Rising tide of boat sales

In positive news for the marine industry, new sales data released by Boats Group has revealed a surge in demand for boats and other watersports craft during 2020.

After an unsurprising sales slump of 40 per cent between March and May 2020, with sales inhibited by the UK’s first national lockdown, sales of new and used boats rebounded rapidly in the summer. The impact of the ‘staycation’ effect was felt from June to the end of December, as boat unit sales grew more than 50 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

With British consumers unable to travel, Britons and their families sought new ways to replicate the adventure and escape of travel, whilst staying socially distant and safe during the pandemic. Watersports provide the perfect solution to the restrictions presented by the coronavirus pandemic, offering wellbeing benefits and an exciting mode of outdoor recreation, helping to create substantial numbers of new boating enthusiasts.

This new audience of boaters and watersport participants and spike in demand provides a positive boost to the UK’s marine industry. It is reversing the impacts of a slowing global economy and economic dislocation suffered in the UK’s national lockdown between March and June 2020.

Furthermore, strong demand from other countries across the world that are experiencing a similar appetite for recreational boating products is providing a boost to economic productivity in UK marine businesses, from manufacturing and retail to boating tourism. While uncertainty remains over the continued disruption of the pandemic and the economic impact of transitioning out of the EU’s custom union, the hunger for boating from UK and global consumers is helping to galvanise the industry.

Alastair Walton, of Boats Group, said: “The analysis made available through this initiative with British Marine is drawn from data supplied to Boats Group from hundreds of professional brokers and dealers here in the UK. It follows a huge surge in traffic to our portals, and is great news for the industry as a whole.”

Following the release of these boat sales trends, British Marine members are set to benefit from a collaboration with Boats Group giving access to monthly data for 2021 onwards.

Commenting on the figures, Lesley Robinson, CEO of British Marine, said: “Last summer we were seeing evidence and hearing regular news about the staycation effect and boom in sales for leisure marine businesses, however I am delighted that these anecdotal stories are now backed up with the empirical data and figures in this new report by Boats Group. The sales data is welcome news at a time that has been and will continue to be challenging for every business. Furthermore, I am delighted that British Marine members will now benefit from access to future boat sales data on a regular basis, offering them a super tool for real-time insight.”


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