December sales improve slightly

MIAMI — December saw slightly improved sales for the boat segments tracked by Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report, though on the whole sales are still down.

Info-link's graphs can be viewed by clicking here: Info-Link Bellwether Report.

Losses tracked by the group had been decreasing steadily since summer 2009, when they reached their worst point of the recession. During the summer, the results became more mixed: In June three segments improved and three segments ticked down, and the same was true in July and August. However, September saw decreases across the board. Since then, things have started to gradually improve, with November showing mostly stable or improved sales.

Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above were down about 14 percent during the 12-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to the previous 12 months. Last spring and into summer, sales were running about 35 percent down and in April they were 20 percent down.

Within the outboard boat segment, unit sales were down about 8 percent during the same period, while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 28 percent, the personal watercraft segment was down about 13 percent, and the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 28 percent. In addition, the ski boat segment was down about 25 percent.

The Bellwether Report is based on new U.S. boat registrations in geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the U.S. boat market.

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