in 2004. About 23% of all boats produced in 2003 were motor yachts, between 30 to 80 ft. in length, remaining
fairly consistent compared to 24% in
2005 and 23% again back in 2004.
Another 4% of diesel powerboats produced in North America in 2003 were
trawlers, down from 5% in 2005 and
7% in 2004. Many trawlers sold in the
U.S. are produced in the Far East and
imported to the U.S. Considerable production has been shifted from Taiwan
to China in recent years. About 5% of
the boats are a combination of
launch/tenders, most of which are large
diesel-powered rigid hull inflatables
(RHIBs) propelled with either a sterndrive or jet drive configuration. This percent has been very consistent at 5 to
6% over the years.
The remaining group is superyachts or megayachts that comprise
just 1% of all production annually and
typically source twin engines 1400 hp
or more each. These custom luxury
yachts are 80 ft. and longer and by
Power Products Marketing’s count,
numbered 62 built in the U.S. and
Canada during 2006, when it was
determined the engines were actually
laid. This compares to 56 in 2005 and
43 in 2004. The high-water mark was
in 2000, during which 80 superyachts
were built in North American yards.
Thereafter, the market declined
steadily until the bottom in 2004. In
the future, some of this custom production could be moving to China to
save on labor costs.
The top 10 diesel powerboat builders in terms of numbers of boats produced in 2003 were Sea Ray, Main-ship (including Luhrs and Silverton),
U.S. Marine (Meridian, Bayliner and
Maxum), S2 (Tiara and Pursuit lines),
KCS (Cruisers and Rampage lines),
Carver, Regal, Albin, Cabo and
Viking. All produced over 100 boats
last year and have been consistently
in the top 10 since at least 2000.
The top five builders together
accounted for 44% of all North
American 2006 diesel powerboat production, which hasn’t changed much
over time. The top 10 builders as a
group comprised 58% of the total vs.
61% in 2005 and 62% in 2004.
Brunswick’s entire Boat Group,
which comprises Sea Ray, U.S. Marine, Hatteras, Albemarle and Cabo,
produced over 1400 diesel-powered
boats in 2006, representing nearly
30% of the total North American production, up from 25% several years
ago prior to the Albemarle and Cabo
Propulsion Engine Trends
Of the 4950 boats produced during 2006, Power Products Marketing determined that there were
about 8750 diesel propulsion engines sourced compared to about
9400 in 2005 and 8650 engines in
2004 and 7500 units annually between 2001 and 2003.