MIAMI, Fla. – Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above dropped about 32 percent during the 12-month period ended March 31, compared to the prior 12 months, according to Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report, which has been updated through March. The graphs can be viewed at: www.info-link.com/bellwetherreport.asp.
Within the outboard boat segment, unit sales were down about 28 percent during this period, while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 42 percent, the personal watercraft segment was down about 30 percent, the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 43 percent and the ski boat segment was down about 33 percent. Of the segments, the ski boat market appears to be the only one to show improvement, jumping about 1 percentage point.
When you look at the three-month period ended March 31, the angle of the decline seems to be flattening out with powerboat sales remaining down by about 40 percent, compared to the same three-month period of the prior year. However, due to boating’s seasonality, these months typically represent some of the lowest sales volumes of the year for the U.S. industry. The real test of the industry’s health this year will be how it fares through some of the highest volume months later this year.
The bellwether report is based on new U.S. boat registrations in geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the U.S. boat market. With the exception of a couple of slight blips upward, powerboat sales in this category have been trending downward since early 2004 on a rolling 12 month year-over-year basis of comparison.
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