A Dec. 27 article in the Wall Street Journal and new reports on boat sales from the National Marine Manufacturers Association indicate that boat sales and participation in boating are both finally on the upswing.
While the economic conditions of the past few years have presented major challenges to the marine industry in California and nationwide, the latest numbers seem to indicate significant improvement. In 2012, boat sales in California were up 2 to 3 percent over the previous year, and they were up 10 percent nationwide.
NMMA projects an additional sales increase of as much as 10 percent nationwide in 2013.
“Sales of powerboats are revving up in the state (of California) for the first time in five years, part of a national resurgence in a corner of the luxury sector that signals the economy is improving,” Wall Street Journal writer Jim Carlton wrote in the Dec. 27 issue.
“Improving economic conditions and what seems to be a resurgence in Americans’ love for the outdoors have been helping to fuel steady growth in new power boat sales in 2012,” said Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA, in a Dec. 17 statement. “A 10 percent boost at retail in 2012 is significant, since this is the first time since the recession we’ll see growth across the powerboat market, and it will create momentum as we head into 2013.”
All of this is excellent news for the boating industry — and for participants in upcoming winter boat shows in San Diego and Los Angeles, the news could not come at a better time.