Recreational boat sales rose two percent in the first quarter, a slower growth compared to last year’s first quarter. Sales in the main powerboat segments rose by 2.4 percent, from 31,000 boats to 44,000 boats respectively.
Statistical Surveys sales director Ryan Kloppe says forecasts are for full-year sales growth of 4 to 6 percent, he believes sales in the second quarter and the top selling months of April through July will improve and move the industry closer to expectations.
April sales in 23 early reporting states indicate that the industry began the second quarter this year at a stronger pace, sales were up 3.5 percent in the main segments and 5 percent industry-wide.
Pontoon sales were up by 11 percent, ski and wake boat sales were up 8 percent, and personal watercraft sales were up 12 percent. Kloppe states PWC sales are growing at a pace that would lift the category above 60,000 units this year.
In the first quarter this year the three high volume categories in the main segments of aluminum fishing/ pontoon boats, and 11 to 50-foot fiberglass outboards saw sales rise by small to moderate amounts. Personal watercraft had the top percentage gain among the industry’s high-volume categories. Sales rose 9 percent for the quarter from 5,700 boats to 6,300 boats respectively.
Another top performer for the first quarter includes 66 foot and larger custom and semi-custom yacht sales which rose by 7 to 35 in these early months.
May figures will not be due out until next week.