US registrations for new powerboats were up 4.6% in September on a rolling 12-month year-over-year basis (R12M YOY), according to preliminary data released today by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).


Source: Discover Boating, NMMA

The seemingly unending appetite for ski and wakeboard boats, pontoon boats and personal watercraft in America led sales gains for the month, with tow boats posting 10% growth, and the other two popular segments both achieving 7% gains.

More generally, new boats 27 feet and longer were up 10.7% R12M YOY.

For the year as a whole, NMMA’s Data Dashboard shows retail sales of traditional powerboats up 3.8% to 207,185 units R12M YOY.  Wholesale shipments are trending significantly higher with growth of 13.4% for the rolling 12 months reading through the end of August.

Other recent boat registration data shows a significant cooling off of powerboat sales in October, which only ticked up 1.1% year-over-year. According to Statistical Surveys Inc (SSI), the slower pace of retail activity may have been due to inhospitable weather in October including the wildfires across California and early onset of wet, cold weather in the Northeast and Midwest.

Overall, SSI is projecting that growth in new powerboat sales for the US market will come in at 3% for 2018.