The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced this week that unit sales of new powerboats are expected to be up 6 percent in 2017, marking an estimated 260,000 new powerboats sold last year. As consumer confidence continues to rise and boat manufacturers introduce products and experiences to attract younger boaters, the outlook for 2018 new powerboat sales is another 5 to 6 percent increase. Buyer trends and sales for the year ahead include an increase in:
•Versatile family fun boat sales: As manufacturers continue to build more accessible and versatile watercraft to attract new and younger boaters, sales are expected to be up for ski and wake boats, pontoons and personal watercraft.
•Fishing boats: Fishing boat sales are a major driver of the industry’s sustained momentum.
•Cruisers: Boats between 22 and 32 feet are on the rise.
•Boating experiences for new boaters including boat clubs, rentals and fractional use companies.
The recreational boating industry in the U.S. supports 650,000 direct and indirect American jobs and nearly 35,000 small businesses. States leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories include Florida, Texas, Michigan and Minnesota, Ninety-five percent of boats on the water (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) in the U.S. are small in size,
measuring less than 26 feet in length—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.