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NMMA reports 7 percent jump in 2015 boat sales

Estimated new recreational boat sales increased 7.4 percent in 2015 to 243,600 units.

Estimated new recreational boat sales increased 7.4 percent in 2015 to 243,600 units and marine expenditures reached an eight-year high of $35.9 billion.

The following segments led growth during the year — jetboats, which were up 25.7 percent; personal watercraft, up 14.6 percent; inboard ski/ wakeboard boats, up 9.9 percent; and outboard boats, up 7.6 percent.

Together these segments accounted for 92.4 percent of new-boat sales, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which released data on total industry sales by category and state.

Driven by the volatile less-than-20-foot segment, sailboat sales dropped 25.3 percent in 2015, falling to 5,600 units and returning to levels consistent with historical trends.

Sterndrive boat sales continue to lag and were down 7.2 percent in 2015.

Total recreational marine expenditures reached an eight-year high of $35.9 billion in 2015, up 2.2 percent from 2014. The moderate increase reflects a 26 percent drop in fuel prices, the NMMA said.

Spending on new boats accounted for $11.5 billion of the total and was up 6.9 percent from 2014. The used-boat market accounted for $8.9 billion of total expenditures, up 3.4 percent from 2014.

Florida led all states in new-boat spending. Consumers in Florida spent $2.6 billion on new powerboats, engines, trailers and aftermarket accessories in 2015.

Texas, Michigan, Minnesota and New York, in that order, rounded out the top five.

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