Statistics and Facts on Recreational Boating
Recreational boating is a popular leisure activity in the U.S. More than 82 million U.S. adults participated in recreational boating
in 2011, 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, 12.2 million recreational boating vessels were registered
in the U.S. in 2011. 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