US consumer demand for newer, technologically advanced, higher horsepower engines has driven US outboard sales to a 13-year high, nearly reaching pre-recession sales levels, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).

The trade group has released the first of its 2019 Statistical Abstract; ‘The Outboard Engine Sales Trends Report,’ which details 2019 as the eight year of consecutive growth for outboard engine retail sales.

“We’re seeing the trend in consumer demand for higher performance engines continue with outboard engine sales growth in 2019,” said Vicky Yu, director of business intelligence for NMMA, in a news release from the group.

Outboards from 200hp and higher made up 27% of sales in 2019 with sales of 300hp and higher outboards up 18%.

“After a pick-up in nearly all high-volume categories in the fourth quarter, inventory turns are healthy and manufacturers are expanding capacity in anticipation of demand. We expect another growth year for outboard engines sales in 2020,” Yu said.

NMMA will continue to analyze the data and the full 2019 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract will be available in July.

NMMA will release information by category on a monthly basis, starting in March with sailboat trends and boat & motor import/export data; Cruiser, Watersport, Off-Shore Fishing Boat and Trailer Sales Trends; Powerboat Sales Trends; Pre-owned Boat Market; Total Industry Sales by Category and State released in April, and Total Boat Registrations in June.