New boat registrations in the main powerboat categories for February were down 9.5% year-to-date and 6.2% compared to the same period a year ago.

Soundings Trade Only reported that preliminary data from 28 states represents about 56.6% of the market, according to Statistical Surveys Inc. (SSI), a Michigan firm that tracks national registration data.

“Obviously it’s a sluggish start,” said SSI sales director Ryan Kloppe. “It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, but I’m sure having the polar vortex in half the country didn’t really scream, ‘Let’s go buy a new boat.’”

“The thing to remember is that January and February combined are only 5% of the market,” said Kloppe. “There are some positives in there, some growth in certain segments. We’ve seen seven years in a row of growth on growth, and we’re predicting another moderate growth year.”

Michigan, typically an early-reporting state, had computer issues and didn’t have its preliminary registration data ready for the month, said Kloppe. Given the arctic weather in the state, that data might not move the needle much.

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