Boat registrations in the main powerboat categories were down 13.7 percent year-over-year in June — historically the industry’s second-largest retail month, after May — and down 6.3 percent year-to-date.
Only four states showed increases: Florida, South Carolina, Connecticut and Montana, according to preliminary registration data from Statistical Surveys, a Michigan firm that tracks new-boat registrations.
“What you’re seeing is a combination of poor weather, obviously along with less retail sales,” said SSI sales director Ryan Kloppe. “It’s a combination of those two. You can’t say it’s just weather-related at this point.”
Preliminary data was incomplete for the month, representing 24 states, or around 53 percent of the U.S. boat market.
“There’s some states missing that we’ve never missed before, so it seems to be kind of an epidemic here,” Kloppe said. “There’s no data from Texas, California and Washington. There’s no Coast Guard data because they’re understaffed, which affects the largest boats. This year we’ve had more issues than the past years combined.”
Texas and California rank in the top 10 states for boat registrations.
Sterndrive bowrider and deckboats declined 27.4 percent from June 2018 — not a tough comparison, as that month was only up 1 percent last year, Kloppe said — and were down 10.7 percent year-to-date.
Aluminum fishing boats were down about 18 percent compared to June 2018, with a 12 percent decline year-to-date. Pontoons were down 13 percent during the month versus the same time last year, and are down 4.5 percent year-to-date.
“Pontoon is a big Midwest boat, and there aren’t a lot of midwestern states in this release, with the exception of Michigan,” Kloppe said.
Ski and wake boats saw their first decline in months, dropping 10 percent for June versus 2018 but up 2 percent year-to-date.
Fiberglass outboard boats were down 8.7 percent for the month and 3.2 percent year-to-date.