Archive for » May 20th, 2015«

Boat Sales Strong with Summer on the Horizon

CHICAGO–(Business Wire)–With Memorial Day marking the kickoff to the summer boating season, the National
Marine Manufacturers Association
(NMMA) reported today healthy
growth for the $35.4 billion U.S. recreational boating industry, with an
estimated 171,500 new powerboats sold in 2014, an increase of 6.4
percent over 2013. Categories seeing growth within the powerboat segment
include jet drive boats, up 16.7 percent to 3,500 units; ski/wakeboard
boats, up 16.4 percent to 7,100 units; and outboard boats, up 7.4
percent to 144,800 units. NMMA anticipates sales of new powerboats to
continue growing through 2015 with an increase in unit sales of as much
as five to seven percent.

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Outboard boats (pontoons, fishing boats and small family cruisers) were the most popular type of new ...

Outboard boats (pontoons, fishing boats and small family cruisers) were the most popular type of new powerboat sold in 2014, comprising approximately 84.4% of the powerboat market with sales up 7.4% to 144,800 units. (Photo: Business Wire)

“We’re seeing sales increases across a number of boat categories with
the largest increase from smaller fiberglass and aluminum outboard
powerboats—a segment that remains the market share leader given their
continued versatility and variety of price points and sizes,” said NMMA
president Thom Dammrich. “Marine manufacturers have been introducing
smaller, more versatile boats at lower price points that can be used for
activities from fishing to cruising with family and friends, making
boating even more accessible for newcomers.”

The popular outboard boat segment, which includes pontoons, aluminum and
fiberglass fishing boats, and small fiberglass cruising boats, comprised
approximately 84.4 percent of the overall powerboat market. Outboard
boats were the most popular type of new powerboat sold in 2014.

In addition to new powerboats, new sailboats sold at retail increased
33.9 percent to 7,500 units and new personal watercraft sales increased
21.6 percent to 47,900 units.

“Spring and summer are key selling periods for new boats and we are off
to a good start with warmer weather and lower gas prices helping to
boost boat sales,” noted Dammrich. “After a strong 2014, we expect to
see continued growth in 2015 by as much as five to seven percent.”

Boating by the numbers

  • U.S. expenditures on boats, engines, accessories, and related costs
    totaled $35.4 billion in 2014.
  • The recreational boating industry in the U.S. has an annual economic
    impact of more than $121.5 billion (includes direct, indirect and
    induced spending), supporting 650,015 direct and indirect American
    jobs and nearly 35,000 businesses.
  • Annual retail sales of new boats, engines marine accessories in the
    U.S. totaled $16.4 billion in 2014.
  • Americans are taking to the water: 35.7% of the U.S. adult population
    – 87.3 million Americans – participated in recreational boating at
    least once in 2014.
  • Boats are uniquely made in America: 94.9% of powerboats sold in the
    U.S. are made in the U.S.
  • There were an estimated 12 million registered boats in the U.S. in
  • 95% percent of boats on the water (powerboats, personal watercraft,
    and sailboats) in the U.S. are small in size at less than 26
    feet—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.
  • It’s not just new boats Americans are buying, there were an estimated
    940,500 pre-owned boats (powerboats, personal watercraft, and
    sailboats) sold in 2014.
  • Boating is primarily a middle-class lifestyle as 71.5% of American
    boat owners have a household income less than $100,000.
  • Leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, motor, trailer and
    accessories, the top ten boating states in 2014 were:
  1. Florida: $2.3 billion, up 22.5% from 2013
  2. Texas: $1.3 billion, up 11.9% from 2013
  3. Michigan: $762.4 million, up 13.1% from 2013
  4. Minnesota: $601.5 million, up 3.9% from 2013
  5. New York: $597.8 million, up 7.3% from 2013
  6. North Carolina: $580.2 million, up 16.9% from 2013
  7. Wisconsin: $560.3 million, up 2.9% from 2013
  8. California: $546.8 million, up 20.9% from 2013
  9. Louisiana: $529.9 million, up 11% from 2013
  10. Alabama: $457.7 million, up 19.6% from 2013

NMMA released this new data as part of its 2014 U.S. Recreational
Boating Statistical Abstract
, an annual compilation of data and
analysis on the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry.

About NMMA: National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is
the leading association representing the recreational boating industry
in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of
the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear used by boaters and
anglers throughout the U.S. and Canada. The association is dedicated to
industry growth through programs in public policy advocacy, market
statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the
boating lifestyle. For more information, visit

National Marine Manufacturers Association
Kelly Kaylor, 312-946-6262

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Better weather means more boat sales in April

Posted on May 19th, 2015
Written by Jack Atzinger

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Recreational boat sales stayed on a level growth plane in April, helped by spring weather that was improved from a year ago, particularly in the upper Midwest.

Sales for the month rose 6 percent to 13,778 boats in the main powerboat segments and 8.2 percent to 20,144 boats industrywide in 31 states that represent 68 percent of the U.S. market, Statistical Surveys reported today.

Sales climbed 24 percent in Michigan, 23 percent in Florida and 21 percent in Minnesota as buyers took advantage of favorable early-season weather to purchase aluminum pontoons and fishing boats, small to midsize outboard fiberglass boats, and jetboats and personal watercraft.

“It’s like a broken record,” Statistical Surveys national marine sales manager Ryan Kloppe said. “The segments that had been doing well are continuing to do well. Pretty soon everyone in Florida is going to own a boat.”

Kloppe said lakes in Michigan and Minnesota that are often still frozen over in April were not this year, encouraging more boaters to take to the water sooner.

Fiberglass outboards were the top seller in the main segments, rising 10.4 percent to 4,302 boats. Pontoons had the highest gain by percentage, rising 14.6 percent to 3,656.

Sales of PWC rose 20.1 percent to 3,706 and jetboat sales climbed 16.4 percent to 390. Kloppe said the top states for jetboat and PWC sales in April were Florida, Texas, Michigan and Minnesota.

Florida (3,373) and Texas (2,225) were the overall sales leaders in the early-reporting states, followed by Michigan (1,882), Minnesota (1,758) and North Carolina (1,081).

The rest of the top 10 were New York (890), South Carolina (746), Tennessee (714), Ohio (677) and Arkansas (643).

Among the bigger-boat categories, sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers fell by 24 to 123 and sales of custom and semicustom yachts of 63 to 99 feet fell by six to 29. Sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts fell by four to 95.

Sales of ski boats rose by 31, or 5 percent, to 350.

Sailboat sales fell by 25, or 10.4 percent, to 215.

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