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Q: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
Category: Sports and Recreation
Asked by: research_help-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 13 Aug 2002 10:50 PDT
Expires: 12 Sep 2002 10:50 PDT
Question ID: 54113
Who are the 10 largest (by unit volume, not revenues) recreational
boat makers in the world?  We are only interested in powered boats
with propulsion systems (i.e. not canoes or kayaks, etc.)  The answer
I need is a listing of the company names, their headquarter location,
and the number of recreational boats they make in a year.  Please
provide the source of your information as well. [Note: I specify
recreational boats as opposed to ships. However, ships are built in
relatively low volumes so the 10 largest boat makers will most likely
be the 10 largest recreational boat makers (and vice versa.)]

Request for Question Clarification by chromedome-ga on 15 Aug 2002 18:43 PDT
A question, rh:

Many of the larger builders make sailing yachts, as well as
conventional powerboats.  In fact Groupe Dufour, the third-largest
European builder, makes only sailing boats.  Do you wish those
companies focusing predominantly on sail to be in the list?  Or would
you rather leave them out?

Obviously, the more diversified builders'sales figures will include
some sail, but if sailboats are outside your area of interest some of
the larger builders may be dropped entirely.



Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 16 Aug 2002 06:15 PDT
As I mentioned in the question, we are only interested in powered
boats with a propulsion system.  This would not include boats
"powered" by wind primarily.  So, for a black & white answer I'd say
leave out sailboats.  However, in the real world which is grey, I
realize that some boat makers make both powered and non powered and it
may be impossible to separate the two when getting production figures.
 Therefore, if a boat maker is only in non powered sailboats, then you
can leave them out, but if they make both and they cannot be
separated, then you can include them.  If you want to, just give me
everything you have and clearly note what includes what.  Basically, I
am writing a report on a potential product for powered boats (boats
with a steering system and engine). So, I have made this request in
anticipation of the follow up question, so who will be the customers
for this?  Keep in mind that I work for a global company, so any
answer has to be global.  Thank you for your interest and I look
forward to your answer.

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 20 Aug 2002 13:36 PDT
Is Chromedome or anyone else still working on this question? My
timeframe to include this in a report is limited with deadlines
approaching.  If you are working on this question, please let me know
how much longer it will take. Thank you

Request for Question Clarification by chromedome-ga on 21 Aug 2002 06:37 PDT
Hi, RH

Yes, I am still working on this.  I have been in touch with
Statistical Surveys, and am awaiting some "sample" data from them.

There appears to be no other reliable source of publicly available,
authoritative numbers for the US market.  Further, no-one seems to
track the numbers for the "rest-of-the-world" market on an ongoing
basis, though I haven't been able to determine that definitively. 
Dick Dumont of SSI, who is responsible for their marine division, was
confident that none of the non-US builders would crack the top ten in
absolute unit sales anyway.

This would seem reasonable.  Australia's largest builder, for example,
is the Riviera Group.  They are presently expanding their production
from 350 units/year to 500.  While these are respectable numbers, the
two biggest builders have that many MODELS in their line-up.

Given that 1) in your previous question you expressed a willingness to
entertain paid reports; and 2) SSI appears to be the only game in town
for authoritative numbers; here's what I propose...

I can provide you with the companies that would round out the top 10
US, as well as the top few European builders and Australian builders. 
As stated, the non-US builders would not be top 10 in absolute unit
sales, but might be strategically important for you.  I can also
provide you with direct contact information for Mr. Dumont of SSI, who
is responsible for the marine division (and is not in Grand Rapids,
which is the source of that particular confusion).  He has confirmed
that he has at his fingertips the data you wish, and can provide any
reports you may need on a purchase basis (again, stressing that this
is US only).  Finally, I can provide some supporting links and data
that may be useful to you.

I'd been waiting on some sample data from Mr. Dumont, but ultimately
this would all be contained in the reports which are his stock in
trade.  If the above would constitute an acceptable answer to you, I
can post it in a matter of a few hours.  Alternatively, I could jog
Mr. Dumont's memory with a fresh e-mail and post a subsequent answer
livened up with a few better numbers.

Please advise, 


Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 06:57 PDT
I have also spoken to Mr. Dumont previously and have received some of
his sample data. So, providing me that same information would not
really help. I was trying to verify the data from a second source and
also get global numbers.  Although it is possible, I would need some
confirmation that the largest boat builder in all of the rest of the
world isn't as big as the 10th largest in the U.S.  So, basically, if
all that can be provided is a sample from Mr. Dumont, then I already
have that.  If you have other useful information, especially global,
please let me know. For example, if you could provide the 5-10 largest
in Europe and Asia, and their numbers were not as high as the top ten
in the U.S., then that would be useful and helpful.
Another angle of how to get this kind of information just occured to
me. Any boat that is self powered needs an engine. There are only
about 4 or 5 major engine makers in the world. If we could get
information on their production and the countries they sell to, that
could serve as a proxy for where the boats are being made. Make sense?
I look forward to hearing back from you and thank you for all your
time and effort.

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 07:08 PDT
I thought it might be useful to share the U.S. top 10 that I currently
have (based on a sample spreadsheet). It includes fiberglass 14' made
in the U.S. only by unit volume.
1. Sea Ray
2. Bayliner
3. Ranger
4. Carolina Skiff
5. Triton
6. Tracker
7. Glastron
8. Chaparral
9. Skeeter
10. Four Winns

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 07:09 PDT
the above clarification should read 14' and above, not just 14'

Request for Question Clarification by chromedome-ga on 21 Aug 2002 07:21 PDT
Right...I'll see how much I can gather for you in the next 24-48hrs. 
The idea about the engine manufacturers is a good one, that may give
us something to be going on with.

I'll also repeat my e-mails to the various European sources, and try
to coax a response out of someone.

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 07:50 PDT
I look forward to your answer.

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 08:19 PDT
I wanted to add one more thought.
If you do get some data from Dumont, please include it in your answer.
You might receive data from a different time period or boat market
than I did and in that way it might help me figure out some things.

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 13:07 PDT
As you might expect, I am working on this answer in parallel to you. I
now have the names of the largest power boat manufacturers in the key
countries outside of the U.S. Do you already have this information or
do you need me to post it?
Keep in mind that what I need in this answer is unit volumes -
anything other than this will not be useful to me.

Request for Question Clarification by chromedome-ga on 21 Aug 2002 13:44 PDT
:)  We're having a Dr. Pangloss sort of sooner I sent an
e-mail to Dumont that I'd not be needing his assistance, I received
one from him with some YTD and Y2001 cumulative numbers.

I've been plugging away all afternoon (have finally started to turn up
some info for Asia, doesn't look like there are any sizeable players
there), and expect to be some hours longer.

I'd be interested in whatever information you can share, because it
might mesh with something I've turned up and give us a better working
understanding of the numbers.

Two further points:  1)Fully half of the brands on the top ten list
you'd posted earlier are brands owned by GenMar and Brunswick, who I'd
been treating as individual builders.  2)Although they are "powered
recreational boats" I've been operating on the assumption that you
would not want the makers of PWC's (Sea-doo's, Jetski's, etc)
included.  Is that correct?


Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 13:53 PDT
To answer your points:
Yes, the Brunswick and Genmar lines should be thought of as separate
companies since they each have their own manufacturing location, their
own marketing / sales / R&D.  Brunswick and Genmar are really holding
companies for these boat makers, they aren't really in the "boat
building" business.
Yes, you are correct that we are not interested in PWCs. (Our
investigation is for boats with propulsion and steering systems.)
The top power boat builders from my list are: (Please correct me if I
am wrong)
Canada - Bombardier
UK - Fairline, Marine Projects, Sealine, Sunseeker
France - Rhea Marine, Ocqueteau, Guy Marine
Italy - Azimut-Benetti, Ferretti
Australia - Riviera Marine

I am looking forward to see what you turn up.

Request for Question Clarification by chromedome-ga on 21 Aug 2002 14:04 PDT the risk of sounding a fool, I'm going to ask for one
further piece of clarification.  In my comment above, perhaps a
clearer way of expressing my thought would be:  "Rather than breaking
out the individual brands owned by GenMar or Brunswick, I am simply
assigning these companies the 1-2 spots on my list.  Brands owned by
other corporations will also be treated collectively, and their
placement on my list will be based on cumulative totals for each
corporate brand-owner."

Is that how you would want it, or would you prefer the top individual
brands broken out, regardless of manufacturer?  The information I've
received today treats the Brunswick et al as individual builders,
rather than brand-by-brand, so this is a fairly central issue.

For purposes of marketing to these builders, it is worth noting that
their management styles vary.  An industry journalist who gave me some
pointers described GenMar as being very entrepreneurial, with each
division largely running its own show, while Brunswick is notably more
"top-down" in its corporate style.

Clarification of Question by research_help-ga on 21 Aug 2002 14:10 PDT
Obviously it is late in the game to change the way you have been
collecting figures. If you have collected information for the holding
companies as a total, then just give that in the answer. My preference
would be to break it down by each individual line, but if you don't
have that information, it's not worth starting from scratch.
Just thinking this through, if you combine all of the Brunswick and
Genmar lines into just 2 spots, then that would add to the number of
distinct companies in a top 10, so either way is ok with me.
I appreciate all your hard work.
Subject: Re: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
Answered By: chromedome-ga on 22 Aug 2002 08:18 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars
All right, we go.

As I'd mentioned previously in the comments, one of the big issues
here is asking, "What constitutes a boatbuilder?"  The larger players
in the business tend to control numerous brands.  For that reason,
I've created two lists for the US market, one by manufacturer
(cumulative brand totals) and one by brand (regardless of

My source of statistics for the US market is Statistical Surveys Inc. 
Mr. Dumont kindly provided me with a report-in-progress of the 2002
market, Jan-June.


This report is as yet incomplete.  The excerpt provided to me covered
23 states, representing 53% of the US market.  The states included in
this report are: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida,
Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi,
Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North
Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

Given that this constitutes a half-year of sales, for half of the
market, quadrupling these numbers should be as good as you'll get
without expenditure.  The full report, broken out by
brand/manufacturer/length for both the fiberglass and aluminum boat
markets, should be available fairly soon from SSI.

You may wish to cross-reference this with the NMMA's list of boat
registrations by states (found at the following link) to counter any
potential regional bias:

I have followed your lead in restricting my numbers to boats of 14'
and above, which eliminates Personal Water Craft as well as boats too
small to be of value to you.  In the lists below, for example,
Bombardier and Yamaha would both be in the top four if PWC's were

I cut off the first list at 800+ units sold YTD, which gives you 21
builders.  This seemed a reasonable number.  As discussed in your
previous question, not all of these builders will necessarily be good
markets for you, depending on the market niches they address, and I
wanted to give you good value for your dollar. NB:  I was unable to
locate the headquarters of American Marine.

US Market by builder, YTD 2002, 14' and above:

Builder            YTD Sales  Location

Genmar             15,988     Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Brunswick          10,864     Knoxville, Tennessee, USA
Tracker Marine      8,937     Springfield, Missouri, USA
Godfrey Marine      3,555     Elkhart, Indiana, USA
Yamaha              3,341     Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan
Alumacraft          1,747     St. Peter Minnesota/Arkadelphia
Arkansas, USA
Smoker Craft        1,688     New Paris, Indiana, USA
XPress Boats        1,667     Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA
Carolina Skiff      1,689     Waycross, Georgia, USA
Marine Products     1,658     Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Triton              1,596     Ashland City, Tennessee, USA
Leisure Life        1,239     Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Bombardier          1,191     Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Bennington          1,118     Elkhart, Indiana, USA
Crown Line          1,092     West Frankfort, Illinois, USA
Starcraft             994     Topeka, Indiana, USA
American Marine       933     
Malibu                905     Merced, California, USA
Weeres                893     St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA
Sea Fox               884     Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Master Craft          875     Vonore, Tennessee, USA

For purposes of brand vs. brand comparison, I have truncated the list
at brands totalling unit sales of 1000 or more, YTD.  Since the
headquarters of the parent companies are given above, I have broken
out this list by material, as a possible point of interest for you.

US Market by brand, YTD 2002, 14' and above:

Brand              YTD Sales   Material(Fiberglass/Aluminum/Both)

Tracker             6,882      B 
Sea Ray             3,912      F
Bayliner            3,595      F
Lowe                2,505      A
Godfrey             2,433      B
Lund                1,793      A
Alumacraft          1,747      A
Four Winns          1,674      F
XPress              1,667      A
Carolina Skiff      1,626      F
Chaparral           1,605      F
Crestliner          1,473      A
Glastron            1,401      F
Ranger              1,287      F
G3                  1,218      A
Smoker Craft        1,120      A
Bennington          1,118      A
Sea-Doo             1,107      F
Crownline           1,092      F
Maxum               1,080      F
Wellcraft           1,006      F

A few brands that came to my attention through other channels also
show up on this report.  Restricting the list of builders to craft 30'
and over (most likely to use hydraulic steering, of course) places
French and European leader Beneteau sqarely among the lead group. 
Combines sales of the Beneteau and Jenneau lines total 181 units,
placing them solidly in fifth place in this category.

American companies looking to do business in the European Community
are facing some increased challenges over the next couple of years. 
The following link gives examples of how some companies, like Genmar
and Brunswick, are planning to cope.  Hunter Marine's Luhr Group
division, which boasts respectable numbers in the US market (25th on
the list for fiberglass +14', with 476 units) is mentioned in the
article as a success story in the UK market.  The text of the article
is here:

Interestingly, a Canadian government site provides some numbers
pertinent to the American market.  Tables of US (non-outboard) boat
imports from 1993-1999 may be found at these two links (I don't
understand why there are two, but here they are):

Similar, for inboard cabin cruisers of 8m or greater:

These, and similar tables I'll be citing later on, would indicate that
there are builders in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Argentina, the
Phillipines, and - oddly enough - Bahrain who may be worth tracking


The leading Canadian builder is certainly Bombardier, although I've
not been able to locate good sales numbers for Canada or overseas.  I
would recommend them as a high-priority marketing target simply
because their corporate culture DEMANDS that they become a dominant
player in any market they enter.  Bombardier's purchase of the Johnson
and Evinrude brands from the wreck of OMC was a clear signal to the
rest of the industry that they are on the march.  Their current US
sales are substantial, and with the launch of their new Fishhawk line,
they are poised for significant growth.  They are also prone to
broaden their market share with key acquisitions, so they may be
something of a wild card over the next few years.

Harbercraft/Eagle of Vernon BC lays claim to the title of Canada's
leading aluminum boat manufacturer.  I was unable to verify sales
data, but most of our homegrown heroes are more than happy to brag a
bit, so contacting them directly should give you the requisite
information.  Their website is here:

Other west-coast aluminum builders may be found at this terribly long

Campion boats, of Kelowna BC, specializes in fiberglass boats of
16'-30'.  They claim to manufacture more boats in this niche than any
other player on the continent, at 1400 units per year. Their website
is here:

The provincial government page that yielded the above number is here:

Doral Boats of Grand Mere, Quebec, builds fiberglass boats in the
17'-36' range.  They show up at the 24th spot in SSI's US market
stats, in the +30' range.  Their website is here:

The IBI news considers Campion and Doral to be the most noteworthy
Canadian builders after Bombardier:

For further information, you may wish to consult Industry Canada's
by-province list of boatbuilders:

United Kingdom

None of the UK builders are especially large in absolute terms, but
may be important to you for strategic reasons.

The IBI news places Sunseeker at the top of the homegrown brands. 
Their UK country report, which I cited in the answer to your previous
question, shows Sunseeker selling 275 boats in the year ending July
2001, for about 124 million pounds.  That represents a second
consecutive 20% gain for the company.

Marine Projects (now Princess Yachts International) and Fairline are
both now owned by Renwick PLC, but continue to operate independently. 
PYI saw revenues of about 107 million pounds for calendar 2001, but as
their product line leans to the larger boats their unit sales were
likely lower in proportion.  Fairline returned revenues of
approximately 93 million pounds for the same period.  I am unable to
furnish unit sales figures for these companies.


The Beneteau/Jenneau group of companies is France's, and Europe's,
largest builder.  They have a reasonable presence in the US market, as
noted above.  IBI news places their total annual production at 10,000
units and climbing, of which 3600 would be sailboats.  That leaves
6400 annually, which places them among the global front rank by any

I was unable to locate numbers for Zodiac (a problem with
monolinguality, I suspect), but they should not be ignored.  As the
world leader in RIB's, they have a strong presence in the industrial
and government markets, as well as the leisure market.

According to their UK distributor, Ocqueteau builds about 350 boats
per year:

Ocqueteau's website (English side is down as of this writing):

Rhea Marine, like Zodiac, appears to be immune to the curiosity of a
monolingual researcher.  Their website is here:

The same, unfortunately, applies to Guy Marine. I plodded through all
200+ hits to find out.

The French industry body, FIN, has what looks to be a decent website. 
Unfortunately, the English version is under construction.  Should you
have a French-speaking assistant, the URL is:

Otherwise, you may wish to use the contact information given on this
IBI page, and look to get some information from them that way.

Of course France is also one of the countries for which IBI has
prepared a fully-detailed "market survey", which would include all the
information you'd want for Europe's largest boating market.


Italy's industry body, UCINA, has a website with some fairly useable
information.  The site itself is in Italian, of course, but its
equivalent to the NMMA "Facts and Figures" section is a bilingual
Italian/English presentation. From their main page:

Click on "Dati Statistichi" in the menu at the right. Then click the
large logo in the middle of the page, which reads "Estratto dalla
'Nautica in Cifre' ed. 2001".  You will find numerous charts with
Italian and English titles, breaking out various statistics for the
Italian market.

In one (twelfth chart, I believe), they list the world's leading
boatbuilding countries by unit production for the year 200:  The US at
573,100; France at 47,003; Australia at 37,547; Japan at 33,876;
Germany at 26,564: Italy at 19,352; Finland at 16,567; Sweden at
10,600; and so on.  Interestingly, Argentina appears on the list with
domestic production of almost 3000 units.  Canada, on the other hand,
appears to have eluded their radar.

The fourth chart shows inboard/sterndrive types making up 80% of
Italian production, with outboards at another 8%.  Therefore 88% of
their 19,352 units built (17,029), could be classed as recreational
boats for your purposes.

Italy is the clear leader in the number of megayachts built, which
will account for a disproportionate portion of industry revenues/hull.

Azimut/Benetti is a case in point.  Their Avigliana yard builds 270
boats per year, while the two Viareggio yards combine for 42 large
vessels and the Fano yard generates "up to 145' of hull per year".

Ferretti's unit numbers are not readily located, but their product
line is comparable to Azimut's and their revenues somewhat lower
(about 7/8 of Azimut's according to IBI news' country data), so their
unit sales might reasonably be assumed to correspond to that figure.
Note that, as part of Ferretti's aggressive expansion, there is an
offer on the table for the company to be purchased by Impe Lux
S.a.r.l. and Coci S.p.a.  The arrival of two deeper-pocketed owners
will fuel Ferretti's growth, if approved.

Among other Italian builders, Cranchi and Fiart Mare are respected
internationally and focus on powerboats rather than luxury yachts. 
Fiart Mare built the first European fiberglass powerboat.  They also
stress their consideration of the needs of physically-challenged
boaters, which might predispose them to, say, hydraulic steering.  I
could not locate a website for Cranchi themselves, but Fiart Mare's is


Although Japan's unit sales have been very good, this is driven almost
entirely by PWC's.  Among the well-known Japanese builders, only
Yamaha has any significant presence in conventional boats.

Industry Canada has some statistics for the Japanese market (for
reasons which elude my understanding).  Although they date from the
mid-90's, you may find some points of interest.


Riviera Marine, as we'd both previously discovered, is the largest
Australian maker.  Their production had plateaued at 350 craft/year,
but their current expansion will bring them into the 500+ range.  This
would place them solidly among world leaders, comparable to the second
echelon of American builders.  For a profile of the company and
founder Bill Barry-Cotter, see this page at IBI News:

Their own website is here:

The bitter joke within the Australian industry is that, "there's
nothing another 200,000,000 people living on the coast couldn't fix". 
There are many good builders, but just not a big enough domestic
market.  Riviera exports 75% of its boats.

The Australian body, AMIF, makes an industry report available for
purchase through their website:

Search Strategy

The crucial information for the US market was provided to me, as
indicated above, by Mr. Dumont.  I'd uncovered Statistical Surveys
Inc. while researching your previous question, but this time went the
extra step of contacting them myself.

The majority of my searching consisted of sifting through sites I'd
found while researching your last question, and digging for new
information.  I also searched on the names of the various
manufacturers, in order to track down sales figures (where necessary)
and head office locations.

Summary (for now)

I think you'll have no difficulty deciding on ten likely candidates
for your marketing efforts, given the above.  I'd like to offer up a
few comments, though.

While I was not able to generate unit sales figures for all of the
builders above, I did so for the largest builders in absolute terms. 
I've included many smaller builders, particularly in non-US markets,
because they may be important for you once your marketing has
proceeded past the initial stages.

I will post this answer today, because as far as possible it contains
the information you'd requested.   I will follow up within a day or
two with some extra crumbs that may be of value, concerning non-US
markets.  I will also comb through my bookmarks in search of useful
information that did not make it into this report.

It was reassuring to note that the "kludge" methods of estimating
marketshare I'd suggested in your previous question seem to have been
fairly accurate.  The brands I'd seen most in's top 20 lists
were all present in the information I received from Mr. Dumont. 
Further, while following up your "track the engines" suggestion, I
came across this page which breaks down world sales for outboard

They show the US taking 350,000 of the 800,000 units sold worldwide. 
This would tend to corroborate my "guesstimate" that the US market
constitutes approximately 40% of the world market.

Thank you again for an interesting assignment.  Please let me know if
I've overlooked anything important.


Request for Answer Clarification by research_help-ga on 23 Aug 2002 06:35 PDT
I appreciate all the time you put into this. I have a concern though.
The only thing I needed and requested was a list of the top global
boat builders and their yearly unit production figure. The only list
like this in the answer is based on registrations from 23 U.S. states
for half of a year. It will be hard to justify a list of the world's
largest boat builders based only looking at 23 U.S. states for half of
a year.
As a clarification, how does Dumont who is counting boat registrations
know that he is only 53% complete? Did he say that or did you make an
assumption? This reminds me of the U.S. census who can say that 7.1%
of people did not respond. Well, if they know the totals, then what do
they need the census for? (The census example was just something that
amuses me, doesn't require an answer)

Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 23 Aug 2002 18:58 PDT
Hello again, research_help.

Re-reading my answer in the light of a new day, I could certainly
convict myself of clouding the issue with an overdose of "lagniappe",
as they call it in Louisiana... extra stuff thrown in as a bonus. 
Having been frustrated by a lack of good numbers to work from while
answering your previous question, I undoubtedly overcompensated.

In order to separate out the items you'd requested from the extras I
put in, let's take it from the top with your question as asked.

1) Who are the ten largest (by unit volume, not revenues) recreational
boat makers in the world?

The answer to this can legitimately be derived from the US market
numbers I'd provided in the above answer.  In all my searching, I was
unable to turn up any manufacturer other than Groupe Beneteau whose
unit production would rank with those on the US list.  IBI notes that
their Y2002 sales are projected to be 11,000 units total, up from
10,000 last year, which (assuming the ratio of sail:powered stays
constant) would put their production of powered boats into the 7,000
units range.  Regardless of how we extrapolate the preliminary US
numbers ( x2, x3, x3.5, x4, etc) Beneteau earns a place on the list.

2) [What] I need is a listing of the company names, their headquarter
location, and the number of recreational boats they make in a year.

See below for a re-ordered list of the top 10 builders, broken out
from the previous answer.  I observe that I'd neglected to provide you
with the headquarters for Beneteau, and so have included that now.

As for their global sales figures, this is more difficult.  The
unanimous response I've gotten to my inquiries is that, "no-one tracks
this globally".  The practical difficulties involved are significant:
Dick Dumont of SSI mentioned that they'd attempted to track data from
Canada and Mexico, but given it up as being more trouble than it was
worth.  His assessment received a resounding endorsement from
competitor Peter Houseworth of Info-Link (see below).  Even the IBI
News, which offers rough boat-use statistics in its "Key Countries"
list (see your previous question) is careful to point out that no two
countries use the same methodology to report sales and registrations.

This is not to say that we cannot come close, for our select handful
of companies.  Seven of the ten are US-based builders, which means
that their construction figures (regardless of where they're
ultimately sold) will be tracked by both SSI and Info-Link.  Hard
data, therefore, while not available for free, are in fact available. 
In the event that your company/client does not wish to pay for this
information, an approximation could be made by extrapolating from US
sales figures, as previously discussed.

The only attempt I've seen at listing the top boatbuilding nations by
unit production was the chart on the UCINA site, in Italy.  Although,
as I'd noted, they left Canada out of their reckoning, this looks to
be sound otherwise.  I don't know that tracking the engine
manufacturers would put as any further ahead, but I'm exploring that

It was Beneteau's construction figures that had been reported by IBI
news, and included in my answer.

Yamaha and Bombardier, then, are the two of our ten whose global
numbers will be difficult to establish.  Short of contacting the
companies directly, or wheedling information out of a dealer, the best
suggestion I can come up with is to compare their US sales for PWC to
those for "boats" per se.  Then apply that ratio to their global
revenues for the marine division, which should be a matter of public
record (their annual reports).  That should give you a reasonable
working approximation.

I will, of course, continue trying to nail this down for you.

3) [From clarification] I was trying to verify the data from a second

Today, as I was preparing this response, serendipity struck.  Since I
began work on your first question, I've been receiving daily e-mail
updates from Boating Industry International.  Today's update cited new
sales statistics from a company called Info-Link.  So, I contacted
them directly and sounded them out.

I spent the best part of an hour speaking with Info-Link's Peter
Houseworth, who was most obliging.  Like SSI, they derive their
statistics from state-by-state boating registrations.  Like SSI, they
have "bellwether" states (a slightly different selection, totalling
59% of the US market) that they track more closely, and more
frequently, than the full national numbers.  Where Info-Link differs
from SSI is in the range of information they track.  While both
companies track new boat sales by brand and builder, in a variety of
lengths, Info Link also tracks used boats and much more.  To speak
with them directly, contact Peter at:

Peter kindly gave me a guided tour of his on-line database of boating
statistics.  His numbers, to the extent that I saw them, coincided
with those we've been using from SSI.  Given that they use the same
sources, this is hardly surprising.  I did catch myself in one major
error, however.  Bombardier's sales are much higher than I'd thought,
totalling over 13,000 units for 2001 in their Sea-Doo jet boats alone,
(not PWC).  As I'd mentioned in my answer, they've also launched a
line of fish boats, which were not included in that number.  Obviously
this places Bombardier much higher in marketshare.

4) [From clarification] For example, if you could provide the 5-10
largest in Europe and Asia, and their numbers were not as high as the
top ten in the US, then that would be useful and helpful.

As previously discussed, the corrected top 10 list now includes one
Canadian company, one Japanese, and one French.  In order to give
extra value, I'd also attempted to provide some significant but lesser
players from the major markets.  I will cheerfully concede that I
might have done better at segregating this from the rest.

5) [From clarification] My preference would be to break it down by
individual line...

Again, a bit of lagniappe...I had the US data sliced both ways, and so
provided it in separate lists.

6) [From answer clarification request] It will be hard to justify a
list of the world's largest boat builders based only looking at 23
U.S. states for half of
a year.  As a clarification, how does Dumont who is counting boat
know that he is only 53% complete? Did he say that or did you make an

As mentioned above, SSI and Info-Link use a system of "bellwether"
states to track sales more dynamically.  Each company has put together
its own list of states which include core markets and smaller markets,
balanced by region.  Some states, also, are simply better at reporting
their data in a timely fashion.  The two companies have selected
states which, in their experience, provide a well-balanced microcosm
of the national market.  By narrowing their focus, SSI and Info-Link
are able to provide useable data to their clients in a timelier

As to their apparently clairvoyant knowledge that they'd covered 53%
and 59% of the market respectively, I can offer an illustration from
my own experience.  I spent many years working for a major retail
electronics chain.  We had a month-by-month sales quota, based on our
overall sales target for the year.  Head office knew, from years of
experience, that October would account for "X"% of the year's total,
while February (for example) would be considerably lower.  In the same
way, if my business was collecting the identical data state-by-state
every year, I would certainly know after a few years which states
would account for which percentages, within perhaps a few points of

In the covering e-mail he sent me with his figures, Mr. Dumont did
indicate that there might be minor fluctuation in the placement of
some companies, once the final figures are prepared.  I have left a
message with him asking how best to extrapolate a yearly number from
these preliminary data, in case my "multiply by four" ballpark is not
accurate.  I reasoned that, with Q1 & Q4 being the off-season and Q2 &
Q3 being peak season, the first and second halves of the year should
roughly mirror each other.  If this is not the case, I should know
shortly and will post an improved rule of thumb for you ASAP.

Summary, and revised top 10

So, the top builders would be:

Beneteau          Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, France
Marine Products

The final three names on the list may be somewhat arbitrary, but I'll
explain my reasoning.  If you look at the top builders in my original
answer, you will find a group of six with unit sales roughly in the
1600-1750 range YTD:  Alumacraft, Smoker, Xpress, Carolina Skiff,
Marine Products, and Triton; all of whom would fall into a US-only top
10.  Since these builders are all within 151 units of each other based
on YTD US sales, we may reasonably assume that the three with the
biggest non-US presence would be the more significant players in the
global context.  So, I looked up the following on the individual
companies' sites:

Builder             Sources of Non-US Sales

Alumacraft       15 Canadian dealers, one in Netherlands
Smoker           15 Canadian dealers, one in Netherlands, one in
Xpress Boats      0 Non-US dealers listed
Carolina Skiff    0 Non-US dealers listed
Marine Products  10 Canadian dealers, and one each in Belgium,
Denmark, Egypt,                            Germany, Greece, Hong Kong,
Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico,                             Russia,
Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UK, and Venezuela
Triton            5 Canadian dealers, 3 in Japan, 1 in Puerto Rico,
and 1 in Spain

And chose Alumacraft, Smoker, and Marine Products accordingly.  

As stated above, no other European or Japanese player I've been able
to locate would crack the top ten based on unit sales.  The larger
Japanese builders seem to be primarily in the PWC market, while the
larger European builders (ie Dufour, Azimut/Benetti) derive the bulk
of their income either from sailing boats or small numbers of
mega-yachts.  If you wish to provide me with a cutoff date for
supplemental information (ie, the last date at which you could make
minor changes in your own report) I will keep digging until that time,
in the name of thoroughness.

So, while the above figures are not hard-and-fast, they are much
better than I was able to muster for your previous question.  As
regards the individual builders, the top seven names on the above list
should be unimpeachable, and the lower three are at least logical

You may be able to glean further useful information from a service
like Hoover's, who can also provide information on the individuals to
contact within a given company, depending on what you wish to sell to
them.  Here are the links to Hoover's capsule reports on:






Marine Products,2163,103376,00.html

Capsules are not available for Alumacraft or Smoker, but detailed
reports (for purchase) are.  Hoover's has no information available for
Tracker or Godfrey.

As a final note, Info-Link's Mr. Houseworthy was at some pains to
point out that, because of the greater quantity of information they
track, he would be able to provide you with data to narrow down your
marketing demographically, regionally, by hull/propulsion type, or in
any other way that makes sense to you.  Further, because they track
used boats, he is in a position to provide similar assistance as
regards the aftermarket/retrofit market.  He may be reached at (305)
661-3030, or at the e-mail address given above.

I hope this makes things more coherent for you.  By all means, get
back in touch if I can be of further assistance.


Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 23 Aug 2002 19:05 PDT
I apologise for the jumbled table toward the bottom of my
clarification.  If you cut it and paste it into a word processor, and
change to a monospaced font such as courier, things should line back
up properly.

Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 26 Aug 2002 07:27 PDT
Good morning Research_help!

I've received a reply from Mr. Dumont at SSI, regarding total boat
sales in the US market.

As befits a "stats guy", he was reluctant to countenance any sort of
rough rule-of-thumb guideline to arrive at a total.  Instead, he
volunteered his final numbers from 2001:

Aluminum boats:     126,000
Fiberglass boats:   170,700

For a total of 296,700 boats in the category you're concerned with. 
Note that these are new boat sales only, and fiberglass boats only of
14' and above.  These numbers include no PWC.

If we turn to the Italian UCINA site, we see a figure of 573,100 boats
built in the US during 2000.  A large percentage of these would be
PWC, the balance exports.  No other nation charted could muster even
1/10 of that figure.  Interestingly, Australia is third on this chart
at over 37,000 boats.  I say interestingly, because we've already
ascertained that Riviera is their largest-volume builder at 350

I am still attempting to track down some sales figures for the
Canadian market, but they are proving elusive.  Apparently these
statistics are still tracked on paper, here in the Great White North,
which might account for the scarcity of any numbers newer than the
mid-1990's.  This is frustrating, given the size of the Canadian
market.  However, with Princecraft now being part of the Brunswick
empire, I doubt we'll turn up another Canadian builder of any

I have found references to a "strong regional market" in the Arab
countries, serviced by builders in Bahrain and the United Arab
Emirates.  These builders have been known primarily for
low-to-moderate quality fiberglass boats sold at very low prices.  I
don't know whether any of these makers would be significant in terms
of unit sales, but through the day I'll see what I can find in

That's all I've got for you at present, but if I turn up anything else
useful I'll let you know immediately.


Request for Answer Clarification by research_help-ga on 05 Sep 2002 09:35 PDT
I am still going through this answer and it has been very helpful. I
am writing this request for clarification to let you know about a new
question I have asked for "information on marine company"
You may have the contacts to answer this question.

Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 05 Sep 2002 10:19 PDT
Thanks for the heads-up!  I'll look for it now...


Request for Answer Clarification by research_help-ga on 06 Sep 2002 12:09 PDT
I'm sorry to request this clarification so long after you last thought
about this, but I've been reading and rereading this for hours now and
I can't seem to get the list that I'm looking for out of it for my
final report. Would it be possible for you to give me just a list, no
explanations or anything else needed, just with the top boat builders,
their unit volumes of powered boats, and their headquarter locations? 
I realize for some of the unit volumes, estimates or guesses were
needed but that is fine.  Thank you for all your time.

Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 06 Sep 2002 13:15 PDT
I'm running between my course and my Friday-evening volunteer shift,
so I don't have time to pull together a "clean" table for you
immediately, but will do so later tonight.


Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 07 Sep 2002 18:26 PDT
Hello again, rh.

I apologize for not posting this last night, but I was simply too
tired to think by the time I got home.  It was a long day. I had to
smile when I first read your note, though.  In the last several weeks,
I've not gone more than five or six hours without picking away at this

Here is your table.  I've broken it up into two sections, brand/HQ;
and brand/sales figures; to avoid formatting problems.  I've
rearranged the order slightly, but the brands are the same.

Builder           Headquarters

Genmar            Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA 
Brunswick         Knoxville, Tennessee, USA 
Tracker Marine    Springfield, Missouri, USA 
Godfrey Marine    Elkhart, Indiana, USA 
Yamaha            Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan 
Bombardier        Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Alumacraft        St. Peter Minnesota/Arkadelphia Arkansas, USA
Smoker Craft      New Paris, Indiana, USA 
XPress Boats      Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA 
Carolina Skiff    Waycross, Georgia, USA 
Marine Products   Atlanta, Georgia, USA 
Triton            Ashland City, Tennessee, USA 
Leisure Life      Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA 
Beneteau          Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez, France 

Except for the first column the sales figures are quite tenuous. 
Unfortunately, I don't see any way around this unless ICOMIA's paid
report gets into unit sales figures.  Working from the data I'd used
in answering your questions, I've extrapolated the following very
rough figures (assumptions and methodology below, should you wish to
change anything):

Builder           YTD/US     Projected     Global
                             '02 Total*   "Guesstimate"**

Genmar            15,988     49,722        124,305
Brunswick         10,864     33,787         84,467
Tracker Marine     8,937     27,794         69,485
Bombardier***          ?     13,000         32,500
Godfrey Marine     3,555     11,056         27,640
Yamaha             3,341     10,390         25,975
Alumacraft         1,747      5,433         13,582
Smoker Craft       1,688      5,249         13,122
Carolina Skiff     1,689      5,252         13,130
XPress Boats       1,667      5,184         12,960
Marine Products    1,658      5,156         12,890
Triton             1,596      4,963         12,407
Leisure Life       1,239      3,853          9,632
Beneteau             n/a        n/a          7,000  

*1) The total unit sales in the US for 2001 were, as stated
previously, 296,700 boats (fiberglass over 14', all aluminum, no PWC).
 2) The 2002 YTD figures given by SSI indicate a cumulative total of
95,262 to the end of June, for their "bellwether" states.
 3) Dividing last year's total by this year's preliminary total leaves
us with a divisor of 3.11
 4) Multiplying the YTD sales for each builder by 3.11 gives us a
rough projection of US sales.
 5) The US boat market is slightly down from 2001, but the post-9/11
meltdown in 2001 will likely allow this years' sales to catch up.

**1) Derived from our estimate, in the answer to your previous
question, that the US market constituted roughly 40% of the world
market.  This assumption has many obvious flaws, but until something
better turns up it will serve as a yardstick, at least.
  2) The figure provided for Beneteau is extrapolated from their 2001
production level, and their expansion plans for 2002. (see answer

*** 1) There is a significant discrepancy between the YTD number SSI
offers for Bombardier, and that offered by Info-Link.  This may be a
question of how the hull lengths are tracked (13', 14', etc). 
Info-Link showed Bombardier at 13,000+ for sales of their Sea-Doo jet
boat line (*not* PWC) in 2001, and since Info-Link track a higher
level of detail, this is the number I've used.

The builders I've listed below the dotted line are just outside the
top ten, but are among the significant builders nonetheless.  Also
they fall well within the (ghastly) range of error I'm working with. 
You may be able to ascertain from the builders' respective annual
reports which ones sell the most overseas, and use that information to
cross-check this list.

I hope this helps!  If you need anything further (I presume you're
trying to finish this over the weekend) just ask, I should be around
most of the day tomorrow.


Request for Answer Clarification by research_help-ga on 09 Sep 2002 06:52 PDT
Thank you for all the time you spent on this question. Unfortunately,
I know the correct global totals for a couple of the top 10 through
direct sources at the companies and the projections and guessed totals
are quite a bit off (>50%)which makes it difficult to use the rest of
the numbers. However, I will use the list as a list of major companies
without the unit numbers.

Clarification of Answer by chromedome-ga on 09 Sep 2002 12:11 PDT
Thank you for your kind words... unfortunately it was a "bricks
without straw" scenario much of the way.  Hopefully I provided you
with enough usable information to be worthwhile.

As a final aside, German manufacturer Hille-Boote is mentioned in some
sites I've seen as a significant player in smaller (<25') power boats.
 I've been unable to track down anything in English, but they may be
worth investigating.

research_help-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
Spent a lot of time and tried to estimate data that was difficult to
obtain. Thank you.

Subject: Re: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
From: chromedome-ga on 14 Aug 2002 07:02 PDT
Hello again!

I'd been trying to find something like this for you already; a) to
complement my answer to your previous question, and b) in case you
came back with another one :) .

I'm waiting on replies to a few e-mails at present.  Of course, if
another researcher manages to turn up something that I couldn't,
that's good, too!

Subject: Re: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
From: helpline-ga on 14 Aug 2002 07:27 PDT
Hi -

Here's a response from the National Marine Manufacturers Association. 
The company he refers to:

Statistical Surveys Inc.
1693 Sutherland Dr SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508 
Phone: 616-281-9898


From: James Petru <JPETRU@NMMA.ORG>

Suggest you try Statistical Surveys Inc. in Grand Rapids Michigan for
US manufacturers. I am not aware of anyone collecting worldwide
manufacturer numbers.

Jim Petru
Manager of Market Statistics
Subject: Re: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
From: chromedome-ga on 16 Aug 2002 07:50 PDT
Thank you for your quick response!  I'd assumed as much, but wanted to
be clear. I have a pretty good notion now of which companies I need
numbers for, and have several inquiries in the works.  If I am able to
get firm numbers for more than ten leading builders, I will throw
those in as well.

I'm also plugging away at the centrifugal pumps question, by the way. 
It looks like I may be able to turn up some figures through government

Subject: Re: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
From: missred-ga on 17 Aug 2002 07:50 PDT

this might be a good read
Subject: Re: Recreational boat makers - largest by volume
From: chromedome-ga on 27 Aug 2002 10:25 PDT
Further to yesterday's comments, I've tracked down a three builders in
the Middle East.  Although they are not nearly large enough to crack
the top ten, at least two of the three (found no data for the third)
are producing very substantial numbers of boats.

Al Shaali Marine, of the United Arab Emirates, manufactures fiberglass
boats from 14' to 65', and claims annual production averaging 500

Gulf Craft, also in the UAE, claims production of 600 vessels per year
in 19 models, up to and including an Italian-designed megayacht.  They
boast of being the largest builder in the mid-East.

Pearl Craft, located in Bahrain, manufactures a line of eight models
for civilian and military use.  They do not indicate the extent of
their sales, and I did not find any further information on
english-language sites.

This report on the Kuwaiti market, written by the US Dept of Commerce,
notes that the Kuwaiti buyer (and presumably, those in other affluent
Arab countries) accessorize their boats heavily.  This makes the
relatively low purchase price of regionally-built boats attractive,
since large amounts of upgrading will be done.  If you are interested
in aftermarket sales (as per your previous question) this region, and
these builders, may be an interesting market for you.

A chance reference on one of these Industry Canada reports led me to
ICOMIA, the International Council of Marine Industry Associations. 
Although not every country or region is represented, ICOMIA is the
closest thing I have found to a global resource for the boating
industry.  The link below will take you to their statistics page,
which offers for sale a report on the global recreational boating
industry for Y2000, the most recent available.  You will also wish to
look at the "full" and "sustaining" members, to get a feel for who is
or is not represented.


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