Two red flags

Jim Nolan runs US marketing agency James Nolan Associates Jim Nolan runs US marketing agency James Nolan Associates

The recently issued 2018 National Marine Lenders Association (NMLA) annual report highlighted two of the red flags our industry is facing. These are the lack of younger boat buyers and the high purchase price of boats.

The NMLA report is a compilation of 2017 year-end marine portfolio statistics reported by participating NMLA members and other key recreational lenders. 

Highlights of the report show that for bank origination's Income tiers over $150k make up the highest percentage of boat loan consumers for banks, credit unions and private finance firms. 77% of their boat loan customers earned more than $100k per year, with 20% making more than $250k per year. 

91% of the survey respondents booked loans to consumers aged 45 and older. Similarly, service company respondents reported that the 45-54 age segment retained the highest percentage for marine loan customers in 2017 and that income levels from $100k-$200k comprise 54% of their loans.

The income numbers and age grouping clearly show that Millennials (ages 21 to 36 in 2017) are not a significant factor. 

According to an August article in SmartAsset, the average income of a millennial is $35,592 per year. 

Generation X (ages 37 to 52 in 2017) is likely not one either with SmartAsset estimating their average salary to be around $50,000. 

While our industry is mostly aware of the problem, there is no national strategy to address it at this point in time.

Is that opportunity I hear knocking?

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