Q2 boat registrations in main powerboat category down 2.4 percent YOY

Publish date:
Soundings Q2 2019

Total new boat registrations were down 5.4 percent year-over-year in the second quarter and down 0.7 percent on a 12-month rolling basis, according to new data released by Statistical Surveys Inc. collected from 48 states. The data shows uneven trends across different sectors, with some segments declining in the second quarter and others growing.

“I believe our quarterly data really mirrors our monthly data in that we’re down a little bit,” SSI director Ryan Kloppe told Trade Only Today. “Some segments are down, some are up.”

Ski- and wake-boat registrations grew 4.4 percent year-over-year but were down 2.1 percent on a 12-month rolling basis. Personal watercraft were up 8.1 percent year-to-date, and also up 1.6 percent on a 12-month rolling basis.

Other categories, however, posted declines; fiberglass outboard-powered boats saw a 13.4 percent decline year-over-year, and a 5.9 percent dip on a 12-month rolling basis, according to data collected from 48 states.

Pontoon registrations were relatively flat year-over-year — down under 1 percent — and also had a 7.5 percent decline on a 12-month rolling basis.

Florida, the top-ranking state for new-boat sales, has struggled to report registration data early because of administrative problems. Boat registrations in that state grew 6.14 percent year-to-date for the quarter.

“Because it’s quarterly, it includes all that back data they were missing,” said Kloppe. “This is a real picture of where they’re at from January to June.”

The second-highest-ranked state, Texas, was down 6.6 percent, Michigan (ranked three) was down 12.4 percent, and Minnesota (number four) was down almost 12.3 percent — possibly a reflection of bad weather that lasted through June in the northern part of the country.

“Next week we’ll be releasing preliminary monthly data for August, and at this point it seems likely we’re probably going to be down a little bit in units for 2019,” said Kloppe. “We don’t track dollars, but the dollars might be up a little bit. With 48 states complete, you have a clearer picture that some states are doing well and some are not doing so well.”


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