U.S. boat sales heating up

As the weather warms and dealerships head into the busy season, powerboat sales have increased to just below 10 percent year-over-year sales growth. According to the latest data from Info-Link Technologies, powerboats larger than 15 feet are continuing sales gains that have held relatively steady since the summer of 2011.

Personal watercraft sales spiked in March, exceeding the previous March sales by greater than 5 percent. The category has been in positive territory since July of 2013, and the category has seen new products like the entry-level Sea-Doo Spark that has received considerable attention.

Ski boat sales continue holding strong, and the most recent data shows the category exceeding its 2013 sales by more than 10 percent, a level the category has maintained throughout the last two years.

Outboard boats 15 feet and greater fared similarly well. Sales growth for March exceeded 10 percent. This category has been in positive territory since early 2011, and has exceeded 10 percent since early 2013.

Sterndrives and jet boats — lumped together into one category — continue to decline with year-over-year sales declines greater than 15 percent. Sportfishing boats have fallen from the massive yearly gains seen in late 2012 and early 2013, yet are still posting 10-percent-or-better annual gains.

The data is based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (which varies by market segment and time of year). Full graphs are available here: Info-Link Technologies Bellwether Report.

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