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Boat sales tick up in January, report says

By Jonathan Sweet

Boat sales were up year-over-year in January, growing at a faster pace than in December, according to the latest Info-Link Bellwether report.

According to Info-Link, the Bellwether report tracks sales of powerboats across the country based on new U.S. boat registrations on a rolling 12-month basis. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (varies by market segment and time of year).

Boat sales were up about 7 percent across all categories on a rolling basis for the 12 months ending in January. Sales were up about 6 percent for the 12 months ending in December.

While measuring different periods (year vs. month), the report reinforces positive numbers from CDK earlier this month. The company reported that unit sales were up 15.9 percent for dealers of its Lightspeed product in January 2017 from January 2016.

In the Bellwether report, the tow boat segment continues to show the largest growth, with sales up 10 percent for the 12 months ending in January. The sportfish and PWC segments were also strong, with sales up just less than 10 percent for the period.

Overall, outboard sales were up about 7 percent and sterndrive/jet sales were essentially flat.

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