Report: New Boat Sales Remain Elevated in 2021

The NMMA reports that retail unit sales of new powerboats in February 2021 were up 34% compared to the same time period last year, according to its New Powerboat Registrations Report. Data shows total new boat sales are averaging 31,000 units sold monthly since the summer of 2020, on a seasonally-adjusted basis, above normal levels and indicative of the heightened demand for new boats spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Inventory levels of new boats are the leanest they’ve ever been, and boats are being sold as soon as they hit the marketplace as manufacturers work to fulfill the backlog of orders. While new boat sales slowed in early 2021 following record sales last year, we are still seeing elevated levels as more Americans seek out boating as a way to spend quality time with loved ones,” noted Vicky Yu, senior director of business intelligence for NMMA. “Boat builders continue facing supply side constraints, and the challenge ahead will be keeping leads evergreen as inventories get replenished and life returns to normal.”

Insights from the February 2021 New Powerboat Registrations dashboard include:

  • Total retail unit sales of new powerboats slowed in momentum in February, down 21% compared to January 2021 following record highs in 2020; however sales remain elevated and are up 34% YOY (compared to Feb. 2020).
  • Sales of most new powerboat segments were up in February YOY, with new personal watercraft (PWC) sales up 77%.
  • Other segment leaders in February 2021 included pontoon boats, wakesport boats, and jet boats – all seeing double-digit increases YOY.

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