The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported yesterday that the recreational boating industry experienced a 4 percent increase in sales over the previous year in 2018. The total of approximately 280,000 units sold was the highest since 2007 and the outlook for 2019 is an additional 3 to 4 percent boost in new powerboat retail sales.
The NMMA estimates that the recreational boating industry contributes an estimated $170.3 billion in economic activity to the U.S. economy, which is reportedly an increase of approximately $49 billion since the last time the last time the association reported economic impact in 2012.
“The recreational boating industry has been on a seven-year climb that’s expected to continue into 2019, bringing even more people to the water,” Thom Dammrich, NMMA president, said in a statement. “Driving these sales is a combination of the economic growth we’ve seen over the past decade, particularly with consumer confidence hovering near all-time highs and consumers seeking out boating as a way to spend quality time with family and friends outdoors. At the same time, over the past five years, marine manufacturers have put a concerted effort on offering new products that attract consumers with different interests and budgets, bringing out new buyers — especially across the watersports, fishing and pontoon categories — three categories seeing unprecedented sales growth.”
Following are some category highlights:
- Sales of freshwater fishing boats are estimated to be up 2 to 4 percent to 75,000 units in 2018.
- New personal watercraft sales were up 6 to 8 percent with 68,000 units sold.
- Pontoon sales were estimated to have increased by 4 to 6 percent to 58,000 units in 2018.
- Wakesports boats had the highest percentage increase 9 to 11 with 10,000 sold last year.
- New cruisers that measure between 22 and 32 feet were estimated at being up 2 to 4 percent with 9,000 units sold in 2018.
The Top 10 states for recreational boating economic activity are listed below.
- Florida, $23.3 billion
- California, $13 billion
- New York, $8.4 billion
- Texas, $7.7 billion
- Michigan, $7.4 billion
- Washington, $6.9 billion
- New Jersey, $6.6 billion
- Tennessee, $6 billion
- North Carolina $5.5 billion
- Missouri, $4.5 billion