NMMA Data Shows Strong Increase in Powerboat Sales

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has released data to show that unit sales of new powerboats increased 5 percent in 2017, reaching 262,000, the highest levels the U.S. recreational boating industry has seen in 10 years.

Total marine expenditures hit $39 billion (spending on new boats, engines, trailers, accessories and services), up 7 percent from 2016. Boat manufacturers are expanding capacity to meet this demand – building new plants and increasing production.

Demand is growing for nearly all powerboat segments, including small sterndrive (boats with engines that are partially in and out of the boat) cruisers (22-foot to 32-foot), a segment that has lagged since the recession. Small sterndrive cruisers rebounded to a three-year high, up 5 percent from 2016, accounting for 52 percent of all sterndrive boat sales. Outboard boat sales, representing 85 percent of new traditional powerboats sold, and including pontoons, aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats, as well as small fiberglass cruising boats, were up 5 percent in 2017.

Sales of new ski and wakeboard boats, popular for watersports, were up 8 percent in 2017; new personal watercraft sales, often considered a gateway to boat ownership, rose 5 percent; and jet boats, smaller fiberglass boats that use jet engine technology to propel the boat, saw a sales increase of 8 percent.

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The following data is from NMMA’s 2017 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract:

Annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services totaled $39 billion in 2017, an increase of 7 percent from 2016. There were approximately 262,000 new power boats sold in 2017, an increase of 5 percent from 2016.

There were an estimated 988,200 pre-owned boats (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) sold in 2017 totaling $9.3 billion in sales, an increase of two percent from 2016.

Leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories in 2017 are the following 10 states, nine of which  saw double-digit growth:
1.       Florida: $2.9 billion, up 10 percent from 2016

2.       Texas: $1.7 billion, up 12 percent from 2016

3.       Michigan: $982 million, up 12 percent from 2016

4.       North Carolina: $838 million, up 16 percent from 2016

5.       Minnesota: $807 million, up 12 percent from 2016

6.       New York: $735 million, up 4 percent from 2016

7.       California: $718 million, up 14 percent from 2016

8.       Wisconsin: $713 million, up 12 percent from 2016

9.       South Carolina: $637 million, up 12 percent from 2016

10.   Georgia: $632 million, up 11 percent from 2016