The National Marine Manufacturers Association says U.S. retail sales of powerboats rose 5 percent in 2013, with retail dollar sales up 8 percent, indicating that Americans are seeking out more expensive boats.
It’s the second year in a row of a retail sales increase, with 2012 seeing a 10-percent jump after several years of recession and decline. NMMA is estimating growth of another 5 percent to 7 percent to come.
“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,” Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA, stated in a news release. “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.”
Overall, there are now a little more than 12 million registered boats on U.S. waters. Some 95 percent of them are 26 feet or smaller, and three-quarters of boat owners earn less than $100,000 a year.