Ski and wake boat registrations were were up 8.7 percent in March, compared with March 2018. It was the only segment in the main powerboat category to rise for the month and only one of three overall.
Jetboats and personal watercraft also posted modest gains of 1.5 and 1.4 percent, respectively, according to March registration data from 23 states gathered by Statistical Surveys.
New-boat registrations in the main powerboat categories dipped 5.9 percent in March over the same month last year, and the industry overall was down 5.7 percent.
The pontoons, sterndrive/inboard and fiberglass outboard segments were off about 3.5 percent, compared to March 2018, which was down 2.2 percent over March 2017 — not a particularly tough comparison to beat, Statistical Surveys sales manager Ryan Kloppe told Trade Only Today.
“Obviously we’re off to a little slower start in 2019 than 2018, but there are also a lot of states that are running behind,” Kloppe said.
Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were lagging in reporting new-boat registrations as they change over software systems, so the March data represents about 46 percent of states, Kloppe said.
Much of the country was also plagued by rain or snow during the month, potentially another reason for the drag, Kloppe said.
“We’re off to a little slower start than the previous year,” he said. “The big months are coming up; April, May and June are three out of the four largest months. That’s prime boating season, so the important months are coming up here.”