Recreational boat sales topped 200,000 last year for the first time in three years, marking a milestone in the industry’s continued recovery from the Great Recession.
Soundings Trade Only reported that with all 50 states reporting, Statistical Surveys Inc. said 2012 sales industrywide totaled 202,403 boats, an increase of 9.6% from 184,627 a year earlier. The industry last topped 200,000 in 2009, when 209,215 were sold.
“I think it is significant for the industry to eclipse 200,000 boats,” said Ryan Kloppe, national marine sales manager at Statistical Surveys. “It is a nice plateau to reach.”
For the year, sales in the main powerboat segments gained 11.4% to 125,544, and leading those segments were two aluminum categories, fishing boats and pontoons, and 11- to 40-foot outboard fiberglass boats. Fishing boat sales rose 9.3% for the year to 37,623, pontoon boat sales climbed 20.4% to 33,798 and sales of 11- to 40-foot fiberglass outboards gained 13.1% to 36,222.
Two segments that lagged throughout the year — 31- to 40-foot cruisers and 41- to 62-foot yachts — ended 2012 with lower sales than in 2011, but the declines were in the low single digits as the Coast Guard began to catch up on sales of documented vessels.
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