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The Spring 2012 Boat Show

After the recession hit, cautious Americans were not exactly running to break out the fishing tackle box and shell out cash for a new boat. In fact, new boat sales plunged about 55 percent as boaters scaled back their spending and bought pre-owned models instead.

But as the winter boat show season began in New York City on Jan. 4, manufacturers and dealers have reason to be optimistic. Consumers appear to be testing the boat-buying waters again, and industry officials predict new boat sales will have ended 2011 higher for the first time in five years.

Because industry sales are still slow, this could be an ideal time to take a dip in the market.

Click ahead for highlights from this year's New York boat show.

By Katie Little
Posted 6 January 2012

Photo: Tiara Yachts