Powerboat sales stay strong through summer months


Christopher Gerber (CGerber@BoatingIndustry.com)
September 25, 2012
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Warm weather this spring gave sales an early boost that left questions as to whether the trend would hold through summer. However, sales of 15-foot or greater powerboats continued to grow by 10 percent year-over-year among Bellwether states in August, according to the latest figures from the Info-Link Bellwether report. The data is based on new U.S. boat registrations.

Boating markets positive for Bellwether states

The 10-percent growth of the powerboat market during August was driven largely by continued year-over-year growth for the outboard boat market, which was up 12.5 percent for the fifth straight month among the Bellwether states.

Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the U.S. boat market (which varies by market segment and time of year). Full graphs are available here: Info-Link Bellwether Report.

Sportfishing boats, a smaller segment of the overall boating industry, experienced its 11th straight month of growth for Bellwether states last month, reaching 17 percent sales growth compared to the same period last year.

Ski boats and PWCs had a drastic improvement over 2011 this summer, showing 5-percent year-over-year growth in both July and August.

Sterndrive boats continued to struggle through the end of August. Despite breaking even year-over-year in July, sterndrive boat sales slid 1 percent in August compared to 2011.

Sales for all states fall in line with Bellwether average in June

The Bellwether average predicted sales among all states for June, with the 15-foot and greater powerboat market growing by roughly 8 percent year-over-year in June 2012.

Outboard boat sales among all boating states were even with the Bellwether states in June, improving 12 percent year-over-year compared to the same period of 2011, the largest single month increase for the outboard market in more than five years.

The same trend was found in the sportfishing and PWC markets, with year-over-year trends in line with the Bellwether states in June. The Sportfishing boat market was up 11 percent in June compared to the previous year while PWC sales were up 2.5 percent for all states in June compared to last year.

Sales of ski boats in all states outperformed the Bellwether average for three straight months, improving almost 5 percent year-over-year in June.

Sterndrive boats continued to decline year-over-year for all states through June, but the rate has been showing signs of improvement. Sales were down by 3.5 percent for the month.


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