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Powerboat sales up 7.6-percent among bellwether states

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By Christopher Gerber
May 28, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

Sales were up through April for most segments, but momentum generated during 2012 has been slowing for several months.

Sales of 15-foot and greater powerboats grew for the 21st consecutive month during April, growing 7.6 percent year-over-year among Info-Link’s bellwether states, and 10.5 percent among the entire boating population, according to the latest Bellwether Report from Info-Link Technologies.

A warm winter and early spring drove sales forward according to dealer reports in 2012. But the North and Midwest have been experiencing the inverse effect in 2013, as winter cold and winter storms encroached well into April and May have been delaying the spring boating season.

Despite the lingering weather, outboard sales were up 9.1 percent year-over-year in April among bellwether states. April was the first month of single digit growth for the segment since March 2012. Across the entire boating population, sales were up 13.3 percent during December for the outboard segment.

Weather or no weather, economic indicators continue to improve, contributing to increased sales year-over-year despite unfavorable boating conditions. Other consumer indices have improved as well, indicating that sales could improve again heading into the early summer months.

The smaller boating segments continued to grow as well, but were also burdened by the weather, slowing sales through April. PWC sales were up 5 percent, ski boat sales were up 8 percent, and sportfishing boat sales were up 14.5 percent year-over-year among bellwether states.

One segment did contract during April: sterndrive boats. After sales for the segment were up late 2012 into 2013, the segment leveled in March before dropping again in April.

Data for Info-Link Technologies’ bellwether report is based off of U.S. boat registrations representing roughly half of the U.S. boating market, geographically dispersed, and varying by state depending on month and segment. Full graphs of the data can be found here: Info-Link Technologies Bellwether Report.

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