But the industry is not out of the hole just yet. In 2005, the year Fountain Powerboats CEO John Walker refers to as "the golden days," there were 404,000 new boat registrations, according to Statistical Surveys. By 2010, registrations dropped to 184,766. Since that low, the registrations climbed each year, reaching 205,000 in 2013. Registrations are used as a proxy number for sales since all new boats must be legally registered.
"The new reality is this: there is kind of a little bit of a rebound in the marine industry, if you do year-by- year comparisons," said Kloppe. That said, there's plenty of room for improvement in order to return to pre-recession levels.
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