Late summer delays powerboat sales


Photo Credit: Info-Link Technologies

By Christopher Gerber
August 30, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Sales have fought for growth in July following what had been several months of declining sales growth that was indicating a flattening market for all segments through June, according to the latest data from Info-Link Technologies.

A cool start to this summer may have delayed sales, but it didn’t outright defeat them. A second half warm-up has been lifting sales across most segments, including a 1.4-percent increase in sales growth year-over-year for all powerboats 15-foot or greater for the 12 months ending in July across Bellwether states.

Sales of outboard boats have broken into double-digit growth across Bellwether states through July, pushing total sales growth a fraction of a percent below the double digits through July.  This number is down slightly from 2012, but markedly ahead of the beginning of the 2011 turnaround.

Other segments have fared well, including the ski boat and sportfishing boat segments.  After sales growth for the sportfishing boat segment peaked in late 2012, momentum has been leveling off from a peak 27-percent year-over-year growth for the 12 months ending in November 2012 to 10 percent year-over-year growth for the 12 months ending in July.

Ski boats, however, continue to battle upward, steadily climbing around 10-percent year-over-year during the course of the past several months, and 9-percent year-over-year during the 12 months ending in July for Bellwether states.

There are a couple of sour notes that can’t be overlooked, however. The sterndrive market continues to tumble year-over-year after reaching what looked like a market bottom. Sales dipped even further year-over-year through July, with sales down 14-percent over the past 12 months compared to the previous 12 months.

The PWC segment is also struggling after reaching what looked like a turnaround. Climbing as high as 9.5-percent year-over-year during the 12 months ending in January, the segment has since backed off and sales have dipped 1.4-percent year-over-year for the 12 months ending July. A percentage point improvement over June, but still a drop that points to stagnation of sales in the PWC market.

Data for Info-Link Technologies’ Bellwether Report is based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states represent roughly have of the U.S. boating market, geographically dispersed, and varying by segment and time of the year. Graphs of all of the Info-Link Bellwether Report data can be found by clicking here: Info-Link Technologies Bellwether Report.


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