Recreational Boating: Statistics and Facts

Recreational Boating - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and Data on Recreational Boating

Recreational boating is a popular leisure activity in the U.S. About 88 million U.S. adults participated in recreational boating in 2012, using a boat for (sports) activities such as fishing and water skiing and/or to travel.


The total retail value of the U.S. recreational boating market was at about 32 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. Sales of new recreational boats amounted to just over six billion U.S. dollars. Retail sales of pre-owned recreational boats had a value of about 8.85 billion U.S. dollars.

In total, 12.1 million recreational boating vessels were registered in the U.S. in 2012. These boats are classified into several categories: sailboats, personal watercrafts, sterndrive boats, inboard boats and outboard boats.

The number of new boats sold has declined sharply since 2006. While in 2006 more than 900 thousand new boats were sold, this number amounted to about 525 thousand in 2011. Sales of pre-owned boats have remained relatively stable over that period (1,004 thousand in 2006 / 910 thousand in 2011). Although the sales volumes have declined the average sales price of several boat types has increased. Among those boat categories are, for example, sterndrive boats, ski/wakeboard boats and inboard boats (cruisers).

The majority (46.5%) of U.S. boat owners spend under 500 U.S. dollars on boating per year. These expenses include fuel, finance payments, accessories, maintenance, repair and upgrades. The most popular boating activities include fishing from a boat, cruising, socializing while on a boating trip and swimming/diving from a boat. Most often boaters are accompanied by friends (63.1%), their spouse (47%), colleagues (40%) and/or their children (36%).
Photo: sxc.hu / mzacha

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Top Statistics about Recreational boating in the U.S. - Statista Dossier 2013

Our editorially prepared study "Recreational boating in the U.S. - Statista Dossier 2013" contains all relevant facts and statistics on "Recreational Boating". You can find a short summary down below.
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  • Boats in Use & Participation in Boating
  • Value of U.S. Boating Market
  • Number of Boats Sold
  • Average Sales Price - by Boat Type
  • The Boating Consumer
  • Boating and High Income Households
  • Boating Accidents

Popular Statistics about Recreational Boating
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