An extremely warm spring in Scandinavia has helped boost boat sales in the region. In Finland, a warm May took boaters as well as boat dealers by surprise with good sales.

“The weather plays a large role in boat sales, particularly with regards to small boats, and currently the sales are good,” says Jarkko Pajusalo, managing director of Finnboat, the Finnish Marine Industries Federation. “The number of boat registrations until the end of May was up by 1% on the previous year, and if the pace of deliveries remains at the current level, the corresponding increase at the end of June will be notably bigger.”

Finnish boat exports are still behind last year, but boatbuilders reckon that existing markets have growth potential and they also have new markets in sight. The value of Q1 2018 boat exports totalled €52.28m, which was 6.32% less than a year ago. Altogether 2,673 boats were exported in January-March (3,372 in January-March 2017) at an average price of €19,559 per boat (€16,551). The biggest export destinations were Sweden, Norway, Russia, Germany and Switzerland.

“The number of boats exported in Q1 was smaller than during the corresponding period a year ago, but the average boat price was higher. The value of exports to Switzerland and Russia increased the most, while it decreased in our two largest export markets, Sweden and Norway,” Pajusalo explains.

The popularity of Targa boats, built by Botnia Marin, remains steady, not only in their domestic Finnish markets but also in many export countries – most notably Norway, France, the US and Japan.

“We are really happy with this season. Our sales have grown by dozens of percentage points this year. Our new products are drawing a lot of interest and providing a boost to our entire model range. Our largest model, the Targa 46, is selling well, as is also our new mid-sized model, the Targa 27.2,” says Johan Carpelan of Botnia Marin.

Kokkola-based Finn-Marin Oy Ltd, builder of Finnmaster and Grandezza boats, are also pleased with export sales this year. In the Finnmaster line-up, the large day cruisers and the Pilot cabin boats have been popular in export markets.

“The boats have sold well. In addition to Finland, strong market areas for Finnmaster include Sweden and Norway in particular. Over the past few years, the UK has emerged as an important export country for us, and our German sales are growing as well. The popularity of the larger Grandezza boats has increased this year not only in Finland but also elsewhere, most notably Sweden and Switzerland,” says Martin Kortell of Finn-Marin.