Recent data suggests boat sales will continue to grow in 2015 and 2016, according to Tom Walworth, general manager at Statistical Surveys.
Sales in inboard-, jet- and outboard-powered boats are all up in a rolling 12-month period ending in March 2015. Overall, outboard sales are reporting double-digit growth with 10.08 percent. Jet boat sales are up 5.49 percent and inboard boats are up 2.46 percent.
Sterndrive boats continue to struggle in certain markets, reporting a 11.14 percent contraction.
Walworth says sterndrive boats are experiencing growth challenges because of pricing that has been imposed upon manufacturers with government regulations and other requirements, which has pushed the product to become higher in cost to the consumer.
However, he added that there are segments that are doing well with sterndrives. Markets such as Miami, Tampa, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Newark have seen double-digit growth in sterndrives.
“There are certain segments that are doing well but in general the stern market is soft right now,” said Walworth. “Those areas [with positive sterndrive growth] are probably prone to the bigger boats. The bigger sterndrives are doing better than the rest of the market.”
Statistical Surveys reviewed how these propulsion types compared from last year to this year, ranking by industry volume first, looking at percent of growth and selecting the top 10 cities.
“There are different regions of the country that are doing better than other regions of the country. But I think in general … we see a good market for the rest of 2015 and I think 2016 will probably follow,” Walworth said. “[A boat] is not an item that you need, it’s an item that you want. And I think the fact that these markets are moving in a positive direction shows that the economy is probably improving out there. … Barring some catastrophe, I think that the markets will continue to yield positive results.”
|Inboard Boats||Growth %|
|West Palm Beach, FL||8.33%|
|Jet Boats||Growth %|
|Ft. Worth, TX||42.86%|
|Outboard Boats||Growth %|
|Fort Myers, FL||6.15%|
|West Palm Beach, FL||17.75%|
|Little Rock, AR||1.93%|
|Sterndrive Boats||Growth %|
|Fort Myers, FL||-12.50%|
|New York, NY||-28.95%|
|Grand Rapids, MI||11.11%|