In September, wholesale dollar sales for the traditional powerboat segment (outboard, sterndrive, and inboard boats) gained 8.8 percent while unit volumes declined 3.1 percent compared to September 2004, according to the September Monthly Shipment Report (MSR) released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Sales up 7%
In the first nine months of the year, the traditional powerboat segment found dollar sales up 7.5 percent while unit volumes fell 4.2 percent compared to the same nine-month period the previous year. Wholesale dollar sales of all boats rose 7 percent and wholesale unit volumes grew 1 percent in September compared to September 2004. Through the third quarter, dollar sales were up 7 percent while unit volumes fell 1 percent for all boats, compared to the first nine months of 2004. Winter boat show season crucial
"NMMA analysis of manufacturer shipments to retail through the third quarter found fewer shipments, indicating unit inventories will likely fall by the year's end resulting in minimal excess inventory heading into boat show season," says Jim Petru, director of industry research and statistics for the NMMA. "While the traditional powerboat segment shows dollar sales are up for the first three quarters led by sales of ski boats and cruisers, the upcoming winter boat show season will be crucial for retail sales across all segments." Inboard up, outboard down
The inboard boat category, including ski boats and cruisers, saw a solid dollar sales increase of 8 percent for the first nine months of the year when compared to 2004. Outboard boat sales, however, were down nearly 7 percent compared to 2004 and led the decline in year-to-date unit sales followed by sterndrive boats, down 1 percent. Other product categories showing an increase in year-to-date unit sales include kayaks (up 6 percent) and sailboats (up 2 percent). Categories with declining sales through the third quarter (compared to the same period in 2004) include jet drive boats (down 5 percent), canoes (down 19 percent), inflatables (down 4 percent), houseboats (down 8 percent) and personal water craft (down 0.2 percent).