Data released today by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in Chicago show total marine expenditures were at an all-time high in 2017 at $39 billion, up 7 percent from 2016. The number includes spending on new boats, engines, trailers, accessories, and services.
Michigan was third on the list of states that spent the most on new powerboats, engines, trailers, and accessories in 2017, with $982 million in sales. This was an increase of 12 percent from 2016.
Florida and Texas spent the most on boating in 2017, at $2.9 billion, up 10 percent from 2016, and $1.7 billion, up 12 percent from 2016, respectively.
Boat manufacturers are expanding capacity to meet the demand. Recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis says U.S. manufacturing gross output increased to $6.2 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 U.S. boating industry, and a buyers’ paradise with more boats and more options on the market,” says Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA.
“Economic factors such as an increase in GDP, an improving housing market, strong consumer confidence, and growing disposable income are spurring demand for new boats. 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.”
About 262,000 power boats were sold in 2017, an increase of 5 percent from 2016. This is the highest level the U.S. recreational boating industry has seen in 10 years.
Nine of the states leading the nation in sales of new powerboat, engine, trailers, and accessories saw double-digit percent sales growth.
An estimated 988,200 pre-owned boats were sold in 2017, the highest number since 2006, totaling $9.3 billion in sales, an increase of 2 percent from 2016.
There were nearly 12 million registered/documented boats in the U.S. in 2016. Most boats on the water, or 95 percent, in the U.S. are less than 26 feet in length and can be trailered by vehicle. About 62 percent of boat owners have a household income of less than $100,000.
NMMA is a trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. Member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories, and gear used in North America.