Mar 1, 2023 - News

Boat-buying in the U.S. subsiding back to normal

Boats at Museum Park Marina in February. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The market for boats, which went wild during the pandemic, is returning to normal, according to a new report from Boats Group, the Miami-based advertising and software company for the marine industry.

What's happening: For the first time in three years consumer demand is softening.

By the numbers: Comparing 2022 with pre-pandemic year 2019, 5.32% fewer boats were sold in the United States – but the average boat value was 31.28% higher.

  • There were 46,381 boats sold in 2019, 53,486 sold at the peak in 2020, and 43,915 in 2022.
  • 5,279 sailboats were sold last year, as were 38,630 powerboats.
  • The average boat value was $117,574 in 2019, peaked at $164,808 in 2021 and dropped to $154,357 in 2022.

What they're saying: "The effects of the demand and supply chain disruption during the pandemic are also still very apparent," Courtney Chalmers, vice president of marketing at Boats Group, said in a statement.

  • Boats are moving off the market faster than before the pandemic sales surge, she said.

Of note: Interest rates are affecting boat sales, like they are home prices.

  • Marine lender Trident Funding reported that loan applications rose by 80% in 2022, but more people were seeking loans for less than $100,000.
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