Boat, cycle sales promising

Growth in U.S. recreational boat sales slowed during the fourth quarter of last year, but builders and dealers sold 15,477 more boats in all of 2015 than they did the year before, marking the fourth straight year of gains for the recovering industry.

Full-year sales rose 6.2 percent to 159,116 boats in the main segments, and 6.8 percent to 244,116 industrywide from 2014, according to Statistical Surveys Inc., the leading provider of market data solutions for the marine, manufactured housing, RV-motorized, RV-towable and trailer industries.

Article Photos

(Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec)
Bob Patterson of Alexandria (left) talks with Five Star Powersports parts manager Bryan Barnett at the Duncansville business about the 2016 Yamaha VMax motorcycle he recently purchased.

According to Statistical Surveys Inc., three categories from the main segments – aluminum fishing and pontoon boats and 11- to 50-foot fiberglass outboard boats – and personal watercraft carried the industry last year, accounting for more than 191,000 sales, or more than three-fourths of the nationwide total.

Boat sales are expected to increase 5 to 6 percent this year, Statistical Surveys said.

Locally, business is going well at Shy Beaver Boat Center, James Creek.

“We have had a peak in the past month. Business has been pretty steady. Now it is about to get crazy,” said Tony Hoey, sales manager.

Pontoon boats are the big seller at Shy Beaver.

“They make up about 75 percent of our sales. Our lake is heavy that way,” Hoey said of pontoons, which can cost from $30,000 to $80,000. “We have added some more radical colors. We are trying to get away from the traditional white. A pontoon is like a floating living room with a couch and tables.”

Motorcycle and powersports dealers also are looking for a good year.

“Things look good so far. Sales are up compared to the last two years,” said Josh Mazzei, general manager of Five Star Powersports, Duncansville. “We are looking for a good year for us. We have a lot of inventory and great incentives offered by the manufacturers.”

Mazzei said interest is increasing in the powersports industry.

“There are more off-road riding areas opening, which gives people more places to ride,” Mazzei said.

Both Mazzei and Steve Seltzer, owner of Steve Seltzer Powersports in Pinecroft, said side-by-sides are becoming very popular.

“Side-by-side sales have increased. Yamaha has a new side-by-side – the YXZ 1000. They are a pure sport side-by-side. We are selling a lot of them,” Mazzei said.

“So far, we are up for the year. We are encouraged. We will do better than last year,” Seltzer said. “We are selling more (side-by-sides) than ATVs and motorcycles. People love them. They can take their spouse or a family member. It is nice. You can go with somebody else. They are hot. Thank God for them.”

Meanwhile, Andy Banik, owner of Banik’s Sales and Service in Carrolltown, said his business has been affected by the economy.

“Our sales are a little bit off. They closed the mines, and the gas guys have pulled out. There have been a lot of jobs lost in the area. The high-paying jobs are gone. We ended up OK last year, but it was not a banner year,” said Banik, who sells side-by-sides, ATVs and snowmobiles.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

Similar news:
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>