Fishing & Boating News



by: Dan Green, NMMA Staff,

(Mar. 10, 2004 - CHICAGO, IL) The National Marine Manufacturers Association reports that annual 2003 wholesale dollar sales of all boats were up 7.0 percent compared to 2002, while unit boat shipments were down 4.8 percent, based on the December Monthly Shipment Report (MSR) just released by NMMA. "Non-traditional boating segments had a negative impact on overall unit sales, specifically paddlesports," says NMMA director of Market Statistics Jim Petru. "Remove them from the equation and unit sales for the traditional boating segments (outboard, inboard and sterndrive boats) were up 1.5 percent for the year, while wholesale dollar sales were up 9.3 percent." Inboard cruisers showed strong gains in unit sales jumping four percent compared to 2002, while fiberglass sterndrive boats experienced an eight percent increase in unit sales compared to the previous year. Added to the strong unit sales in the traditional segments, Petru says it is important to consider other factors to determine the state of the boating industry. "We have received a lot of positive feedback on the economy from exhibitors and attendees at our consumer boat shows, and response to our Marine Business Leaders Outlook survey indicates increasing optimism among the leaders in the industry. With that in mind, we expect 2004 to be a good year for recreational boating," says Petru. The Association publishes its twelve-month rolling wholesale shipments report to provide a snapshot of the state of the industry. NMMA's MSR tracks manufacturers' shipments to dealers for both boats and outboard engines using a control group of boat and engine manufacturers. The 2003 boat control group represents about 85 percent of the overall boat marketplace while the 2003 outboard engine control group represents about 95 percent of the market. With this information, companies can measure how their sales are compared to the rest of the boat and engine manufacturers. Companies participating in the control group are asked to contribute their sales figures by the fifteenth of each following month. The numbers referenced in the flash report reflect those that were contributed by the deadline date. Final numbers accounting for all submitted reports are usually available within the next thirty days. For information on subscribing to NMMA's monthly statistical reports, contact Jim Petru at (312) 946-6202;