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Not too hot and not too cold — just like typical early spring weather in much of the country — recreational boat sales continued to make moderate gains in March.

Soundings Trade Only reported that sales rose 7.2% to 8,826 in the main powerboat segments, led by small to mid-size outboard fiberglass boats and aluminum fishing and pontoon boats, and they climbed by an identical percentage to 12,372 boats industrywide in 27 states that represent about 66% of the market, Statistical Surveys Inc. reported.

Sales were flat last March in the main segments and they rose just 2.5% across the industry.

This year, through March, sales are up 7.5% in the main segments and 5.8% industrywide in the early-reporting states. At the end of March last year, sales were up just 1.2% for the year across the industry.

“The trend starts early this year, with aluminum fishing boats and pontoons and fiberglass outboards,” Statistical Surveys national marine sales manager Ryan Kloppe said. “It’s a great early start to the season. You might be seeing some of the registrations [from sales at winter boat shows].”

Florida (2,712) and Texas (1,724) were the sales leaders among the early-reporting states, followed by Michigan (956), North Carolina (850) and Minnesota (704). The rest of the top 10 were South Carolina (535), Arkansas (478), Washington (396), California (390) and Ohio (372).

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