Sales of new boats continued to fall as 2010 ended, with only the aluminum and pontoon boat segments showing growth during the fourth quarter. For the year, sales of all hull types, including personal watercraft, were a record-low 186,197 units.
Total fiberglass boat sales, including PWC, fell 18.2 percent, to 8,270, for the quarter - the most recent quarter for which data are available. The total compared with 10,110 boats in the same quarter a year earlier. The sales information is based on registration data from all 50 states.
In the fourth quarter, sales of fiberglass boats in the popular 14- to 30-foot segment fell 19.1 percent on sales of 5,906 boats. Brunswick Marine Group was the market share leader in the segment, at 8.6 percent. Carolina Skiff had 6.4 percent, Tracker Marine had 5.7 percent, Ranger Boats had 4.7 percent, Yamaha had 4.1 percent and Nautic Global Group had 3.1 percent.
Sales of fiberglass boats in the 30-foot-and-up segment fell 26.9 percent on sales of 727 boats. Builders that gained sales or stayed even with the same quarter a year earlier were Beneteau, Jeanneau, Grady-White, Boston Whaler, Azimut, Yellowfin Yachts, Sunseeker, Bavaria Yachts and Princess Yachts.
Sales of personal watercraft fell 18.4 percent on sales of 1,610 units. The market leaders were Yamaha Wave Runner, at 46.9 percent, Bombardier Sea-Doo, at 36.5 percent, Kawasaki Jet Ski at 13 percent and Honda at 3.6 percent.
The ski/wake boat segment fell 22.2 percent on sales of 381 units. Moomba, Tige, M.B. Sports, Axis Wake Research and Epic had growth for the quarter.
The deckboat segment declined 19.6 percent on sales of 316 units. Nautic Star, Bayliner and Lowe Boats were the only brands that showed sales growth for the quarter.
Sales of aluminum boats rose 2.4 percent for the quarter on sales of 6,606 boats. The market share leaders were Tracker, with 22 percent, Brunswick, with 14.5 percent, Alumacraft, with 10.5 percent, Yamaha, with 6.7 percent, and Bennington Marine, with 3.2 percent.
The pontoon segment was the only other category that showed growth for the quarter, rising 0.3 percent on sales of 1,279 units. The top 10 brands that had sales increases were Tracker Marine, Bennington, Avalon/Tahoe, Bentley, Harris Flote-Bote, Misty Harbor, Sylvan, Gillgetter, Cypress Cay and Starcraft.
— Aarn D. Rosen
National Marine Sales Manager, Statistical Surveys Inc.