Early onset of spring and last year’s warm boating season two underlying factors behind surge in market
The Finnish boating industry is forecasting a buoyant summer with boat registrations rocketing by more than 40 per cent over the previous year, while exhibitors sign up to the Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show at a record rate. “Spring has kicked off on a great note,” says Jarkko Pajusalo, managing director of the Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat, visibly pleased about the development. “The early onset of spring and last year’s splendid boating season are two underlying factors enabling the success. Although consumer confidence has deteriorated from the peak level of 2018, it nevertheless remains high, and also the current extended period of economic growth has bolstered the boating industry outlook in Finland,” Pajusalo explains.
One indicator of the boating industry’s favourable trend is the popularity of the Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show, a culmination of the Finnish boating season. By Easter, more than one hundred businesses had signed up for this year’s show, compared with 47 the same time a year ago. The Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show takes place at Helsinki’s Lauttasaari from August 15-18.
“We expect this year’s Boat-Afloat to feature almost 300 boats on show and the number of exhibitors to exceed 150. This time around, the presence of row boats will be more pronounced, as will also be the case with the bigger and more impressive craft,” Pajusalo says.
New boat registrations up by 43% on the year before
The watercraft register maintained by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom also testifies to the favourable outlook. Usually the peak period in new boat sales falls between May-June; however, already during the first three months of the year, the number of new watercraft registrations was up by 43% over 2018. In early 2019, a total of 233 new watercraft were registered, mostly motorboats of various sorts. In terms of numbers of new registrations in January-March, the top spots on the list were held by Yamarin, Buster and Faster aluminium boats along with Sea Doo personal watercraft. A particularly strong start to boat sales can be seen in Helsinki, where the number of new watercraft registrations has already doubled from the first months of 2018. Boat sales have also been lively elsewhere in the capital region and in Southwestern Finland, and Finnish Lakeland boaters are expected to become more active over the coming weeks.