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NMMA Estimates 250,000 New Powerboats Sold in 2016

Although the final numbers are not in, the National Marine Manufacturer Association, a Chicago-based trade organization that represents recreational boat, engine and marine accessory manufacturers in the United States, is estimating that approximately 250,000 new powerboats were sold in 2016, which represents a 6- to 7-percent increase in sales from 2015. The news was announced yesterday in a press release from the association.

The NMMA report did not break out new-boat sales by category.

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The NMMA believes growth for the marine industry will continue through 2018. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

According to the release, annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products and services totaled $36 billion in 2015 and are expected to climb 3 percent in 2016 to $37 billion. Annual U.S. retail sales of new boats, marine engines and marine accessories totaled $17.4 billion in 2015 and are expected to grow to $19.1 billion in 2016.

Also according to the release, 95 percent of the boats sold in the U.S. are manufactured domestically, and “recreational boating is seeing some of its healthiest gains in nearly a decade, a trajectory the NMMA expects to continue through 2018.”

“With the U.S. boating industry having one of its strongest years in the last decade, and manufacturers saying, ‘We’re back!’ it’s likely we will reflect on this period as a golden age for our economy and our industry,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA’s president, in the release. “Economic indicators are working in the industry’s favor—a continuously improving housing market, strong consumer confidence, growing disposable income and consumer spending, and low interest rates all contribute to a healthy recreational boating market. Looking ahead, 2017 is likely to bring new dollar and unit sales gains on par with or better than 2016, and this trend will likely continue through 2018.”

In 2015, Florida led the nation with $2.6 billion in new powerboat, engine, trailer and accessories sales followed by Texas with $1.4 billion and Michigan with $842 million according to the NMMA report. All of those figures represent 8- to 11-percent growth from the prior year. Florida, Texas and Michigan are expected to lead again when the numbers for 2016 have been finalized.