Analyst: ‘Expectations for solid growth in smaller boat segments’


By Christopher Gerber
March 1, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Powerboats under 40-feet in length saw a month of accelerated growth in January as sales grew as much as 28 percent year-over-year during the first month of the year, according to a note provided to Boating Industry by RBC Capital Markets Analyst Edward Aaron.

Aaron said that the January data supported an "uneven recovery" premise, with "expectations of solid growth in smaller boat segments and flat-to-down industry growth in the large fiberglass market."

The fiberglass outboard segment jumped 26.1 percent during January 2013, year-over-year, and 14.1 percent during for the year 2012 compared to the previous year, according to the data supplied to RBC Capital Markets. Aluminum outboard brands were also improved during January and 2012, helping the pontoon market gain 21 percent in 2012 and 28 percent year-over-year in January 2013.

Other important points from the note:

  • Aluminum fishing boat sales were up 9.8 percent year-over-year in 2012 despite a 1.8 percent drop in December. Sales recovered in January and grew 2.3 percent for that segment.
  • Total aluminum boat sales were up 14.1 percent in 2012, and 8.3 percent in January 2013.
  • Sterndrive and inboard sales continued to struggle in the larger segments, pushing the market down 3.2 percent in January and 6.2 percent in 2012.
  • Bowrider and deck boat sales improved at the end of 2012 and into 2013, resulting in a 3.9 percent decline for 2012, but 13 percent growth in December and 8.2 percent growth in January 2013.

Strong performance in the smaller boat segments resulted in a 10.8 percent increase in 2012 and 14.7 percent sales increase in January.

Aaron said that the retail data from Statistical Surveys left the outlook for 2013 unchanged, but was encouraging, making a point to note that January is a relatively small month and monthly sales are inherently volatile.


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