Final 2008 boat-sales statistics

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The fourth quarter of 2008 finished with an increased rate of decline on sales volume. The total fiberglass market for all lengths was down 40.2 percent on 9,421 units for the quarter.

These statistics are based on registration data from all 50 states. This is the second consecutive year with the entire country reporting.

In the fiberglass 14-foot-and-up segment, sales decreased by 41.9 percent in the fourth quarter on 8,528 units. Sales fell 47.6 percent in the 30-foot-and-up segment on 1,127 units.

Aluminum sales fell by 27.1 percent in the quarter. Unit volume was 7,766 units.

Ski/wakeboard-boat sales dropped 23.8 percent on sales of 683 units. Deckboat sales were down 48.4 percent on sales of 495 units. This was the hardest-hit category for the period, similar to last quarter. Jetboat sales dropped in the quarter 20.6 percent on 286 units.

The PWC market also posted declines on 2,845 units, showing a 32 percent decrease in the quarter.

Jetboats and ski/wakeboard boats showed the lowest declines of all the boat segments, and the rest of the markets continued to respond to record lows in consumer confidence. The market will bottom out when consumer confidence begins to strengthen.

— Aarn D. Rosen
National marine sales manager
Statistical Surveys Inc.

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