Icy weather cools powerboat sales in March


By Christopher Gerber
April 23, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Boaters are gearing up for fishing season, but they may be running to stores for ice augers instead of bass boats this spring as colder weather in 2013 slows down sales. Sales of 15-foot and greater powerboats were up 9.2 percent year-over-year  through the end of March among Bellwether states, pushing sales growth into the single-digits for the first time in 8 months, according to the latest data from Info-Link Technologies.

Outboard boat sales, while trending with overall sales, slowed to 10.6 percent year-over-year during March, the slowest month of growth for the segment since March of the previous year.

The data in the report is based off U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether data is collected from geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the U.S. boating population. The data varies by time of the year and market segments.

Other boating segments, including PWCs, ski, sportfishing boats and sterndrives, all eased back in March among Bellwether states after several months of collecting momentum.  Sterndrive sales, which had been growing slightly year-over-year since September 2012, fell again year-over-year during March by 1.5 percent among Bellwether states.

Data for the entire boating market, which has been collected through December, showed powerboat sales looking to follow the bellwether states, though growth sat slightly below the bellwether states.

Sales of outboard boats hovered near 12.5 percent growth year-over-year for the ninth consecutive month during December among all boating states, just 1.5 percentage points below the Bellwether average.

PWC, ski boat, and sterndrive sales across all boating states trended along the bellwether states through the end of December, growing 7.5 percent, 8 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

This month's registration data is provided to Boating Industry by Info-Link Technologies. Full graphs of the data can be found here: Info-Link Technologies Bellwether Report


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