July marks one year of positive growth for powerboats
Sales of 15-foot or greater powerboats edged higher in July, marking 12 straight months of growth among the Bellwether states for the market, according to the latest report from Info-Link.
Across all segments, sales were up 10 percent year-over-year in July, climbing back after a year-over-year drop in the double digits back in April 2011. The data for all boating states has been updated through March, revealing a slight jump to 5 percent year-over-year growth for the powerboat market.
The data is based on new U.S. boat registrations. Bellwether states are geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the US boat market (which varies by market segment and time of year). Full graphs are available here: Info-Link Bellwether Report.
The outboard segment continued to improve with another month of 12.5 percent year-over-year growth. July was the fifth straight month of double digit increases for the segment, which has been experiencing growing sales for the past 14 months.
Compared to the outboard segment, sport fishing boats have risen sharply in the past year, from an almost 10 percent slide year-over-year in July 2011 to 13 percent growth in July 2012. Sport fishing boat sales have been holding at about 11 percent growth year-over-year for the past six months.
Personal watercraft and ski boat sales have both edged into positive territory this summer, with PWC sales up 5 percent in July 2012 compared to last year and ski boat sales seeing positive numbers for the month as well.
PWC sales have risen sharply in the past five months for Bellwether states after plateauing at a 10 percent year-over-year decline last fall and winter. Ski boats experienced a similar trend last fall and winter, with sales down 5 percent year-over-year before increasing sharply in the past few months.
Stern drive sales have been lagging behind the other segments, and after five years of declining sales, inched slightly closer to even year-over-year. The segment still slipped in July, down slightly from last year.
The data for all boating states, which lags five months behind the Bellwether states but provides a more complete view of the market, was updated through March, revealing that the market as a whole performed well through the winter. However, Bellwether states performed slightly better than the country as a whole.
Outboard and sport fishing boats, the only two segments to see a year-over-year increase through March, both saw increases of 7.5 percent during the month.
Ski boat sales were down less than one percent during March, 5 points better than the Bellwether states. PWC sales across the U.S. were still down 12 percent in March, however.
Sales for sterndrive boats were also down, slipping 7.5 percent for all states, but showing signs of improvement.