Mark your calendar for Friday March 20.
It’s the first day of spring, and the warm weather means Missouri’s boating season won’t be far away.
And that means many Missourians will be looking for a new or used boat to enjoy the state’s many waterways. There are 289,854 registered boats in Missouri, and boating continues to be big business in Show Me State, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
NMMA data shows Missouri sales of new and used boats and related nautical equipment ranked 17th in the country in 2018 (the most recent data available), with sales valued at $ 468.49 million.
This topped a trend in Missouri, with boat sales steadily increasing from previous years:
- 2017 – $ 444,669,182
- 2016 – $ 403,122,607
- 2015 – $ 359,747,765
- 2014 – $ 321,469,055
- 2013 – $ 290,671,871
- 2012 – $ 295,735,681
The high sales figures come as no surprise to Greg Mustain, owner of The Ski Shack in Springfield, which sells wakeboard, wakesurf and pontoon boats. The Ski Shack also has locations at Shell Knob and Indian Point on Table Rock Lake.
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“We still believe that 2020 will be positive for us. We had a banner year in 2019,” said Mustain. “Our sales were up 11.2 percent from a year ago. We expect a good economy, especially with the finance companies that work with us.”
If there’s one trend in the new 2020 boats, Mustain said it’s manufacturers adding more powerful engines and more electronics to every category of boat it sells.
“We have pontoon boats that will do 50 miles an hour comfortably on the water,” he said.
Prices for wakeboard boats continue to rise, but he said this was driven by customer demand. An entry-level wakeboard at The Ski Shack starts at around $ 80,000, with high-end boats selling for $ 250,000.
“Malibu just released a brand new one that we just sold for north of $ 200,000,” Mustain said. “We’re in a bit of a lull right now (in the dead of winter) but when the boat shows start you’ll see a lot of interest in new boats.”
According to the NMMA, boating directly and indirectly supported 16,420 jobs in Missouri, and there were 673 boating-related businesses in Missouri in 2018 (the latest figures available for the state), according to the NMMA.
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With stock market records through 2019, the NMMA said nationwide retail sales of new powerboats last year held at around 280,000 boats, the second highest total since 2007. The final figures for boat sales are still being worked out.
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The NMMA predicts that new powerboat sales in 2020 will increase by up to 2%.
“Sales in 2019 were almost on par with the 11-year high we saw in 2018, even with some slowdown especially in the freshwater fishing category, which we attribute to the unusually cold and rainy weather in the spring and summer. early summer, “said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA President:” In 2020, with an economy on solid footing and key economic indicators such as consumer spending remaining strong, we expect another healthy year for new boat sales, which could increase by up to 2%. “
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Here is an overview of motor boat sales by category in 2019:
- Sales of new personal watercraft are estimated to have increased 6% to 73,000 units in 2019. Personal watercraft generally cost less than larger boats and are often seen as a gateway to boat ownership.
- Sales of new wake sport boats – popular for wakesurfing and wakeboarding and attractive to new and young boaters – are estimated to increase 6% to 11,000 units in 2019.
- Sales of new cruise ships – boats between 22 and 32 feet popular for relaxation, entertainment and “cruising” – are estimated to increase 3% to 9,000 units in 2019.
A surprise: Sales of freshwater fishing boats are estimated to have fallen 7% to 69,000 units in 2019. This is likely due to extreme rains and prolonged spring flooding in 2019 in the Midwest.
Boating in figures
According to NMMA:
- Annual sales of boats, marine products and services in the United States are estimated at $ 42 billion in 2019, up slightly from 2018.
- The following 10 states (2019 estimates available in the spring) were the national leaders in sales of new powerboats, engines, trailers and accessories in 2018:
- Florida: $ 3.2 billion, up 8% from 2017
- Texas: $ 1.8 billion, up 9% from 2017
- Michigan: $ 1.1 billion, up 10% from 2017
- North Carolina: $ 914 million, up 9% from 2017
- Minnesota: $ 861 million, up 6% from 2017
- Wisconsin: $ 781 million, up 9% from 2017
- New York: $ 775 million, up 5% from 2017
- California: $ 765 million, up 6% from 2017
- Georgia: $ 680 million, up 8% from 2017
- South Carolina: $ 661 million, up 4% from 2017
- There were approximately 11.9 million registered and documented boats in the United States in 2019, relatively unchanged from 2018.
- Ninety-five percent of boats on the water (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) in the United States are small, measuring less than 26 feet in length – boats that can be towed by a vehicle to the sea. local waterways.
- Sixty-two percent of boat owners have a family income of less than $ 100,000.