Boat sales jump in Washington

EVERETT, Wash. – Boat sales in Washington state were up 7 percent in the second quarter, compared to 2003, and the dollar value of those boats rose 18 percent, according to figures from the Northwest Marine Trade Association quoted in a story in today’s Everett Herald newspaper.

Boat dealers in Snohomish and Island counties experienced healthy increases in the April through June period, with Snohomish County dealers selling 361 new boats, a 12-percent jump over the second quarter of 2003, the newspaper reported.

Total sales – new and used boats sold by dealers and private parties – were up 7.3 percent, for a total of 2,301, the association said.

Total sales increased 25 percent in Island County to 368 boats.

Washington residents spent nearly $35.7 million on new and used boats from April through June, the NMTA said.

Sales were up in all categories of powerboats, according to the association’s figures. The most popular were entry-level boats – 15-foot to 18-foot fiberglass hulled boats with outboard motors. Washington residents bought 926 of them in the second quarter, a 25-percent increase. The 19- to 22-footers saw a sales increase of 21 percent, with 916 boats sold.

The biggest percentage gains came among the bigger boats. The statistics showed sales of 35- to 38-footers were up 77 percent, to 13. Sales in the 39- to 42-foot category were up 60 percent, to 10 purchases, according to the newspaper.

Sailboats made up about 1 percent of total boat sales statewide, but even though only 35 were sold, that was still a healthy increase over the 20 sold in the second quarter of 2003, the marine trade association reported.

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