Statistics / Prospects for the United States Boat Industry

Statistics on the shipbuilding industry for the ending of 2017 and outlook for 2018.

The Trade Only Today website provides news and statistics related to the boating industry in general.

Following is some very interesting information from both NMMA and the Coast Guard.  We appreciate the sales statistics obtained from the registration of the US Coast Guard as they are responsible for the mandatory registration of boats.

The data corresponds to 30 states. The southern United States accounts for more than 70% of the US boat / small boat market.

Included in this data are the southern US states and others(Florida, Texas, New York, Minnesota, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North) but also California and Michigan.  So the data is very representative of the boating market.

The following will basically be the statistics of November 2017 and the general perspective (overall for the year) always referring to the statistics of last year (2016).

In progress :

Sales of pontoons (+ 7.4%), aluminum boat / boat (+ 3.9%), and boats with outboard motors (+ 5.7%) are up compared to 2016 data. Those categories have recorded the greatest number of units, each category accumulates over 46,000 to 50,000 units.

Decreasing :

For inboard motor boats, sales are down.

  • Bowrider / Deckboat (14 to 30 feet) – 4.9% (10,500 units in 2017)
  • Cruiser (31 to 40 feet) – 9.1% (1238 units in 2017)
  • Yacht (41 to 65 feet) – 10.0% (803 units in 2017)
  • Yacht 66 ft + (low volume) + 9.4% (exception, 140 units in 2017)

The sale of sailboats is also down by 28% compared to 2016, which totals 1553 sailboats for 2017. This is a significant decline.


Overall boat sales will be higher in 2017 than in 2016 by + 4.6% according to forecasts. Of course, it is the smaller boats that dominate the market. It must be said that the months of November and December are the lowest of the year.

To be more precise, it is the Bennington pontoons and the Tracker fishing boats that dominate sales in their respective categories in the USA.


The NMMA Association (National Marine Manufacturers Association) also publishes interesting data for the US market. They state that 2017 has jumped 6% and predict that 2018 will see an increase of 5% to 6%.

It states that more than 260,000 units were sold in 2017 for an amount approaching US $ 37 billion.

They predict that sales will be more active (5% to 7%) in 2018 in the sectors of sport boats (Ski & Wake), pontoons and PWC (personal watercraft, formerly wave runner).

When buying a new or used boat, it is important to choose a boat that meets your criteria but also if possible, to buy a boat that will maintain an excellent resale value.  Knowledge of the market, its evolution, trends, are also very important information when it comes time to choose between manufacturers.

Our network of contacts among the brokers in the United States, our presence to all important international boats shows allow us to bring privileged information to our customers.

Ideally, a specialized, knowledgeable and experienced broker will assist in making the best choice and especially the best price.

Feel free to send us your comments, the brokers of Ita Yachts Canada are at your disposal.


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