U.S. boat sales post broad gains

Powerboat customers are reacting favorably to the warmer weather, with most categoriesexperiencing positive year-over-year sales growth as the U.S. economy gains momentum. According to the latest data from Info-Link Technologies, year-over-year sales growth of powerboats larger than 15 feet hit the 10-percent mark in April, matching highs seen throughout the 2012 selling season.

After spiking in March, personal watercraft sales improved even more in April, with year-over-year sales growth edging up sharply to 10 percent. The category has been in positive territory since July of 2013.

Ski boat sales also edged sharply higher, and exceeded 15-percent sales growth for the month. This is the best month for the ski boat category since the dawn of the Great Recession.

Outboard sales are similarly healthy, approaching 15 percent year-over-year sales growth for the month. Outboards have been in positive territory since early 2011, and the latest numbers show the category reaching peaks last seen in late 2012.

Sterndrives and jet boats are grouped into a single category, and continue to decline in tandem, albeit at a less steep rate than previous months. For April, the combined category saw its sales approximately 10 percent less than previous-year levels.

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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