Has the boating industry really returned to the level it was before the crisis?

Boating revenue up

On the occasion of the traditional back-to-school conference of the Federation of Nautical Industries (FIN), Yves Lyon-Caen, its president, presented the statistics of the profession for the year 2018. The sector's cumulative turnover in 2018 exceeded 5 billion euros to reach 5.09 billion euros. The increase is +5% compared to 2017. The number of new boats sold in France increased by 3.4% and the number of used boats by 3.5%.

The share of exports is still increasing. It reached 76.4% in 2017/2018, compared to 75.1% the previous year. The European Union and distant export each account for about half of these international boat sales.

Recruitment issues

The number of employees in boating companies increased by +3.6% compared to 2018. In its presentation, FIN announces the creation of 1000 jobs per year over the last 3 years in the sector. The trend is expected to continue. 70% of manufacturers plan to recruit in 2019-2020, including 45% on permanent contracts.

These job offers are mainly linked to the dynamism of the market, through the growth of existing companies or the creation of new companies, as well as to retirement, particularly in the recreational boat construction sector. As a result, recruitment is difficult. The most critical areas are the use of composite materials and the interior layout of boats.

To meet these needs, FIN is announcing several initiatives. In particular, it wishes to create an initial nautical construction training course with the National Education Department and work on the adaptation of the sector's 12 Professional Qualification Certificates to meet market needs.

Discover the BoatIndustry nautical sector job site on EmploiBateau.com

How does this compare to the 2008 pre-crisis period?

FIN also welcomes the return of yachting to levels higher than those preceding the 2008 crisis. Indeed, the turnover of 5.09 billion euros exceeds that of 4.9 billion in 2008. But the size of the boats has increased significantly and so has their price. As a result, the number of sailboats and motor units sold remains lower than in 2008. The number of boat owners is therefore more limited. If boat rental partially compensates for this trend, builders could find themselves in a vulnerable position. The current events of the year and the liquidation of several manufacturers unfortunately showed the difficulty for small yards selling few units to face potential problems with a buyer.

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