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NMMA Reports Decline in Powerboat Sales

Photo courtesy of NMMA

Photo courtesy of NMMA

Powerboat retail sales slid by 20 percent in the first quarter compared with the same quarter in 2021, but the volumes continue to exceed pre-pandemic levels, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

New powerboat sales totaled 54,000 units in the first quarter, which is 20 percent higher than the 45,000 units tallied in the first quarter of 2019, NMMA said in a statement yesterday.

Pontoon retail sales were down 12 percent in the first quarter. Wakesport boats were off by 11 percent. Cruiser retail sales dropped 17 percent. All three categories are still well above first-quarter levels in 2019, according to the NMMA’s New Powerboat Registrations Report.

“Not surprisingly, we’re seeing sales begin to stabilize following extraordinary growth in 2020 and 2021 as competition returns for consumer spending among goods and services that were in many ways inaccessible during Covid, such as travel, sporting events, concerts and other activities,” Ellen Bradley, NMMA senior vice president, said in the statement.

“In addition to new powerboat sales, we saw a normalizing of traffic to Discover Boating channels and in search activity across boating keywords in Q1. We expect boat sales this year to be healthy, on par with or above pre-pandemic levels, with forward order books strong as dealer inventory continues to catch up to meet record demand,” she said.

"This cautious optimism is measured given consumers’ continued interest in experiences, particularly outdoor recreation, economic indicators such as low unemployment and stable consumer confidence, and as we monitor downside impacts of inflation and stock market volatility on consumer sentiment," Bradley added. 

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