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2005 first-half results show promise in boat trading

The Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show continues its growth trend with an all-time record number of sailboats on display.

The Helsinki Boat-Afloat Show, held at HSK Yacht Club in the Helsinki suburb of Lauttasaari, has now been organised there for the eighth time. In all, there are over 200 smallcraft and motorboats and 63 sailboats on display, as well as a wide selection of boating equipment, other products and marine engines displayed in a 2200 m2 land-based exhibition area. The event is overwhelmingly Finland's largest boat-industry outdoor exhibition.

The first half of 2005 indicates excellent prospects for the marine industry

Smallcraft and motorboat unit statistics for January-June 2005 indicate that, overall, 13,7% more boats were delivered than for the corresponding period in 2004. Enterprises who participated in Finnboat's statistical survey reported that for the period in question 8986 boats (+12,1%) were delivered on the domestic market and 7020 units exported (+15,9%). On the domestic market 8381 boats (+12,2%) below 6 meters were sold. In the 6-8 meter class 504 boats were delivered (+16.6%) and in the class 8-10 meters 89 (+18,6%). In the largest category, i.e. the over 10-meter class, the deliveries have been decreasing for the first half of the year. Compared with the period January-June 2004, during which time 40 units were delivered, this year's corresponding figure for such boats was 12. These unit figures do not include sailboats, since statistics for yacht sales are not available at this time of the year. In 2004, 155 new yachts (over 26 feet) were sold in Finland. In euro terms, and taking into consideration the decline in demand for large boats, it can be forecast that the value of boat sales on the domestic market will not increase this year.

Boat exports for the corresponding period were as follows:
Below 6 meters 5878 units (+14,2%)
6-8 meters    980 units (+26,1%)
8-10 meters 134 units (+31,2%)
Over 10 meters 28 units (-3,5%)

Based on statistics for the period January-May 2005, Sweden continues to be clearly the number one export destination with a 25% share. Norway is second with 24% and Great Britain third (10%).

During the January-May period boats were imported in unit terms mostly from Sweden (334 units) and in euro terms from the USA (3,1 million euros). During the period in question, the total number of boats imported amounted to 1508 units (+30,9%). They were valued at 18,8 million euros (+29%).

Combined boat industry and trade turnover for 2004 was approx. EUR 450 million based on the net sales figures provided by Finnboat member enterprises. Of this sum, industry exports amounted to about EUR 200 million.

Trade in outboard engines

In accordance with wholesale delivery statistics for the first half of 2005, outboard engine sales have been very positive. For the period January to June, altogether 21,346 outboard engines were delivered to retail dealers. This is 19,5% more than for the corresponding period in 2004. Of engines sold, 64% were of the four-stroke variety. As for traditional two-stroke engines, 7218 were delivered, i.e. 35% of total engine sales. In Finland, the average size of outboard engines sold remains small with 62% of total sales being below 15 hp. During the period under review, 298 engines of over 150 hp were sold.

Tougher requirements for marine engines

The EU 94/25/EY Recreational Craft Directive, which came into force on 16.06.1998, defines the essential structural and safety specifications for boats introduced to the markets of the EU. A supplement to this directive also defined the limits on exhaust emissions and noise levels for marine engines. These stipulations apply to products introduced to the market after the transition period. Meeting these limits is the responsibility of the manufacturer and the provisions do not in any way apply retroactively to the current stock of engines in use.

Diesel engines and four-stroke petrol engines must fulfil the requirements of the directive with effect from 01.01.2006 and two-stroke petrol engines ith effect from 01.01.2007. From these dates respectively, engines must be manufactured and installed such that, under normal operation, the limits mentioned in the directive concerning carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon and nitric oxide are not exceeded. Additionally, the quantity of particles is measured in diesel engines.

With respect to noise, a leisure boat, in which there is an inboard engine or a sterndrive engine that is not equipped with a fixed exhaust pipe, and a personal water craft, an outboard engine and an inboard engine equipped with an exhaust pipe must be designed, manufactured and installed such that, in uniform standard conditions and in accordance with defined tests, the measured noise levels do not exceed the limits as defined in the table. In this respect also, the responsibility lies with the boat and engine manufacturer. Measurements must be carried out by means of the reference boat system (the so-called drive-past test) in accordance with the ISO standard.

For further information, please contact:

Managing Director Jouko Huju
tel. 040 550 9310

Finnish Marine Industries Federation Finnboat
Käenkuja 8 A 47, FI-00500 Helsinki