Boat sales continue improvement in October


Christopher Gerber
November 27, 2012
Filed under Features, Top Stories

After a strong summer, dealers are seeing an even better autumn as powerboat sales continue year-over-year improvement through the beginning of the fourth quarter, according to the latest data from Info-Link.

Sales of 15-foot and greater powerboats rose 12 percent during the month of October for Bellwether states compared to the previous year, pushing another month of positive sales growth for the industry that began last August. For full graphs of the Bellwether report, click here: Info-Link Bellwether Report.

The rising sales trend reached beyond outboard boats for the second straight month, and even the struggling sterndrive market achieved positive growth among the Bellwether states in October.

Bellwether states

Though all powerboat segments showed positive growth, the large outboard market pulled the average up significantly among the Bellwether states, which represent roughly half of the U.S. boat market, geographically dispersed. Sales of 15-foot and greater outboards rose by 14.8 percent year-over-year in October for Bellwether states, an improvement of one percentage point over September.

Sportfishing boat sales grew the largest, percentage-wise, during the 31 days of October. Sales were up two percentage points over September, reaching 24 percent growth for the segment year-over-year.

The ski boat segment is seeing sales growth for Bellwether states near 7.5 percent year-over-year during the month of October, which is a 50 percent jump over the sales increase seen the previous month. Personal watercraft sales were up another 1.3 percentage points over the previous month's growth, gaining 7 percent more sales year-over-year through the month.

Sales of sterndrive boats were positive for the first time in the more than five years during October. Sales for the segment grew by 1.4 percent year-over-year after three months of little sales movement up or down.

All states

The data for all states, which is available through June, showed similar sales trends to those seen by the Bellwether states this summer.

Sales of all powerboats were up by 9 percent during the month of October, year-over-year, right in line with the sales seen among Bellwether states.

Outboard and PWC sales matched the Bellwether states as well, with outboard sales up by 11 percent year-over-year and personal watercraft sales growing 2.5 percent year-over-year during the month of October.

Sale of ski boats were significantly higher in all states compared to the Bellwether states. Sales were up by 4.8 percent for the segment during the month of October, compared to a flat year seen in Bellwether states.


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