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Trends: Boat Registrations Remained Flat in November

November 2019 new-boat registrations in the main powerboat categories were down 0.1 percent compared to the same month the previous year and 1.9 percent overall year-over-year, according to preliminary data from 30 states, about 56 percent of the U.S. boat market.

This story by Reagan Haynes originally appeared in Trade Only Today.

Year-to-date registrations in the main powerboat categories were down 3.6 percent and were off 2.5 percent overall, according to Statistical Surveys, a Michigan firm that tracks new-boat registrations.

Florida was included in preliminary data for the first time in months, perhaps because agencies were able to catch up in the traditionally slow month, said SSI sales director Ryan Kloppe. That could have boosted fiberglass outboard registrations, which were up 3.8 percent over November 2018. (The segment is down 0.5 percent year-to-date.)

Fiberglass outboard registrations in the third quarter were up 1.7 percent with the inclusion of Florida; preliminary data that did not include the state showed the category being down 5.1 percent in July, up 4.1 percent in August, and up 0.3 percent in September.

Ski and wake, up 3.8 percent year-to-date, was the only segment in the main powerboat category that seem poised to finish the year positive over the previous year.

Towboats also surpassed sterndrive sales in 2019, as their popularity grows. Year-to-date, 10,651 towboats have been registered versus 9,300 sterndrive bowriders. In 2018, 10,495 sterndrives were registered versus 10,258 towboats.

Large boats had a tough month, with yachts down more than 44 percent, and semi-custom and custom yachts down 50 percent.

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