Boat sales up 4 percent in second quarter

Recreational boat sales rose 4 percent in the second quarter, led by the aluminum pontoon and personal watercraft categories.
Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Recreational boat sales rose 4 percent in the second quarter, led by the aluminum pontoon and personal watercraft categories — the only ones in which sales topped 20,000.

Sales rose 4.2 percent in the main powerboat segments to 67,935 and 4.1 percent industrywide to 105,506 in 47 states that represent 97 percent of the national market, Statistical Surveys reported today.

Not included were Maine and Hawaii, which report sales annually, and Illinois because of data-entry delays.

“I think it really mirrors what we saw in the preliminary numbers,” Statistical Surveys national marine sales manager Ryan Kloppe said. “April got off to a fast start and then sales were slower in May and June.”

On a 12-month rolling basis, sales were up 6.4 percent through the second quarter to 149,581 in the main segments and 6.2 percent industrywide to 228,018, results Kloppe said are consistent with industry forecasts for 6 to 8 percent growth this year.

“You’ll continue to see moderate growth ahead of the winter boat shows,” he said.

Second-quarter pontoon sales climbed 5.2 percent to 22,403 and PWC sales rose 7 percent to 25,056. Sales topped 10,000 in only two other segments — aluminum fishing boats and small to midsize outboard-powered fiberglass boats.

Fishing boat sales climbed 3.2 percent to 17,995 and sales of fiberglass outboards increased by 8.5 percent to 17,497.

“The fiberglass outboard segment continues to rock and roll, with good year-over-year growth and volume,” Kloppe said.

Ski boat sales climbed 10.1 percent to 3,625 and jetboat sales rose 20.5 percent to 1,895.

Sales of 14- to 30-foot inboard and sterndrive boats continued their steady decline, falling by 10.9 percent to 5,420.

The Coast Guard was up to date in its reports of documented vessels, providing a complete picture of sales in the low-volume, bigger-boat categories. The 41-to-62-foot yacht segment had the most significant increase as sales rose by 59 boats to 350.

Sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers rose by six boats to 556 and sales of 63- to 99-foot yachts climbed by three to 89.

Sailboat sales fell 12.9 percent to 883.