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August boat sales show nearly 10 percent growth

By Jonathan Sweet

Anecdotal reports of an August surge in boat sales seem to hold some truth as sales of powerboats were up nearly 10 percent year-over-year for the 12 months ending in August, Info-Link reported in its latest Bellwether index.

That put the growth rate just short of the high of 10 percent in April. Since early 2013, the Bellwether report has shown year-over-year growth of between 5 and 10 percent almost every month.

The Bellwether report tracks boat sales across the country based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (varies by market segment and time of year).

Sales were up in every category, with the exception of sterndrive/jet. But even in that struggling category -- which hasn't posted year-over-year growth since early 2013 -- sales were basically flat for the 12 months ending in August, a significant improvement from earlier this year when sales were down more than 5 percent.

Sales of outboards, PWC, sportfish and ski boats all were up more than 10 percent in August's report.

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