PWC and ski boat sales on the decline

MIAMI — The decline in overall powerboat sales continued to gradually slow in April, according to Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report, which provides a rolling 12 month year-over-year percent change in unit sales. However, this improvement wasn’t felt across all product segments.

Unit sales of personal watercraft dropped again in April, representing a decline of approximately 18 percent. This is in comparison to a recent high of -10 percent in July 2010.

The decline in ski boat sales also worsened in April after six months of improvement. Unit sales were down approximately 22 percent.

Those categories showing improvement included outboard boats (-5 percent), sterndrive/jet boats (28 percent) and outboard sportfishing boats (-23 percent).

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

Losses tracked by the group hit their worst point of the recession in the summer of 2009, rallied to a high point last spring/summer, and then dipped again in the fall. Since then, things have started to gradually improve, with the past several months showing mostly stable or improved sales.

Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above were down about 11 percent during the 12-month period ended April 30, 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.

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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