Florida Leads Nation in Boat Sales for 2013 June 8, 2014

Nationwide, the recreational boating industry saw growth in 2013, generating $36.7 billion in retail expenditures (new and pre-owned boats and engines, trailers, accessories and services), a 3.2% increase from 2012. Closer to home, Florida led the nation with sales of new powerboat, motor, trailer and accessories totaling $1.9 billion, up 16%. Findings are part of NMMA’s U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract released June 1. The association is predicting continued momentum with an additional 5 to 7% increase in retail sales of new boats in 2014.

The NMMA data is based on state boat registrations and overlooks certain sales and service activity generated in the large boat and yacht sector which includes documented vessels and those registered offshore. MIASF measures boating-related economic output at $7 billion in Broward County and $8.9 billion regionally.

Other Florida-specific data found in the new Abstract includes:

  • Registered Boats                                           902,179
  • Households Per Boat                                              19%
  • New Powerboat Sales                    $1,084,751,650
  • New Outboard Engines                     $340,183,070
  • New Boat Trailers                                  $15,395,149
  • Aftermarket Accessories                  $517,051,435

“As the nation’s economic recovery matures and boating businesses prepare for summer, a peak selling season for recreational boats, accessories and services, we expect to see continued stable growth in sales,” noted NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “Following a year of inclement weather throughout the U.S. driving pent-up demand and Americans taking to the water in record numbers, the industry is primed for a busy selling season.”

Ski and wakeboard boats, as well as fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats, led the industry’s growth in 2013. Ski and wakeboard boats continue to grow in popularity, with an 11% increase in the number of new boats sold at retail in 2013 to 6,100 units; outboard boats (pontoons, fishing boats and small family cruisers) were the most popular type of new powerboat sold in 2013, comprising approximately 84% of the powerboat market and up 5% to 134,800 units.

The personal watercraft (PWC) category increased 2% compared to 2012 with 39,400 new craft sold at retail; and inboard cruisers sales gained 10% compared to the previous year with 2,200 new units sold in 2013. 2013 was also the first time since pre-recession (2009) that the ratio of pre-owned boat to new boat sales decreased, indicating a shift in consumer demand for new boats.

Of the 241.9 million adults in the U.S., 36.6%, or 88.5 million, participated in recreational boating at least once during 2013 – the second highest percentage on record. Fishing remains the most popular activity while boating during 2013: 57.8% fished, 19.3% canoed, tubing attracted 17.8% and water-skiing 14.6%.

© MIASF 2019 | All rights reserved | Photo credit: J. Christopher Photography

Marine Industries Association of South Florida. 221 SW 3rd Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Phone: 954.524.2733