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Powerboat sales rebounding from summer slump

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Photo Credit: The U.S. Coast Guard

By Christopher Gerber
October 29, 2013
Filed under Features, Top Stories

After losing momentum in the first half of the year, powerboat sales seem to have found renewed strength, pushing year-over-year sales growth to 8.6 percent during the twelve months ending September 2013, according to the latest data on new US boat registrations from Info-Link Technologies.

Starting in June, year-over-year sales for the previous 12 months started to climb back from a descent that reached as low as 4 percent year-over-year among the bellwether states, which represent roughly half of the U.S. boat market, geographically dispersed (varying by segment and time of the year).

Growing sales in the outboard boat, PWC and ski boat markets helped pushed the aggregate market up, with sales of ski boats reaching a more than 5-year high during the 12 months ending in September 2013.

Outboards reached a healthy double-digit growth threshold at around 10.5 percent growth year-over-year for the 12 months ending in September, and PWCs climbed into positive growth for the second month in a row in September following a period of shrinking sales.

The sportfishing market segment has been leveling down after a linear shot from 25 percent sales decline to 27 percent sales growth year-over-year between May 2011 and December 2012. Sales for the 12-months ending in September were up 11 percent year-over-year, an increase of half of a percentage point from August.

Again, a scornful eye is still fixed on the sterndrive and jet boat segment as sales for the 12 months ending in September continued to sit 12.5 percent below the same period a year before.

The nosedive began during the winter of 2012-13 after more than a year where it appeared the market was looking to bottom out. Several companies have backed out of the jet boat and sternsdrive market since last year, furthering the declines, but the leveling decline seen in August and September could turn up as companies enter the jet boat market again.

Full graphs of the bellwether data can be found at Info-Link Technologies.

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