Sales growth continues for outboard boats


Christopher Gerber (
July 27, 2012
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Sales of powerboats greater than 15 feet increased 9.2 percent year-over-year in June for the third straight month of near double-digit growth, according to the latest Bellwether report from Info-Link.

The data is based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (which varies by market segment and time of year). Full graphs are available here: Info-Link Bellwether report.

Bellwether states for June

Outboard boat sales growth slowed slightly in June, dipping to 11.1 percent growth year over year. June was the third straight month of double digit sales growth for the segment.

Personal watercraft sales, which had been shrinking year over year since March 2007, recorded growth in June for the Bellwether states, with sales up by 2.5 percent.

Ski and sterndrive boat sales were nearly level in June, with ski boat sales down less than a half of a percent year over year and sterndrive down slightly more than 2 percent.

Sales were good for sport fishing boats, which had another month of double-digit sales growth, with the Bellwether states reporting sales up 10.5 percent in June.

All states for March (3 month lagging)

Powerboat sales across all states jumped more than 2 percent year over year, sliding up to 4.5 percent growth in March.

Outboard boat sales were up 7.7 percent across all states in March. Sales had been sitting around 5 percent sales growth for the past six months, after achieving positive growth for the first time in more than four years last June.

Sportfishing boats reached positive growth in October 2011 and have continued to grow year over year since. In March, sales for the segment increased 8.0 percent over 2011.

Sterndrive and personal watercraft segments were down 7.8 and 10.8 percent, respectively, in March compared to the previous year. Sales in these boat segments have been doing better among the Bellwether states compared to all states, with the average across all states down more than 3 percent during the month of March.

The ski boat segment was close to breaking even year over year, dropping less than one percent during March for all states.


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