A report from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) Capital Markets suggests 2008 may be a transition year for the boating industry, and 2009 will bring more stability.
The RBC reported that sales of mid- to high-end boats are down nearly 20 percent. According to the RBC, numbers are down due to a higher level of confidence needed for big purchases, the link between home price appreciation and trade-ups to bigger, more expensive boats, and the high employment rate, which has helped sales of lower-priced boats. The RBC suggests watching the housing market to anticipate a recovery in recreational products because it finds a correlation between the two.
A consumer report commissioned by the RBC also suggests that 80 percent of people wish to purchase a recreational product in the future, however they plan to defer their purchases for a few years. Also, the same study suggests that Generation X appears more interested in future purchases when compared with Baby Boomers.
Consumers who participated in the study showed most interest in purchasing a boat (27 percent), followed by ATVs, motorcycles, towable RVs and motorhomes.