What a difference a year makes. Although February brought harsh weather across much of the United States the same as it did in 2014, the beginning of the luxury boat industry’s spring selling season saw a complete reversal of fortunes.
Powerboat sales rose 5.5 percent to 4,261 units sold in main segments and 3.8 percent industry-wide for a total of 5,928 in the 27 states that represent almost two-thirds of the American market. Winter boat shows also reported high attendance along with sizable numbers of visitors who were serious boat buyers. Improved sales numbers as a result of these shows are beginning to become evident.
One of the strongest categories in the main segment was aluminum fishing boats. Early sale indicated that this segment rose 9.8 percent to 1,320. Fishing boats sell well in spring as anglers want to enjoy their hobby immediately. Sales of aluminum pontoon boats rose 6.3 percent to 628, while 11- to40-foot outboard fiberglass boats also enjoyed an 8.6 percent gain in February.
Sales of 41- to 62-foot yachts rose by five units to 32, and sales of 63- to 99-foot custom and semi-custom vessels rose by three to 17 units. Sailboat sales rose seven units to 102.
Florida lead sales with 1,667; followed by Texas, 1,193; North Carolina, 357; Washington, 294; South Carolina, 289; Tennessee 269; Arkansas, 262; California, 232; Michigan, 187 and; Mississippi, 138.
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