Interesting data

Andy Adams, Editor

Feb 20, 2024

If you were able to join our NMMA Canada Industry Breakfast session at the Toronto International Boat Show last month, you heard quite a bit of valuable information, first from NMMA President Frank Hugelmeyer and then from Wells Fargo’s International Economist, Nick Bennenbroek, our keynote speaker. Both provided a wealth of information but in my memory, what stood out was Nick Bennenbroek’s overall expectation that we would enjoy a reasonable business environment this coming summer – not great, but not bad.

What I appreciate most is the crystal-ball view.

Of course, we all want to know what the future holds but the only really solid data, is historic data. This past week, I received a report from Boats Group who sent me the release of the Boats Group Market Index report 2023. 

Miami-based Boats Group is the largest network of boating marketplaces globally including YachtWorld, boats.com and Boat Trader. They claim to have the largest inventory of boat listings and over 100 million annual visitors to its portals globally.

You might find these Report highlights interesting:

            • Slight rise in boat sales in 2023, for the first time in recent years – (suggests market has reached full normalization after COVID).

            • After several years of declining YoY boat sales following a pandemic-driven surge – 0.86% more boats sold in 2023 globally

            • However, the total value of sold boats was down by 1.4% YoY globally

            • New boats are selling more, at a higher value:

                        • Primary sales driver was the new boat market – with sales up 16.8% – at 27% higher total value

                        • Used boat sales, by contrast, were down 2.2% – at 5.6% less total value

                        • Likely due to increased new boat inventory on the market, motivating buyers to buy new versus pre-owned, which can offer better financing rates and warranties

            • Despite this, boats are taking longer to sell:

                        • Especially new boats at 41 days longer

                        • Used boats only one year old are spending 66 days longer on the market

            • Sustained demand for ‘budget-friendly boats’

                        • Data from soldboats.com show the primary market driver for global unit sales in 2023 continues to be boats in the less than 35-foot segment

                        • However, the average sold price of smaller boats is also dropping – likely driven by increased supply and normalized consumer demand, pushing the average sold price down


Do these market changes and numbers mesh with what you experienced? Global data may not reflect our Canadian situation and yet, as I read this, Nick Bennenbroek’s forward-looking view on the Canadian marketplace seems to mesh with the trends.

Hope you find this interesting and useful as you start to gear-up for summer 2024.

Andy Adams – Editor 

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