North American sailing market

Sally Helme, group publisher, Cruising World and Sailing World presented the Sailing Market - State of the Industry presentation at the Miami Boat Show.

The data gathered from more than 230 boat builders, importers and charter companies, provided a clear analysis of what happened in 2016. Here are some of the highlights:

Imports, which came from 21 countries, exploded up 390 units to 1,278 total, for 44% growth. Imports under 20ft led the growth, up by 312 units or 60%.  Multihulls represented 31% of all imports over 20ft and were up 54 units or 64% in over the previous year.

North American sailboat production levelled off at 5,007 units, down 219 from 2015.

Small boats under 20ft were down 6% to 4,318 units while boats over 20ft rebounded somewhat up 7% to 689 units. The two larger segments that posted healthy gains were boats 20-29ft up 40% to 395 units and boats 41-45ft up 23% to 119 units.

Brokerage data provided by YachtWorld showed sales were down for the third year in a row, off 1% to 5,290 units. Sailboats represent about 18% of all brokerage boats sold in the US–5,290 units out of a total 29,431 boats sold.

Bareboat chartering reports its sixth straight year of growth. Charter weeks booked out of the North American market total 30,707, up 9% over 2015. Multihulls are now reported to be 36% of the bareboat charter fleets. North American and Caribbean destinations gained market share as US consumers show concerns about safety abroad. The Caribbean is the favourite destination for North American sailors, taking 75% of bareboat weeks.

2016 was a much better year than 2015.

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