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New powerboat sales continue to rise

Personal watercraft sales, which saw the highest gains through October, could account for 27 percent of new-boat sales in 2019.

Personal watercraft sales, which saw the highest gains through October, could account for 27 percent of new-boat sales in 2019.

Powerboat registrations were up 5 percent on a rolling three-month year-over-year basis in October, and down 1 percent on a rolling 12-month YOY basis, according the NMMA’s October Powerboat Registrations Report. The association said that total unit sales of new powerboats reached 261,600 through October.

The NMMA said in today’s Currents that “2019 sales remain on track to finish on par with 2018.” It added that it would be the second-highest year for new-boat sales since 2007.

“While we were down 1 percent from November 2018 through October 2019 compared to the previous R12M period (November 2017 through October 2018), we saw a healthy August, September and October, with retail unit sales up from where they were a year ago (R3M),” said Vicky Yu, director of business intelligence for NMMA, in the Currents story. “This offset some of the moderation experienced in the first half of 2019 due in part to less than favorable spring and summer weather in many parts of the country.”

The report said that sales of personal watercraft and wake-sport boats were up 6 percent each in unit sales for the R12M YOY basis, while on a R3M YOY basis, PWC sales were up 10 percent, and wake-sport boats were up 8 percent.

Sales of new cruisers were up 3 percent R12M YOY and up 5 percent R3M YOY, Yu said. The category was led by growth in the outboard cruisers segment. Sales of new freshwater fishing boats were down 7 percent R12M YOY and down 1 percent R3M YOY, a return to 2015-16 levels.

Yu told Trade Only Today that freshwater fishing boats accounted for 25 percent of total powerboat sales year to date, while PWC accounted for 27 percent of new powerboat sales. Wake-sport boats accounted for 4 percent of new powerboat sales, and cruisers accounted for 3 percent of total powerboat sales through October.

“Looking forward, retail unit sales are expected to remain healthy in 2020 and up as much as 2 percent,” Yu said.

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