NMMA study suggests consumers are buying more used boats

CHICAGO – The first study of the pre-owned boat market by the National Marine Manufacturers Association since 1997 was recently released and is now available, NMMA said in a release yesterday.

NMMA members may obtain copies of the 2004 Pre-Owned Boat Market Study free of charge. The 30-page report summarizes the pre-owned boat market for 2004 by propulsion, hull material, length and region of the country. It also includes estimates for unit dollar sales, examines the purchase patterns of first-time and repeat buyers and provides a demographic profile of the pre-owned buyer as compared to the new boat buyer.

The study concludes in 2004, 71 percent of boats changing hands were pre-owned, as compared to 63 percent in 1997, indicating a rise in consumer interest with respect to the pre-owned boat market.

Other study findings/highlights include:

  • More than one million pre-owned boats were sold in 2004.
  • More than three fourths of first-time boat buyers purchase a pre-owned boat.
  • Traditional powerboats made up 81 percent of pre-owned boats sold in 2004.
  • “This study is of great value to the industry, primarily because it examines current consumer buying trends,” said Jim Petru, NMMA director of industry and market research. “It will help guide future research and allow us to gauge activity in the coming years with regard to the pre-owned boat market.”

    The report estimates there were 463,000 first-time boat owners in 2004 (boaters who had not otherwise purchased a boat since 1997), and first-time boat buyers are four times more likely to buy pre-owned. However, as age, income and net worth increase, consumers tend to buy more new boats as opposed to pre-owned.

    “The pre-owned study provides important demographic information that should be of great interest to the industry,” said NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “Not only does it go into specific detail about who is buying pre-owned boats, but the report also provides insight into sales figures and statistics.”

    Cost of the hard-copy report is $350 for non-NMMA members, but is available to NMMA members free of charge for the first copy. Additional copies will be made available at the special member discount price of $175.

    To order a copy of the pre-owned study, contact NMMA fulfillment coordinator Chris Keil at (312) 946-6209; ckeil@nmma.org.

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