Recreational Boating - Statistics & Facts

Recreational Boating - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts on Recreational Boating

Recreational boating is a popular leisure activity in the U.S. More than 88 million U.S. adults participated in recreational boating in 2013, using a boat for (sports) activities such as fishing and water skiing and/or to travel.


The U.S. recreational boating market had an estimated retail value of almost 37 billion U.S. dollars in 2013. 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, 11.99 million recreational boating vessels were registered in the U.S. in 2013. 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 517 thousand in 2010. In the following years the number of new boats sold has kept steady at around the level of 2010. Sales of pre-owned boats have remained relatively stable over that period (1,004 thousand in 2006 / 955 thousand in 2013). 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 (61.1%), their spouse (54.2%) and/or their children (44.9%).
Picture: freeimages.com / mzacha

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