The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) says the U.S. recreational boating industry will continue its post-recession climb with an estimated 5 percent increase in 2013 new-powerboat retail sales. The improvement follows a 10 percent rebound in 2012 — the industry’s first sign of recovery. In 2014, the NMMA expects the recreational powerboat sales to grow another 5 to 7 percent.
Retail-dollar sales of new powerboats should climb 8 percent in 2013, signaling that the mix of boats being purchased includes higher-priced boats and that Americans are investing more in boating.
“The housing market has improved, consumer confidence has steadily increased the last two years, and consumer spending is on the rise — all factors that are helping to fuel stable growth for the U.S. recreational boating industry and further sales in 2013,” notes Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA. “In addition, we’re seeing more and more Americans take to the water, as our participation numbers are at an all-time high — 88 million Americans went boating in 2012. This indicates that with experience on the water comes an interest in life on the water and the subsequent purchase of a boat. If economic growth persists and the recreational boating industry continues gaining participants, we anticipate sustained growth in 2014 and into 2015 and 2016.”
Leading the industry’s 2013 growth are small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less in size, with a 6.7 percent increase in the number of new boats sold.
To further attract the growing number of boating enthusiasts, the recreational boating industry will unveil its latest innovations at annual boat shows across the country in January and February, kicking off in Manhattan on New Year’s Day at the Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show.