Boat sales growth slows in September

Boat sales growth slows in September

The recreational marine industry followed double-digit August sales gains with a slow-growth September, adding to the unpredictability of a year marked by inconsistent sales. 

Sales rose 3 percent in the main powerboat segments to 6,454 and only 1.6 percent industrywide to 9,821 from last September in 24 states that represent about 59 percent of the national market, Statistical Surveys said today.

Sales in two stalwart categories — aluminum pontoon boats (up 3.8 percent, to 1,380) and 11- to- 50-foot fiberglass outboards (up 5.4 percent to 2,623) showed moderate growth, but sales of aluminum fishing boats fell 2.6 percent to 1,519.

Statistical Surveys sales director Ryan Kloppe said that overall September sales in the early-reporting states were the highest since 2008 and suffered from a comparison with last September, when sales were up 8.8 percent in the main segments and 11.7 percent industrywide in 26 early-reporting states.

“To have growth from that is a good comparison,” he said.

Sales are up 5 percent this year at 136,698 in the main powerboat segments and up 4.5 percent industrywide at 212,945 through September in the early-reporting states. Kloppe said he remains confident that the industry will achieve sales growth of about 6 percent this year.

Sales of ski and wakeboard boats were a bright spot in September, rising 14.5 percent to 388.

“It’s been popular for a couple of years now, and [the segment] continues to catch buyers in the market,” Kloppe said.

Florida led the nation among the early-reporting states with 2,098 sales, although the total was lower than the previous September, when 2,149 were recorded.

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