Powerboat sales fall in NMMA’s MSR

CHICAGO – Wholesale unit sales for the traditional powerboat segment (outboard, sterndrive and inboard boats) were down 5 percent for the period between January and April 2006, compared to figures from the same reporting period one year ago, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said last week.

NMMA’s April Monthly Shipment Report also showed that corresponding factory dollars declined as well, down 2 percent from the January through April 2005 totals.

Outboard and sterndrive wholesale shipments continued their respective declines in April. Fiberglass outboard boats were down for the 13th consecutive month since April 2005, and down 17 percent in the first four months of 2006. Gains in wholesale shipments of aluminum outboard boats in January and March raised this sector to a 3 percent YTD increase in April. Sterndrive boat sales have been on the decline since October 2005, and were down 5 percent through April of this year, NMMA said.

One bright spot in April’s MSR was the inboard segment of the traditional powerboat market, including both inboard cruisers and skiboat categories. Cruiser sales were up 7 percent during the month of April and down only 1 percent year to date. Although inboard skiboat sales were down in April—experiencing a 2 percent decrease—they were up 4 percent YTD.

Total boat wholesale shipments (including PWCs, canoes, kayaks, inflatable boats, sailboats and houseboats) posted a 5 percent increase for the four-month January through April period, helped by significant gains in both canoe and kayak unit volumes. Dollar volume for all boats was down 2 percent.

“While it’s still too early to predict what will happen with boat sales throughout the remainder of 2006, the uptick in inboard cruiser sales is an encouraging sign,” Jim Petru, director of industry research and statistics for NMMA said. “Total boat shipments also experienced a boost through the first quarter of this year. Once second-quarter data is compiled and collected, we will have a better idea of where the industry is heading for the remainder of 2006.”

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