Mixed reports come back for 2010 boat sales.
Info-Link Technologies, a market research group reports on 2010 boat sales. Unit sales of powerboats 15 feet in length and above were down about 14 percent during the 12-month period ended July 31, compared to the previous 12 months.
Within the outboard boat segment, unit sales were down about 10 percent during the same period (up from 12 percent down in June), while the sterndrive/jet boat segment sales were down about 25 percent (down from 23 percent in June), the personal watercraft segment was down about 11 percent (up from 15 percent in June), and the outboard sportfishing segment was down about 21 percent (down from 18 percent in June). In addition, the ski boat segment was down about 22 percent.
The report is based on new U.S. boat registrations in geographically dispersed states representing roughly half of the U.S. boat market.
By comparison, Spader Business Management reports overall new boat sales were down by 4.2 percent for the first half of 2010 for the average dealer but total dealership sales were up by 3.2 percent over total dealership sales at this point in 2009.
The average dealer reported year-to-date new boat sales of $1,986,394 compared to new boat sales of $2,074,297 in 2009. Total dealership sales were $4,311,807 compared to $4,179,866 in the prior year. This means that pre-owned boats made up the difference so at least something is selling.
The average gross margin percentage on new boat sales was up by 2 percentage points over the average gross margin earned a year ago.
2010 has been a tough year but the right things are happening and the fall crop of boat shows promises to reveal some new introductions which means this downtime has given boatbuilders a breather to reinvent themselves and their designs. May we all be able to do that.