The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported that retail sales of new boats reached nearly 320,000 units last year, up 13 percent from 2019 and the highest level since 2009.
NMMA said all powerboat segments were up, ranging from 8 to 22 percent. The data is compiled in its New Powerboat Registrations Report.
“New-boat sales continued to be elevated through the latter part of 2020, up 40 percent September through December from 2019, an indication that consumers are snatching up boats as soon as they’re coming off the production line,” director of business intelligence Vicky Yu said in a statement. “This heightened demand for new boats amounted to a record year in sales for the recreational boating industry as Americans sought ways to spend time on the water with their loved ones.”
Sales have continued on a brisk pace this year. With 33 states reporting — approximately 66 percent of the U.S. boating market — registrations in January were up 17 percent in the main powerboat categories and 23.3 percent on a year-over-year basis, according to numbers provided to Soundings Trade Only by Statistical Surveys, a Michigan firm that tracks new registrations.
“With this unprecedented demand, inventories today are the lowest they have ever been,” Yu said. “Boatbuilders who are working closely with dealers to keep the consumer engaged while supplies are replenished will come out ahead.”