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NMMA reports 6.4 percent growth in 2014 boat sales

Posted on May 21st, 2015


The National Marine Manufacturers Association is reporting 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 from 2013.

Florida, the nation’s top state for boat sales, sold $2.3 billion worth of new powerboats, motors, trailers and accessories, up 22.5 percent from 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.

The NMMA anticipates that sales of new powerboats will continue to grow through 2015, with an increase in unit sales of as much as 5 to 7 percent.

“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,” NMMA president Thom Dammrich said in a statement.

“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,” Dammrich said.

The popular outboard boat segment, which includes pontoons, aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats, and small fiberglass cruising boats, comprised about 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,” Dammrich noted. “After a strong 2014, we expect to see continued growth in 2015 by as much as 5 to 7 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 United States 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 and marine accessories in the United States totaled $16.4 billion in 2014.
  • Americans are taking to the water: 35.7 percent 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 percent of powerboats sold in the United States are made in this country.
  • There were an estimated 12 million registered boats in the United States in 2014.
  • 95 percent of boats on the water (powerboats, personal watercraft and sailboats) in the United States are less than 26 feet — boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.
  • It’s not just new boats Americans are buying; an estimated 940,500 used boats (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) were sold in 2014.
  • Boating is primarily a middle-class lifestyle, as 71.5 percent of American boat owners have a household income less than $100,000.
  • Leading the nation in sales of new powerboats, motors, trailers and accessories, the top 10 boating states in 2014 were:
  1. Florida: $2.3 billion, up 22.5 percent from 2013
  2. Texas: $1.3 billion, up 11.9 percent from 2013
  3. Michigan: $762.4 million, up 13.1 percent from 2013
  4. Minnesota: $601.5 million, up 3.9 percent from 2013
  5. New York: $597.8 million, up 7.3 percent from 2013
  6. North Carolina: $580.2 million, up 16.9 percent from 2013
  7. Wisconsin: $560.3 million, up 2.9 percent from 2013
  8. California: $546.8 million, up 20.9 percent from 2013
  9. Louisiana: $529.9 million, up 11 percent from 2013
  10. Alabama: $457.7 million, up 19.6 percent from 2013

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NMMA: New powerboat sales up 6.4% in 2014

With Memorial Day marking the kickoff to the summer boating season, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported Wednesday 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.

“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 percent 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 percent 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 2014.
  • 95 percent 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.



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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.

This Smart News Release features multimedia. View the full release here:
http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150519005640/en/

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
    2014.
  • 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 NMMA.org.

National Marine Manufacturers Association
Kelly Kaylor, 312-946-6262
kkaylor@nmma.org


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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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Best of 2015: Hagadone Marine Group – Boat Dealer

Hagadone Marine Group

Hagadone Marine Group provides complete boating services on Lake Coeur d’Alene, with boat sales, boat maintenance, boat repair and warranty service, wood boat building and restoration, boat slips and moorage at three marinas, lake cruises and charter cruises, boat rentals, fuel, supplies and other marine support and services.

The Hagadone Marine Center, located on Blackwell Island on Lake Coeur d’Alene, has the finest new and used yachts, pontoon boats, sport boats and wakeboarding boats in the Inland Northwest. The Hagadone Marine Center waterfront showroom features Coeur d’Alene Custom wood boats, Axis, Malibu, Cobalt, Regal, Carver, Marquis and Harris FloteBote, with an award-winning service department, factory trained technicians and comprehensive boat repair, maintenance and warranty services.

Three marinas on Lake Coeur d’Alene, Boardwalk Marina, Blackwell Island Marina and Silver Beach Marina, have boat slips, gas and waste pumpout service, with boat moorage for more than 1,000 motorboats and sailboats of all sizes. Hagadone Marine Group handles professional boat winterizing, boat hauling and launching services and secure boat storage.

The Resort Boat Shop builds beautiful Coeur d’Alene Custom wood boats from mahogany and sapele wood, suitable as yacht tenders or luxury runabouts. Coeur d’Alene Custom wood boats are featured inRobb Report, Boat International and Yachting World. The Resort Boat Shoprestores old, classic and antique wood boats and repairs fiberglass, mechanical, canvas and upholstery.

The Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruises fleet departs daily from The Resort all summer long for scenic tours, brunch cruises, dinner cruises and sunset cruises. There is a family themed Pirates of The Coeur d’Alene summer cruise and a Journey to the North Pole winter cruise, eagle-watching cruises in winter, and private cruises and charter cruises year-round.

Hagadone Marine Group has been named one of America’s Top 100 Dealers by Boating Industry magazine, based on “dependable dealers that exceed sales and service expectations.” Visit hagadonemarine.com or call (208) 667-5009.

Largest Boat Dealer in the Spokane Area

“For anyone who loves the water, Hagadone Marine Group brings that dream alive,” says General Manager Craig Brosenne. “We have assembled the best boats and boat-related products, the best on-water locations, the best service crews, and a really incredible team of 50 people who have a combined 500 years of experience in this business.”

From rentals to sales, from classic wood boats to gleaming new wakeboard craft, from the smallest service detail to a major rebuild, Hagadone Marine Group handles it all. The idea is to maximize the fun on the water, and minimize the hassle factor. Everything can be provided – with a smile. Perhaps clients even want dinner delivered at the dock, or driving lessons on their new boat? This is the place.

“Our prime on-the-water location gives our customers a chance to personally test out our entire new stock of boats, from wakeboarding to sport boats to yachts, as well as a full line of pre-owned boats.” Brosenne said. “Studies show that buyers want an on-the-water demonstration before finalizing their purchase. When was the last time you purchased a car without driving it first?”

The dealership, formerly known as Yacht Club Sales Service, has been in existence since 1944. It was purchased in 2004 by the Hagadone Corporation, which has a first-class reputation in high-end hospitality.

Ranked as Top 100 Dealers by Boating Industry magazine, Hagadone Marine Group is proud to offer unmatched customer service and comprehensive boating services on Lake Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding region.

Hagadone Marine Center Sales

1000 S. Marina Drive

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814

208-664-8274

866-525-3232

Hours

● April 1-Memorial Day: Mon-Sat 8am – 5pm, Sun 9am-4pm

● Memorial Weekend-Labor Day Weekend: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm

● After Labor Day-Oct 31: Mon-Sat 8am-5pm

● Nov 1-Mar 31: Monday-Sat 8am-5pm

pauln@hagadonemarine.com

Hagadone Marine Center Service

1000 S. Marina Drive

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814

208-664-8274

866-525-3232

Hours

● April 1-Memorial Day: Mon-Sat 8am – 5pm, Sun 9am-4pm

● Memorial Weekend-Labor Day Weekend: Mon-Sat 8am-8pm

● After Labor Day-Oct 31: Mon-Sat 8am-5pm

● Nov 1-Mar 31: Monday-Sat 8am-5pm

jbarnhart@hagadonemarine.com


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New Zealand Boat Show pulls in crowds

New Zealand Boat Show pulls in crowds

The annual New Zealand Boat Show turns 60 this year.

More than 30,000 people are expected to attend the 60th annual boat show in Auckland as boaties and anglers gear up on the latest and greatest in marine toys.

First held in 1956 the Hutchwilco New Zealand Boat Show is New Zealand’s largest and longest-running boat show.

Boat show spokesman Mike Rose said more than 200 exhibitors set up for the four day event held at the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane from Thursday to Sunday.

Wesley Intermediate School students Dominic (left), and Richard enjoy the 60th annual New Zealand Boat Show.

In 2014 the boat show attracted 35,000 visitors and Rose said this year he was expecting the same or more depending on weather.

The MetService is forecasting some heavy showers for Auckland on Friday and a mostly fine weekend aside from some showers early on Saturday.

The boat show features all things boating with manufacturers from the Bay of Islands to Invercargill showcasing their latest models at the event.

Auckland Boat seller Seacraft Miller Moyes sales manager Bob Mirabito said an under supply of secondhand boats available on the New Zealand market was driving new boat sales.

“New Zealand’s not getting secondhand boats in from overseas to the same degree as the used car market for example, so there is only a finite supply of good secondhand boats,” Mirabito said.

That resulted is a diminishing price gap between good secondhand boats and new boats, tempting people into buy new, he said.

Stabicraft new product development manager Daniel Upperton said the market for new boats in New Zealand was “really solid and steady”.

“We haven’t noticed a drop off like in other markets,” Upperton said.

As well as showcasing the latest boats, engines, electronics and accessories, the boat show also offers education and entertainment.

Wesley Intermediate School student Dominic, who was at the boat show on a class trip, said he attended a water safety programme at the event and also learnt about the different parts of boats and how they worked.

The event even featured a heated pool where children could try out snorkelling and kayaking.


 – Stuff

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Boat show floats into Newport

NEWPORT – BEACH – Got a few million bucks burning a hole in your pocket?

Check out the new Horizon V 80, an 80-foot, shiny powerboat up for grabs in the Newport Harbor, one of about 200 vessels docked near Lido Village for the annual Newport Boat Show. A similar boat sold recently for $3.5 million.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a millionaire to get your hands on a boat. There’s a large range of vessels on sale, including small sailboats, sportsfishing boats and mid-range boats. Boats range from 22-foot tugboats to a 115-foot yacht.

The show, which started Thursday, draws about 15,000 people during the four-day event.

The show claims to have the most big boats, vessels in the 40- to 60-foot range, of any show west of the Mississippi. When it started in 1973, there were only about 50 boats on display. Many of the boats are between 40 feet and 60 feet, with a few longer than 100 feet.

According to a study to be released soon by the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association, new boat sales were up 8 percent to 9 percent last year, led by a surge in people buying personal water crafts, jet drive boats, ski boats and aluminum outboard boats. Sales for smaller boats are expected to grow in 2015.

Figures on bigger boats were not yet available.

Spokeswoman Martha McIntosh said despite the rain Thursday, there was a line to get tickets.

She said there are a lot of new boats in the show this year.

“There’s new, unique boats coming onto the market,” she said. “It seems to mark a turning point. It’s maybe the best we’ve seen in a decade.”


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Know what you want before buying a boat

There is an old adage that the happiest day in a boater’s life is when he buys his first boat. The second happiest day is when he sells it.

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There’s a lot of truth to that statement. But not because boats are expensive or they break down too often. The hard, cold truth of the matter is this. Most unhappy boaters simply bought the wrong boat.

I count myself among those disappointed. When I went boat shopping, I was looking for a lean, mean fishing machine. But when I told my wife about my brand new center-console, the first thing she asked was, “Does it have a bathroom?”

“Well … not exactly,” I said.

“Not exactly,” she quipped. “I was looking for a yes or no answer.”

That’s when I launched into a lengthy treatise on the many uses of a 5-gallon bucket, which she dismissed outright, confirming my suspicions that she would never set foot in a watercraft that I planned to pay for from a joint bank account that I must admit I’ve never really paid much attention to.

“What about seats?” she asked. “I hope it has a lot of them.”

“No seats,” I replied. “”You drive the boat standing up.”

This went over as well as the multi-purpose painter’s bucket.

As I suspected, my wife never ventured out in the bay boat. But she did remind me every time we went out with a friend with a real boat — you know the kind with cushioned seats, bathroom, stereo and wet bar — how much fun she had.

So that’s why it didn’t take much for Chad Wallace to convince me to forsake my old fishing boat and join the ranks of those who consider themselves “pleasure” boaters.

“This Crossover has got a lot of power,” said Wallace, a salesman with Pro Marine Boat Sales on Bay Pines Boulevard in St. Petersburg. “You don’t have to sacrifice creature comforts for performance.”

After 25 years on the outdoors beat, I have had my fill of boat shows. It takes something a little out of the ordinary to get my blood pumping. I’ve never been a fan of “party boats” but Wallace convinced me to take Starcraft’s new SCX OB Crossover out for a spin.

The boat, and hundreds of others, will be on display this weekend at the Tampa Bay Boat Show at the Florida Fairgrounds. With boating season in full swing, the Tampa Bay Boat Show is a great opportunity to get out and see the new makes and models all under one roof.

“You have to look at what’s out there to really make an informed choice,” said Wallace, a 34-year-old from St. Petersburg who has been boating most of his life. “My advice — look at everything before you make a choice.”

Trust me, before you sign on the dotted line, be realistic about what you want, and make sure you consult with other members of the family, especially if they will be sharing the cost.

While I may opt for pleasure, just as many first-time boat buyers are interest in something else — fishing. By far, the hottest selling fishing boat is the center-console. Bay boats are the most versatile watercraft you will find. They are small, light and affordable multipurpose crafts that can run in fairly shallow water yet still handle a chop if the seas kick up on the inland waterways.

There are literally dozens of quality companies making great fishing boats these days, so in the end, it is going to come down to how much you want to spend. Do you plan to pay for the boat in one lump sum or through monthly payments?

Answer those questions before you settle on a specific model. Once you decide on what you want, check the used boat ads for resale value. If you buy the boat now, what will it sell for in two or three years?

Another factor to consider is storage. Do you plan to trailer your boat? If so, will you keep it in your garage? On the side of your house? In a boat yard? If you store your boat away from home, that will add to your monthly expense.

If you are new to boating, sign up for a safe boating class. Florida law requires that any person born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 who operates a vessel with a motor of 10 horsepower or greater must successfully complete a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators-approved safe boating course.


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March boat sales up on strong fishing, ski segments

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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Man accused of staging boat crash pleads not guilty to fraud

MAYS LANDING, N.J. (AP) – A New Jersey man who disappeared after authorities say he staged a boating accident has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges.

Andrew Biddle, of Egg Harbor Township, entered his pleas during an arraignment hearing Tuesday.

Prosecutors say the charges stem from a series of fraudulent transactions that Biddle and another man committed through their boat sales business. Biddle has not yet been charged in relation to his disappearance.

The 45-year-old Biddle was reported missing July 20 after he and another man went into the water when their pontoon boat hit a buoy in Longport. His friend swam to shore and called police to say Biddle was missing.


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