Strong boat sales in February

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Sales were up in virtually all categories in February

Sales were up in virtually all categories in February

Boat sales were up 2.5 percent last month in the main powerboat segments, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. data from 28 early reporting states, and up 1.1 percent across all categories.

Pontoons and ski and wake boats continued their ascent in February — a month that accounts for less than 3 percent of annual boat sales — with 10.8 percent and 11.6 percent year-over-year growth, respectively.

“The pontoons aren’t going anywhere, the segment continues to see growth,” SSI sales director Ryan Kloppe told Trade Only Today. “These are usually popular in the cold-weather states; pontoons usually thrive up in the Midwest, but now we’re seeing them expand in California, Texas and Florida.”

Pontoons were up 20 percent in Texas, and 70 percent in California for the month, Kloppe said.

Overall the top two states for boat sales — Florida and Texas — were down for the month, which Kloppe guessed was due at least in part to weather.

Florida was down 12 percent and Texas down 8 percent, but those numbers were offset by California, where February sales were up 44 percent; Georgia and Washington, where sales rose 30 percent in both states, Kloppe said.

Fiberglass outboard-powered boats were up less than a percent in February, which Kloppe attributed to Florida being down, and the segment was up 2.9 percent year-to-date.

“When you have Florida down, you’re going to have some downward trends because it’s such a big state” in terms of sales, Kloppe said. “And even with Florida down, that segment was still positive.

“We don’t get too hyped off February data anyway,” Kloppe said. “And the weather has not been awesome for people buying boats, pretty much throughout the country.”