February boat sales continue upward trend

Published online: Mar 23, 2012 News Jack Atzinger
Viewed 175 time(s)

Sales in the industry's main powerboat segments jumped 29 percent for the month, to 4,386 boats, from February 2011, and they rose 28 percent industrywide, to 6,238 boats, according to figures compiled by Aarn Rosen, national sales manager at Statistical Surveys Inc.

"To me, it shows pent-up demand and renewed consumer optimism," Rosen said Thursday, adding that the figures reflect the positive attitude that builders and dealers said they saw among visitors at the winter boat shows.

"They're writing more hard orders than they've seen in the last three years" and those orders are turning into final sales, Rosen said.

Solid gains were again reported in two categories of 16-foot and larger aluminum boats that have been strong performers for the last year. Sales of aluminum fishing boats rose 27.3 percent in February, to 1,385, and sales of aluminum pontoon boats rose even more - 44.8 percent, to 530. Sales of aluminum boats smaller than 16 feet rose 30.3 percent, to 676 boats.

Sales in the high-volume 11- to 40-foot fiberglass segment were up 34.3 percent, to 1,673 boats, and sales in the core 14- to 30-foot fiberglass segment rose 17.3 percent, to 671 boats. Sales in the 63- to 99-foot semicustom and custom yacht category doubled from a year earlier, to 14 boats.

"You're seeing the fiberglass segment start to show the [consumer] optimism that we've been seeing in the aluminum segment," Rosen said.

February sales typically amount to 4.4 to 5.5 percent of the year's retail activity. The month represents the start of the spring selling season, which runs through May.

The sales data for February are based on information from 27 early reporting states that represent about 60 percent of the U.S. boat market. Reports of sales of documented vessels were complete only through Jan. 31 because of data entry delays at the Coast Guard, Rosen said, which means sales totals for boats 30 feet and larger are significantly understated in the data.

In the main powerboat segments, fiberglass sales fell only among 41- to 62-foot yachts. Fifty boats were sold in that category in February, nine fewer than in the same month last year, a drop of 15.3 percent, although Rosen said he wouldn't be surprised if the category eventually shows a gain once the Coast Guard's data are more up to date.

Sales of personal watercraft rose 32.7 percent in February, to 674 units. Sales of jet boats rose 25.6 percent, to 108, and sales of ski boats rose 10.8 percent, to 133.

Sailboat sales fell slightly, from 81 to 78, a decline of 3.7 percent.

You May Also Be Interested In...

March 19, 2015

Carefree Boat Club adds location in Georgia

Carefree Boat Club has just opened a brand new location, adding to its ever-growing lineup.
March 17, 2015

World's fastest pontoon boat gets even faster

When you think of fast boats, a pontoon is probably pretty low on your list, just ahead of houseboats and tugboats. Brad Rowland begs to differ.
March 05, 2015

West Marine begins "Do It Yourselfie!" promotion

Show off your selfie fixing up your boat and West Marine could lend you a hand.
March 04, 2015

Pontoon Brands United

Premier Marine announced today the company will transfer the production of its Weeres and Palm Beach brands to its headquarters in Wyoming, Minn.
March 02, 2015

West Marine's New Product Review Day set for March 20

West Marine has announced the date for this year's iteration of their New Product Review Day.
February 19, 2015

Honda Marine and Coach Pontoons Are Now Partners

The PDB team has exciting news! While we were at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show, Honda Marine announced their new exclusive OEM agreement with Coach Pontoons!
Follow us on Facebook!  Follow us on Instagram!  Follow us on Twitter!  Follow us on YouTube!