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March boat sales up on strong fishing, ski segments

By Jonathan Sweet

Boat sales are closing in on nearly four years of growth with another strong month of year-over-year sales increases, according to the latest Info-Link Bellwether report.

March sales were up almost 10 percent on a rolling 12-month basis, slightly ahead of February's rate. The Info-Link report has shown year-over-year gains since mid-2011.

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).

Following a familiar pattern, every category on the report was up, with the exception of sterndrive/jet boats, which declined nearly 5 percent from March 2014's rate.

PWC continues to be the strongest segment of the market, although the rate of growth is slowing from last year. Sales were up more than 20 percent over the last 12 months, but that's below the 30 percent peak reached last summer as the market surged.

Besides PWC, ski boats and sport fish showed the strongest growth, both up about 15 percent on a rolling 12-month basis. Both categories have held fairly steady at that level for the last several months.

Outboard sales also continued their growth, back above 10 percent year-over-year after dipping below that level at the end of 2014.

 

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