains, particularly in Gulf of Mexico coastal states, compare with the period of slumping sales that followed the oil spill in April 2010.

However, May represents the first peak-season month in three years in which key Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states, including Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina and South Carolina, saw sales growth. Sales in Florida and California also rose in May.

— Aarn D. Rosen

National Marine Sales Manager

Statistical Surveys Inc.

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