Powerboat sales flat for first half of 2005

CHICAGO – U.S. retail sales of new inboard and jet drive boats saw increases of 2.7 percent and 4.6 percent respectively, while most powerboat segments saw decreases during the second quarter 2005 compared to the same period last year, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Registration data on Delaware, Illinois and Iowa was incomplete for the quarter and therefore is not included in this summary.

Total U.S. retail powerboat sales were down 1.5 percent on a rolling-twelve month basis, flat for the first half of the year (+0.1 percent), and flat at (+0.3 percent) for the second quarter.

“Declining consumer confidence during the second quarter seems to have impacted boat sales,” said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. “We’ll be keeping an eye on what happens at retail during the second half of year given the continued decreases in consumer confidence through October 2005.”

In comparison, for the first half of the year (January-June) jet drive boats saw a 16.4 percent increase and personal watercraft saw a 9.1 percent increase while outboards (-2.3 percent), sterndrives (-1.8 percent) and inboards (-2.4 percent) all experienced slight decreases.

For the second quarter alone, outboard boats (-2.8 percent), sterndrive (-1.7 percent) and inboard (-2.5) all experienced decreases while jet drive (18.2 percent) and personal watercraft (9.3 percent) increased.

“Early indications are pointing toward modest unit growth at retail of 1-2 percent for the second half of the year,” noted Dammrich. “We remain optimistic for 2006 given The Conference Board’s anticipation of a rebound in consumer confidence during the first quarter as energy prices continue to decline, interest rates level off, and the economy experiences an upswing.”

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