Gains that spread beyond aluminum fishing boats and pontoons and fiberglass outboards to bigger-boat segments gave the U.S. recreational boating industry a strong single-digit sales increase in the first quarter.
Sales in the main powerboat segments rose 7.2% to 25,956 and industrywide sales climbed 5.9% to 35,904 in 46 states that represent about 96% of the nation’s boat market, Statistical Surveys Inc. reported today. The only states not included in the data were Maine and Hawaii, which only report sales annually, and Oregon and Illinois.
Industry analysts have been predicting a 2015 boat sales gain in the range of 6% to 8%.
“We’re definitely on pace for that,” Statistical Surveys national marine sales manager Ryan Kloppe said.
All but one of the main segments — inboard and sterndrive boats — showed improvement as the industry achieved a much stronger early spring selling season than it did last year. In 2014 sales rose only about 1% for the quarter in the main segments and 2.5% industrywide.
“It was a much better spring around the country this year,” Kloppe said.
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