Continuing a trend from the previous two months, January saw slightly improved sales for the boat segments tracked by Info-Link Technologies Inc.’s Bellwether Report, though on the whole sales are still down.
Losses tracked by the group hit their worst point of the recession in the summer of 2009, rallied to a high point last spring/summer, and then dipped again in the fall. Since then, things have started to gradually improve, with November, December and January showing mostly stable or improved sales.
Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above were down about 14 percent during the 12-month period ended Jan. 31, compared to the previous 12 months. Last spring and into summer, sales were running about 35 percent down and in April they were 20 percent down.
Within the outboard boat segment, unit sales were down about 8 percent during the same period, while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 28 percent, the personal watercraft segment was down about 12 percent, and the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 28 percent. In addition, the ski boat segment was down about 22 percent.
The Bellwether Report is based on new U.S. boat registrations in geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the U.S. boat market.