The National Marine Manufacturers Association announced that the recreational boating industry is continuing its post-recession gains, posting an estimated 5 percent in new powerboat sales for 2013 and projecting an additional 5 to 7 percent increase for 2014.
Retail dollar sales are estimated to have risen 8 percent in 2013.
Leading the industry’s growth are small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less in size — which continued their upward climb in 2013 with a 6.7 percent increase in sales — and ski and wakeboard boats with an 11.7 percent increase.
“The housing market has improved, consumer confidence has steadily increased the last two years and consumer spending is on the rise — all factors that are helping to fuel stable growth for the U.S. recreational boating industry and further sales in 2013,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement.
Dammrich said that comes on top of participation numbers being at an all-time high, with 88 million Americans reporting that they went boating in 2012.
“This indicates that with experience on the water comes an interest in life on the water and the subsequent purchase of a boat,” Dammrich said. “If economic growth persists and the recreational boating industry continues gaining participants, we anticipate sustained growth in 2014 and into 2015 and 2016.”
The increase follows a 2012 gain of 10 percent, the first increase in sales since the onset of the recession.