With the start of a new year, the U.S. recreational boating industry is estimating 2014 saw a 5% to 7% increase in new powerboat sales, and sales are expected to continue growing an additional 5% in 2015, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

According to BizTimes Milwaukee, this is the industry’s third consecutive year of steady growth coming out of the recession.

Total 2014 retail expenditures — which include retail spending on boats, engines, marine accessories and services — are expected to see increases in 2014 by as much as 5%, which would eclipse 2007, one of the healthiest pre-recession years for the industry.

In 2014, the strongest sales came from new ski/wakeboard boats, pontoon boats, aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass runabouts and personal watercraft. Sales of larger boats also started to see an uptick.

“An improved economy with growing GDP,  an improving housing market,  a stronger job market, increasing consumer confidence and a multi-year low on fuel prices has bolstered people’s financial  outlook which bodes well for new boat sales,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “We’re seeing a record number of Americans getting on the water (88.5 million in 2013) and the momentum from increased boating participation, coupled with a strong economy, has recreational boating poised for sustained growth for the next three years.”

For the full story click here.