Tag Archives: market trends

Outboards are in

By David Gee Over 330,000 new outboards found their way to customers in 2020, accounting for the highest sales volume in 20 years, and an increase of 18% over 2019. “The heightened interest in boating amid the COVID-19 pandemic helped to propel outboard engine sales to historic levels last year as more Americans took to the water, on a new ...

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Riding the towboat sales wave

By David Gee The NMMA recently reported that retail unit sales of new powerboats in February 2021 were up 34% compared to the same time period last year. Segment leaders included wakesport boats, one of many categories seeing double-digit increases YOY. These latest sales figures for the towboat segment follow a strong 2020, with NMMA reporting unit sales around the ...

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Pontoons at play

By David Gee When Ambrose Weeres, a rural Minnesota farmer and grain mill owner strapped a plywood sheet to two columns of 55-gallon steel drums to create the first pontoon boat in 1951, the idea was a relatively simple one. “I worked on it and designed the tubes, then a raft, and kept going until I had a boat,” explained ...

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The Sterndrive show goes on

By David Gee With a history dating all the way back to 1930, when the first “inboard/outboard” was introduced by Johnson Motor Company, the sterndrive space has seen constant investment, improvement and innovation. And that continues today, especially since the pandemic drove a record rise in boat sales, and perhaps reinvigorated the sterndrive category. “We’ve continued to see consistent demand ...

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Things are looking up for saltwater fishing

By David Gee “I only work so I can afford the amount of fishing required to forget about work.” –Will Rogers Actor, cowboy, humorist and social commentator Will Rogers said that 100 years ago, but I think he would be pretty happy with the state of fishing today.   For the 10th year in a row, the Outdoor Foundation and ...

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Surf’s Up

By David Gee Up. That’s about the only direction the towboat segment has known for some time, give or take a few tough months. Bigger boats. Heavier boats. Boats with more ballast. Boats with more features. Higher price tags. And more sales. And 2020 continued that trend. For a short while anyway. Malibu Boats, for example, reported in February that ...

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Outboard Q & A with Gus Blakely, Suzuki Motor of America

By David Gee In the next issue of the magazine, we will be running a Market Trends piece on outboards. We don't want to steal any of the thunder from that story, but we did gather some good interviews. And since we don't have the space to include the complete interviews in the magazine, we thought we would feature some ...

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Market Trends: Room for everyone

By Adam Quandt Industry leaders across the recreation marine sector regularly preach the importance of selling the experience of boating, rather than just simply selling the product. With generous room aboard and the ever-increasing versatility of both pontoons and deck boats, manufacturers within these segments of the industry are consistently striving to provide the experience of boating to the many ...

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The sterndrive story: What lies beneath the surface

By David Gee To paraphrase something Mark Twain may – or may not – have once said: The rumors of the death of the sterndrive are greatly exaggerated. Now before we get a bunch of angry emails asking who in fact declared the category dead, the answer is no one. Not today. Maybe not ever. Though it’s a fact that ...

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Steady as she goes

The pontoon boat segment was the first to recover in the wake of the downturn, and it continues to post steady and consistent sales growth year after year. Is this the new normal? “We’re again looking at growth in the high single-digit range.” “We expect growth to continue at the same rate, or even a little better than what we saw last year.” ...

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