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Boat sales growth slows in second quarter

Posted on September 15th, 2016 Written by Jack Atzinger

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Click to enlarge.

Recreational boat sales growth slowed sharply in the second quarter as strong June numbers were diluted by weak results in April and May.

Sales rose 3.6 percent for the quarter in the main powerboat segments to 71,090 and by the same percentage industrywide to 110,440 from the year-earlier quarter in 48 states (all but Maine and Illinois) that represent about 97 percent of the U.S. boating market, Statistical Surveys reported today.

Statistical Surveys sales director Ryan Kloppe said the quarter’s results mirror earlier and separate monthly reports, which included only early-reporting states.

“The first two months [of the quarter] were slow and that was reflected across the board in the 48 states,” Kloppe said.

First-quarter sales were up 10.7 percent in the main segments and 10.4 percent industrywide from 2015, boosted by the industry’s strongest March gains since 2008 — a 21 percent increase in main-segments sales and a 20 percent climb industrywide.

Kloppe said the slower second-quarter pace could partly be attributable to “a lot of people jumping the gun and buying in March.”

“We’re still on track for growth of between 6 and 8 percent this year,” he said.

Kloppe noted second-quarter strength among aluminum pontoons, ski and wake boats and personal watercraft. The pontoon category was the best second-quarter performer in the main segments as sales rose 7.6 percent to 24,300.

Sales of ski and wake boats rose 7.9 percent to 3,912 and PWC sales climbed 7.1 percent to 27,131. Jetboat sales rose 4.6 percent to 1,995.

Apart from pontoons, among other high-volume categories in the main segments, sales of 11-50-foot outboard fiberglass boats rose 3.5 percent to 18,366 and sales of aluminum fishing boats edged up 0.1 percent to 18,372.

Sales of 14- to 30-foot sterndrive and inboard boats, a segment that has struggled in recent years, fell 3.3 percent to 5,189.

In the bigger-boat categories, sales of 31- to 40-foot cruisers rose 7.6 percent, or 41 boats, to 589, sales of 41- to 65-foot yachts fell 1.8 percent, or six boats, to 335, and sales of semicustom and custom yachts of 66 feet or larger fell 28.8 percent, or 15 boats, to 37.

Sailboat sales climbed 8.1 percent, or 69 boats, to 919.

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Tampa Boat Show reports attendance up 25 percent | Boating Industry

The Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show closed Sunday with a 25 percent increase in attendance, bringing more than 20,000 people through the gates, NMMA reported.

The show drew 17,650 visitors in 2015, a 6 percent decline from 2014

In addition to the increase in attendance, the three-day show, which is held both inside the Tampa Convention Center and in the surrounding water,  sold out exhibit space and had a growth in boats on display with 136 in the water and 261 on land, all brand new models. There were also eight sailboats on display for the first time in years. Photos of the show are available here and here providing a bird’s eye view of the show.

Initial reports from exhibitors and attendees were positive and point to signs of strong sales, signaling an overall start to a successful fall boat show season for the industry, NMMA said.

“We were busy from the big party all the way through the closing hours. We sold seven big boats and have a ton of leads to follow up on,” said Dave Bair, Quality Boats.

“We saw great traffic all weekend and doubled our sales from last year to 12 boats. We met with many quality prospects to follow up with and set up sea trials,” said John Caballero, Sea Vee.

“Tampa was a fantastic show! We sold several large boats and have a lot of leads to follow up on. Show traffic and the quality of buyers was excellent,” said Steve Wacker, Thunder Marine.



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