Where the weather is warm, boat sales have remained bright and, even though it was October, enough Americans were still buying that the powerboat industry reached double-digit percentage gains for the fourth month in a row.
Soundings Trade Only reported that sales in the main powerboat segments rose 16.9%, or 593 boats, to 4,105, and industrywide sales climbed 14.4%, or 755 boats, to 5,988, from October 2012 in 33 states that represent 63% of the national market, according to data compiled by Statistical Surveys Inc.
“These are really excellent results we’re seeing here,” Statistical Surveys National Marine Sales Manager Ryan Kloppe said. “You’re seeing the demand coming through.”
Kloppe said the consistent growth the industry is starting to get is creating the kind of stability that gives builders and dealers more confidence about what to make and stock.
Dealers he met this week at the Marine Dealer Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla., told him they’re satisfied with their inventory levels.
“They feel very comfortable with what they have,” he said. “They’re probably carrying less inventory, but turning it faster.”
Kloppe said he thinks the industry will see small, but continued growth in November and December, which are traditionally slow sales months.
Florida was the October leader at 1,577 boats, followed by Texas (819), South Carolina (374), Tennessee (358) and California (312). Rounding out the top 10 were North Carolina (287), Michigan (265), Georgia (257), Arizona (191) and New York (153).
Florida (1,214), Texas (781) and South Carolina (330) also led the sales list in October last year, and each of those states said they had more sales this year.
With 17 states left to report, the industry has a chance to surpass the 7,140 boats that were sold nationwide last October, a month that ended with Hurricane Sandy slamming into the East Coast, devastating marinas and boatyards. BoatUS estimated that Sandy damaged or destroyed 65,000 boats at a cost of roughly $650 million.
For 2013 through October in the early-reporting states, sales were up 5.2%, or 5,901 boats, to 118,662, and industrywide they were up 1.5%, or 2,808 boats, to 185,818.