May 2020 Sets Records in Growth for New Boat Sales and Other Fishing Industry News

May 2020 sets records in growth for new boat sales; Tampa Boat Show cancelled; IGFA announces top record-producing tackle manufacturers of 2019; and 127 outdoor rec businesses urge House to pass Great American Outdoors Act.

May 2020 Sets Records in Growth for New Boat Sales and Other Fishing Industry News

May 2020 Sets Records in Growth for New Boat Sales

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports new boat sales rebounded sharply in May 2020, up 59% compared to April, and up 9% from pre-pandemic levels on a seasonally adjusted basis. Total sales in May were the highest they’ve been in a decade with upticks across all segments. Leading the growth were PWCs, saltwater fishing boats, and jet boats, which account for 41% of new boat sales annually. Also noteworthy, outboard engine shipments to boat builders increased for the second consecutive month through June.

Furthermore, June data indicates this momentum to continue with healthy sales of new PWCs again in June and increases in outboard engine shipments for the second consecutive month.

Highlights from the latest New Powerboat Registrations report and Monthly Shipment Report:

  • PWC sales reached record monthly highs for the second consecutive month in June, up 41% from a year ago, on a seasonally adjusted basis and have fully recovered from pandemic-related losses in March and April.
  • Saltwater fishing boat sales were up 9% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to a year ago.
  • Jet boat sales were up 31% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to a year ago.
  • Outboard engine sales in June were up an average 28% from pre-pandemic levels on a seasonally adjusted, monthly basis.

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Tampa Boat Show Cancelled

The Progressive Insurance Tampa Boat Show, which was scheduled to be held from September 11–13, 2020 has been cancelled due to rising cases of COVID-19 around the country, particularly in the Tampa area. The Tampa Boat Show for 2021 is currently scheduled for September 10–12 at the Tampa Convention Center.


IGFA Announces Top Record-Producing Tackle Manufacturers of 2019

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) recently published a list of the top record-producing tackle manufacturers from 2019 in the newly released 2020 IGFA World Record Game Fishes book.

Listed below are the winning manufacturers in each of the respective categories and the total number of records compiled by that manufacturer.

  • Scales: BogaGrip – 103 records
  • Saltwater Rods: Shimano – 78 records
  • Freshwater Rods: G. Loomis – 18 records
  • Saltwater Fly Rods: G. Loomis – 5 records
  • Freshwater Fly Rods: Loop – 14 records
  • Saltwater Reels: Shimano – 130 records
  • Freshwater Reels: Shimano – 63 records
  • Saltwater Fly Reels: Bauer/Tibor – 5 records (tie)
  • Freshwater Fly Reels: Abel – 30 records
  • Saltwater Line: PowerPro – 30 records
  • Freshwater Line: Platypus – 37 records
  • Saltwater Tippet: Ande – 8 records
  • Freshwater Tippet: Platypus – 33 records

These lists are based on the number of IGFA World Records approved during the 2019 calendar year.


127 Outdoor Recreation Businesses Urge House to Pass Great American Outdoors Act

127 outdoor businesses sent a letter to House leadership this week urging passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). GAOA, if passed, will stimulate the outdoor recreation industry and the thousands of small and large businesses that comprise the growing industry. GAOA would also create more safe and sustainable recreation access while improving infrastructure. The 127 cross-sector companies include, among others, Airstream, Bass Pro Shops, Brunswick, Cabela's, Columbia Sportswear, Kampgrounds of America, Polaris Inc., Pure Fishing, The North Face, VF Corporation, Winnebago and Yamaha. All of them signed on in order to highlight that investments in conservation and recreation are needed to provide business certainty so the recreation industry can get back to what it does best — grow jobs, support healthy communities, economies and people and provide more opportunities for everyone to benefit from time spent outside.

GAOA would provide a critical boost to what was, before the pandemic, a $778 billion a year industry supporting 5.2 million jobs and accounting for 2.2% of United States Gross Domestic Product. According to Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s member survey and dashboard of the sector, 94% of outdoor industry businesses have experienced a decrease in sales and 88% have laid off or furloughed a portion of their workforce. These businesses have urged the House to pass GAOA before the August recess to revitalize this critical sector of the economy.


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