U.S. boat sales hit second highest volume in 12 years in 2019, expected to remain strong in 2020

CHICAGO–(COMMERCIAL THREAD)–The National Association of Boat Manufacturers (NMMA), representing North American manufacturers of pleasure craft, engines and marine accessories, today announced that when finalizing 2019 sales figures, retail sales of new powerboats Expected to remain in 2019 at around 280,000 units, the second highest total since 2007. The busy winter boat show season kicks off this week across the country with motorboat sales expected to increase 2% in 2020.

“Sales in 2019 were almost on par with the 11-year high we recorded 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. beginning of summer. In 2020, with the economy on solid foundations 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% ”, said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the NMMA. “With roughly $ 42 billion in retail spending per year, boating is not just an economic driver, but a unique vehicle for the kind of meaningful experiences that consumers increasingly seek, the ones that take you outdoors, bring family and friends together, and create lasting memories. . ”

The following new categories of powerboats boosted retail unit sales in 2019:

  • New watercraft sales are estimated to be up 6% to 73,000 units in 2019; With affordable entry-level prices, personal watercraft are often seen as a gateway to boat ownership.

  • New sales wake sport boats– popular for wakesurfing and wakeboarding and attractive to new and younger boaters – is expected to be up 6% to 11,000 units in 2019.

  • New cruiser sales – boats between 22 and 32 feet, popular for relaxing, entertaining and “cruising” – are estimated to be up 3% to 9,000 units in 2019.

However, new freshwater fishing boat sales, a high-volume category, are estimated to be down 7% to 69,000 units in 2019.

U.S. boat builders and dealers gear up for winter boat show season across the country, a major marketing venue where manufacturers showcase their latest products and consumers come to buy. Based on the association’s estimates, boat shows can generate 50 percent or more of annual sales for exhibiting dealers and manufacturers.

Boat show buyers can expect to find some of the best deals of the year with the added convenience of comparing different boat models and different dealers, all in one place.

Boating in the United States by the Numbers

Additional statistics on the size, makeup and demographics of the industry include:

  • Annual sales of boats, marine products and services in the United States are estimated at $ 42 billion in 2019, up slightly from 2018.

  • Retail unit sales of new boats are estimated to have reached around 280,000 units in 2019, the second highest level since 2007 and stable with 2018 totals.

  • The following 10 states (2019 estimates available in spring) led the country in sales of new powerboats, engines, trailers and accessories in 2018:

1. Florida: $ 3.2 billion, up 8% from 2017
2. Texas: $ 1.8 billion, up 9% from 2017
3. Michigan: $ 1.1 billion, up 10% from 2017
4. North Carolina: $ 914 million, up 9% from 2017
5. Minnesota: $ 861 million, up 6% from 2017
6. Wisconsin: $ 781 million, up 9% from 2017
seven. New York: $ 775 million, up 5% from 2017
8. California: $ 765 million, up 6% from 2017
Georgia: $ 680 million, up 8% from 2017
ten. Caroline from the south: $ 661 million, up 4% from 2017

  • It’s not just new boats that Americans are buying; it is estimated that around 975,000 used boats were sold in 2019, down slightly from 2018.

  • 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 local waterways.

  • Sixty-two percent of boat owners have a family income of less than $ 100,000, making boating a recreational activity firmly reserved for the middle class.

  • Outdoor recreation accounts for 2.2% of U.S. GDP, generating $ 778 billion in gross economic output, on par with the telecommunications industry (2.3%), including boating and fishing are the largest segment, contributing nearly $ 40 billion in gross output. (Source: US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis)

About NMMA: The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the premier trade organization for the North American boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80% of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and equipment used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the recreational boating business environment, including providing national and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulations, reducing cost of doing business and helping to increase participation in boating. As the largest producer of boat and sporting shows in the United States, the NMMA connects the boating industry with boat consumers all year round. Learn more about www.nmma.org
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