The 2010 Sailing Market State of the Industry report on 2009 sales was recently released by The Sailing Company (Cruising World and Sailing World) and the numbers it contained were dreadful. 7,076 sailboats were built in 2009 down 4,351 boats from 11,427 in 2008.
6,055 boats were built in the under 20ft category (down from 9,160 in 2008) while only 1,021 boats over 20ft were built (down 1,246 boats from 2267 in ’08). Imports suffered as well with only 240 boats over 20ft coming in versus 358 in 2008. The one bit of “good” news, depending on which side of the Atlantic you sit, was that 113 multihulls over 20ft in length were imported in 2009 down only 1 boat from the 114 in 2008. In comparison 62 multihulls over 20ft were built in North America in 2009.
Small wonder then that Sally Helme, the new President of Sail America and Publisher, Sailing Company, announced a new initiative by Sail America to reach out to the sailing industry at large and ask what Sail America can do to better support their businesses. Sally was unusually blunt in the announcement when she said “This new initiative is critical for all of us. “Business as usual” won’t cut it, and we are all challenged to re-invent our business models in order to survive and prosper.” The intent is to conduct a series of roundtable discussions by industry segment in order that Sail America can focus on the unique challenges and concerns of those segments. Highlights of the overall findings will be shared at the Sail America Industry Conference slated to be held in Annapolis in June of this year.
It will be interesting to see which companies, if any, are listening and truly re-invent their businesses.
Posted by: James