NMMA reports US boating industry sales at 10-year high

Boat manufacturers are expanding capacity to meet demand — building new plants and increasing production.

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA, Chicago, IL, US), US recreational boat sales are at a 10-year high, prompting boat manufacturers to expand to meet demand. Data released May 22 by the NMMA show that unit sales of new powerboats increased 5% in 2017, reaching 262,000, the highest levels the US recreational boating industry has seen in 10 years.

Total marine expenditures were at an all-time high in 2017 at US$39 billion (spending on new boats, engines, trailers, accessories and services), up 7% from 2016. Boat manufacturers are expanding capacity to meet this demand — building new plants and increasing production; supporting recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis that US manufacturing gross output increased to US$6.228 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“As the strong economy continues to bolster new boat sales and boating expenditures, capital spending and manufacturer optimism are at record highs, creating one of the strongest periods on record for the US boating industry,” says NMMA president Thom Dammrich. “The growth trajectory recreational boating is continuing to see is healthy and steady as the industry works to bring new buyers to the market across all segments, from small aluminum fishing boats to large cruising yachts.”