Boat sales again mixed in July

MIAMI — After mixed sales results in June, results in July were again split for the boat segments tracked by Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report. The graphs can be viewed at by clicking here: Info-Link Bellwether Report.

In general, losses tracked by the group had been decreasing steadily since last summer, when they reached their worst point of the recession. However, in June three segments improved and three segments ticked down - and the same was true in July. The improved segments represent a tapering of losses in those categories, but sales still remain down from the previous 12 months.

Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above were down about 14 percent during the 12-month period ended July 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 10 percent during the same period (up from 12 percent down in June), while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 25 percent (down from 23 percent in June), the personal watercraft segment was down about 11 percent (up from 15 percent in June), and the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 21 percent (down from 18 percent in June). In addition, the ski boat segment was 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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