New boat sales were mixed in March, with declines in fiberglass and a rebound in aluminum sales, according to preliminary data by Statistical Surveys.
Sales for all fiberglass boats declined 7.3 percent. Aluminum sales, which declined 2.3 percent in February, rose 4.1 percent in March.
The report is based on 17 states, or nearly half of the domestic market. The reporting states include California, Florida, Michigan and Texas.
“The early data, especially on the fiberglass market, looks like the complete data for the first quarter will be down from last year,” said Dick DuMont of Statistical Surveys. “Big volume states like California, Florida, Michigan, and Texas all reported lower sales figures than in 2005.”
Sales in fiberglass boats in the popular lengths of 15 to 30 feet dropped 8 percent last month. Sales for the quarter are down 7.5 percent.
Aluminum boats sales rose 3.4 percent for the first quarter.
Personal watercraft sales bounced back slightly last month, rising a half percent. However, sales are down 1.7 percent for the quarter in the early reporting states.