Losses decline at faster pace in April

MIAMI – As in the previous two months, all boat segments tracked by Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report were up in April, according to the company’s most recent report. Even with the gains, however, sales remain down compared to the prior 12 months. The graphs can be viewed at: info-link.com/bellwetherreport.asp.

With a few slight negative blips, losses have been decreasing since last summer, when they reached their lowest point of the recession. In April, the pace of that improvement picked up, with losses improving an average of almost 4 percentage points in the six categories measured by Info-Link.

Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above were down about 20 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.

Within the outboard boat segment, unit sales were down about 18 percent during the same period, while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 25 percent, the personal watercraft segment was down about 19 percent, and the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 18 percent. In addition, the ski boat segment gained some ground after slight declines the last few months, down about 22 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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