There’s big growth in the boat market and Polaris wants a piece of the action. Polaris recently acquired fishing boat maker Larson Boat Group. Last May, Polaris purchased pontoon boat maker Boat Holdings. Polaris also purchased part of a tournament fishing organization in November.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association recently said new powerboat sales in 2018 hit their highest level since 2007, or some 280,000 boats, a 4% increase over the year before. Total annual U.S. sales of boats, marine products, and services was up 5% to $41 billion in 2018, and the NMMA sees powerboat sales growing another 3% to 4% this year.
Polaris’ existing customers enjoy boating — it says 30% of them already own a boat, and Polaris is no newcomer to the boating industry, though it sold off its personal watercraft and powerboat business in 2004.
More investment in new UTVs would be more exciting initially, but Polaris’ return to the boat business could result in more financial horsepower and technology for the company to develop new UTVs.