Growing attraction for imports and multihulls

Sally Helme, group publisher responsible for Cruising World, Sailing World and the NOOD Regatta Series, part of Bonnier Corporation's Active Interest Network, gave her annual State of the North American Sailing Market at the Miami International Boat Show.

The presentation was illuminating in many ways not least of which is the growing attraction and importance of imports and multihulls in this market.

Highlights of the 2017 results show sailboat imports into North America were up 14% to 1459 units.

Domestic sailboat production continued its downward trend – off 9.9% in numbers to 3,582.  Multihulls are still the big story – 36% of charter fleets, 31% of imports over 30ft and 28% of domestic production - one in four sailboats built in North America - multihull.

Overall US sailboat market of domestic production and imports combined was off 4% to 5041 combined units.

The heart of the market – sailboats 30-59ft – was up 10% in 2017, with imports representing 58% of this vital segment.

Sailboats under 20ft comprise 88% of the domestic sailboat production market (in units) and were off just under 4% to 3,158. Production of large boats 20ft and over were off 32% in 2017, down from 628 in 2016 and 840 in 2014. 

Overall imports jumped 14% in 2017 to 1,459, compounding their 44% growth in 2016.

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