Bullish Market: 2017 Washington Boat Sales

Norris Comer Boating Books


The Washington Department of Licensing and Washington Sea Grant have released a 2017 year-end report for new boat sales in the state, and there are many positive signs of growth for the market.

The fourth quarter of 2017 compares quite favorably to the fourth quarter of 2016. New boat sales for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased by 24.5 percent in units and 30 percent in value when compared to the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally, brokerage boat sales increased for the fourth quarter of 2017 by 23.9 percent in units and 24.2 percent in value when compared to same quarter in 2016.

Total new boats sold for the entire year increased by 249 boats from 2016, which is a 6-percent increase in total boats sold. What’s more, the total value of all new boats sold in 2017 was $218 million, a 15 percent increase from 2016. All told, the fourth quarter of 2017 raked in about $15.6 million more for the state’s industry than the fourth quarter of 2016.

This news of growth continues the multi-year trend for the state’s boat sales. With regards to new boat sales, the fourth quarter of 2016 saw a 9.5 percent increase in units and 24.8 percent in value compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. Brokerage boats saw a similar increase of 12.2 percent in units and 24.7 percent in value.

If you’re really interested in the numbers, Washington Sea Grant’s website’s Community Outreach page has publicly available quarterly boat sales going back to 2007 (wsg.washington.edu). Dig in for yourself, and if you have any insights, send us a letter!

Norris Comer

Written by

Norris Comer is an award-winning writer and the former Managing Editor of Northwest Yachting magazine. He was raised in Portland, Oregon and got his BS in Marine Science at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL where he lived aboard a 1973 Catalina 27 before moving to Washington and an Albin Vega. He has worked as a commercial fisherman, wandered aimlessly around the world, studied oil spills, and was a contestant on the Norwegian reality TV show "Alt for Norge."

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