Decline in powerboat sales continues to gradually slow

MIAMI — The decline in overall powerboat sales continued to gradually slow in March, according to 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 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 March 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 5 percent during the same period, while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 29 percent, the personal watercraft segment was down about 15 percent (a 3 percent drop from last month), and the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 25 percent (a two percent increase). In addition, the ski boat segment was down about 20 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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