CHICAGO – Last year, boating participation increased to 71.3 million overall participants, up 2.3 million from the 2004 figures, according to NMMA’s 2005 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, which highlights boating sales and participation numbers throughout calendar year 2005.
New boat unit sales remained steady in 2005, with less than a 1-percent decrease for a total of 864,450 units.
“Historically, boat sales are highly correlated with changes in consumer confidence and the GDP,” NMMA President Thom Dammrich explained in a recent statement. “Research indicates 2005 was a steady year for the boating industry despite concerns surrounding how increased fuel prices might impact boat sales and boating participation.”
Although unit sales were slightly down or flat in 2005, dollar sales actually increased nearly 8 percent last year to $11.6 billion, compared to the previous year’s numbers. In fact, dollar sales have been on the rise over the past two consecutive years while unit sales remained flat, the association reported.
This finding is attributable to a number of factors, including a trend toward the manufacture of larger, better equipped boats, increasingly fuel-efficient engines and overall improvements in marine technology, gear and accessories, according to NMMA.
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