Info-Link report details rebound in ski-boat market

Posted on March 21st, 2014
Written by Reagan Haynes

The runabout category has struggled to bounce back post-recession, but the ski and high-performance market has performed well for the last couple of years.

That’s according to Jack Ellis of Florida-based Info-Link, who says the segment has exceeded growth in 2003 in several markets.

“Ski boats used to be about a 12,000-unit market at one point,” Ellis told Trade Only Today. “But the good thing here is that the last couple of years have been growth years for the tournament ski segment, which is interesting because sometimes people lump the ski-boat category into the runabout category. [But the runabout category overall] hasn’t performed that well, where these boats have.”

U.S. ski/wake boat sales.

Ellis thinks the move toward more family activities — one of the factors driving growth in the pontoon market — is also playing a role in the rise of ski-boat sales.

For the 12 months that ended in February, ski-boat sales rose to about 6,000. The segment bottomed out post-recession in 2012 with about 4,800 unit sales before starting a steady climb.

States traditionally known for strong ski-boat sales, such as California, remained strong in February of this year. But states such as Texas, Michigan and North Carolina also accounted for many of the sales. Texas saw the largest year-over-year growth nationwide, with an additional 884 units sold.

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