New boat sales took off like a rocket in late May and accelerated through June. Based on preliminary data from about half the states, new boat registrations in June are up more than 35% in most segments compared to the same month last year. Some of this increase is due to delayed registration processing for boats purchased in April and May but this is nonetheless great news for our industry.
Almost every segment participated in this extraordinary growth, but the most fortunate beneficiaries were anyone selling runabouts – especially fiberglass jet boats (see snapshot below). While runabout sales are a fraction of what they were 15 years ago, this is where many of our customers enter boating. Almost half of all runabout buyers are first-time boat owners and the majority are families with children. You may not be a direct beneficiary, yet, but let’s all welcome these new customers to the water because they are the future of our industry.