At Ballast Point Yachts, we’re always trying to provide our clients with the most up to date information in the industry, and wanted to share information reported by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). As we’re heading into the beginning of February, reports are showing that 2013 boat sales have exceeded those of 2012 by about 7%. Industry experts are contributing this increase to post-recession gains as consumer confidence has been steadily rising over the past two years, causing consumer spending to climb accordingly.
One of the strongest relationships that have been observed is between home sales and boat sales. Now that the housing market has recovered and improved in many areas of the United States, specifically Florida and California, boats are beginning to reclaim their position in the spotlight. Because most people have a majority of their equity and net worth tied up in their home, when the recession hit and the value of homes dropped not only significantly, but rapidly, people shied away from spending. Now that this situation has started to rectify itself, Americans are regaining confidence and once again have additional spending money.
In addition to seeing land prices and home values rise, boating participation numbers were reported at an all time high in 2012 – more than 88 million Americans spent time during the year boating. Coupled with the idea that 2012 saw more sales, industry experts are drawing the conclusion that those who have experience on the water, cultivate an interest and love for life on the water, followed by the purchase of a used boat or yacht. If economic growth continues at its current pace, along with the growth of new recreational boating participants, sustained growth for boat sales can be expected for 2014 and years to follow.
The industry’s sales growth is being led by small fiberglass and aluminum onboard boats (those measuring 26 feet or less) as well as ski and wakeboard boats. While this is a relatively small percent of the overall market, the healthy increase that has been observed since 2011 is one that gives confidence to the industry. Although only time will tell if the estimates will prove true, Americans definitely seem to be buying boats again.