Recreational boating in the U.S. has an annual economic value of $121.5 billion. The industry’s rising tide supports 964,000 induced, direct, and indirect American jobs, 338,526 direct jobs at 34,833 businesses, and $83 billion in direct, indirect and induced spending each year. Retail sales of new power and sailboats increased 10.7 percent in 2012 to 163,245, demonstrating a post-recession recovery for the industry. (Note that this number includes inboard, outboard, sterndrive, jet and sail boats).New powerboat (inboard, outboard, sterndrive and jet boat) sales increased 10 percent to 157,300 in 2012. New sailboat sales increased 29.2 percent to 5,945 in 2012. Small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less in size, continued their upward climb with an 11.3 percent increase in the number of new boats sold. Outboard boats are the most popular type of new powerboat sold, making up approximately 82 percent of the market. Ski and wakeboard boats are seeing healthy growth with an increase of 13.4 percent new boats sold in 2012. Jet boats, which are small fiberglass boats less than 26 feet in length, are a growing category. Of the 157,300 new powerboats sold in 2012, 4,500 were jet boats. New jet boat sales increased 36.4% in 2012. With growing diversity in units and a range of price points, PWC sales continue to climb year over year. According to data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, PWC sales in 2017 were up 5 percent over 2016 and have been growing for the past six consecutive years.
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