For the first time since 2008, most US boatbuilders are expecting a good year. While the cruiser and sailboat markets seem to be stalled, and sterndrives still haven’t bottomed out, every other segment is reporting growth.

“When we look at our portfolio, wholesale volume in the United States is up 13% versus the prior year through April,” says Bruce van Wagoner, president of the Marine Group of GE Capital, Commercial Distribution Finance, in late May. “Our dealers have expressed relative confidence and are ordering inventory slightly higher than last year in anticipation of this selling season.” An estimated 8-9% gain in unit sales by Wells Fargo analysts, says van Wagoner, “seems like a reasonable expectation for the industry”.

Note: This is an excerpt of the US’ marine market overview published in the June/July edition of IBI magazine. IBI Plus subscribers can download the full report from IBI Plus website.