Sailboat production falls 5 percent

MIAMI – Production in the sailboat sector fell 5 percent in 2007 to 14,158 units, according to the 2007 North American Sailing Industry Study, which was released this morning. The drop represents seven years of slow decline in sailboat production. Of the 137 North American sailboat builders, 118 provided their data for the study.

The study was part of the Sailing Market State of the Industry Report conducted by Rick Walter of Market Research Associates and presented by The Sailing Company. The report results reflect September 2006 through August 2007 data.

Highlights from the study include that the 20-foot to 40-foot category took the hardest production hit, dropping 15 percent from 2006 to 2,284 boats. One segment that saw growth in 2007 was the 46-foot and above category, increasing from 145 units in 2006 to 249 boats in 2007. The estimated value of 2007 sailboat production increased 6 percent to $802 million. Forecasts for 2008 predict a 4 percent increase in North American sailboat production.

Also included in the report is the 2007 Bareboat Charter Industry Study. The total number of boats chartered in 2007 declined to 3,044 boats. Boats charted are continuing to decline, down 452 boats from 2003 to 2007. The total weeks chartered saw only a small change from 2006 to 2007. Weeks chartered fell from 26,781 in 2006 to 26,296 in 2007.

Also included in the report is the 2007 North American Import Sailboat Report, which suggests imports were down 5 percent in 2007 from 420 units in 2006 to 398 units in 2007.

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