Boat Builders

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 850 boat builders in the US design, manufacture, and market boats used primarily for personal and recreational purposes. Major product categories include power boats, sailboats, kayaks, canoes, and rowboats. Power boats include boats with inboard, outboard, stern drive, and jet powered engines. The power boat category includes Personal Water Craft (PWC), such as a jet ski. The retail price for a new fishing boat ranges $25,000 - $100,000, but luxury yachts can retail for millions of dollars.

Variability in Costs

Variability in the cost of materials and components affect margins and profitability for boat builders.

Competition from Used Boats

Boat builders compete with the used boat market, which appeals to deal-seeking buyers and new boaters looking to minimize their investment.

Industry size & Structure

The average boat builder operates out of a single location, employs about 50-51 workers, and generates $12 million annually.

    • The boat building industry consists of about 850 firms that employ about 43,200 workers and generate almost $10 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top 50 companies account for about 74.5% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Brunswick, Bombardier, Viking Yacht Company, and Marine Products Corporation. Some large companies have international operations.
    • The US became a net importer of boats in 2015.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Boat Builders Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Nov 15, 2022 - Fishing Drives Boat Sales
                              • Fishing tops the list of popular uses for recreational boats and will drive a projected rise in fishing boat sales in 2023, according to Linchpin’s list of Boating Industry Trends Shaping 2023. Fishing boat sales, a major category for recreational boat sales, are projected to increase 2% in 2023 over 2019 to approximately 285,900 boats. By comparison, fishing-boat sales were up 10.% in 2020, the highest annual total since 2007, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. Fishing-related accessories, such as motors and depth finders, are also projected to be popular with boat owners next year, according to Linchpin’s trend survey.
                              • The outdoor recreation industry had a record-breaking year in 2021, generating $862 billion in economic impact, of which $27.3 billion was attributed to boating and fishing, according to data released in November 2022 by the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Recreational boating and fishing were the number one contributor to the outdoor recreation economy and the largest recreational activity in 27 US states and the District of Columbia. “Since 2020, the recreational boating and fishing industry and outdoor recreation economy at-large has led a national recovery,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
                              • Manufacturing declined in September 2022 for the first time since June 2020, as boat builders continued to grapple with economic and geopolitical uncertainties, in addition to lingering supply chain and workforce challenges, according to Trade Only Today. While marine manufacturers still have strong order books, US-based powerboat builder Correct Craft’s CEO Bill Yeargin said there are signs of a potential downturn next year. "Besides the macroeconomic concerns, there are several industry-specific signs of a potential downturn. In addition to year-over-year declines in the sales of every boating segment, web analytics indicate a downturn in the number of people searching for information about buying a new boat.” Yeargin warned boat manufacturers not to be lulled into inaction by low dealer inventories, but to look ahead and ensure their production levels are properly set for this environment.
                              • Following two consecutive quarters of economic contraction, economists remain divided on the risk of a US recession, CNBC reported in September 2022. A Reuters poll of economists in late August put the chance of a US recession within a year at 45% (with most saying one would be short and shallow), and a Bloomberg survey put the probability of a downturn at 47.5%, according to CNBC. While US GDP declined by 0.9% year-on-year in the second quarter and by 1.6% in the first – meeting the traditional definition of a recession – the strong US job market and rising wages are providing mixed signals. In times of recession and economic uncertainty consumers tend to have less discretionary income – or may just feel poorer – and are more likely to defer significant spending on non-essential purchases like boats.
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