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Boat Sales Bounce Back in Wake of February Shows

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Show season treated the marine industry well in February as boat sales bounced back from a disappointing start to the year to post strong single-digit gains in the wake of a large Miami show in February and smaller regional events around the country, according to tradeonlytoday.com.

Sales rose 9.3 percent to 5,038 boats in the main powerboat segments and 8.5 percent industrywide to 6,886 from the same month last year in 26 states that represent about 62 percent of the U.S. market, Statistical Surveys reported today.

The industry started 2016 sluggishly in January — typically a slow month — as sales fell 6.1 percent in the main segments and 6.5 percent industrywide, but the bounceback enabled builders and dealers to make up the lost ground. Through February, sales are about even with last year.

Statistical Surveys sales director Ryan Kloppe said continuing momentum from pent-up demand last year, the variety of new boats and accessories that consumers are seeing at boat shows and a mild winter in most parts of the country “are contributing to what you’re seeing today. I think you’re going to see these kinds of numbers continue into the spring season.”

Every category in the main segments, including the long-struggling sterndrive group, reported sales figures that were the same or higher than the previous year. Sterndrive sales rose 5.8 percent, or 15 boats, to 275.

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