Back in the 1960’s, Boat Shows were dominated by sailboats displayed with sails up. Some power boats made up a small part of the Shows.
Over the decades that followed, we saw the opposite swing to almost all power with some sail, then to all power with only a few sailboats.
We have seen a move over time to smaller family boats as older family members with yachts passed on. Now, the highest percentage of boats purchased are smaller boats—much different than the larger yachts that were in demand decades ago. There have been huge swings in size, price and style.
As the outdoor recreational economy now seems to be outpacing the overall economic growth, more confidence is encouraging more and more people to get on board and go boating.
All signs are positive and point to strong recreational boating growth.
For more good news……
In 2018, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the trend is 95% of boats on the water (powerboats, sailboats and personal watercraft) are less than 26’. Boaters like the option of trailering their boats to local waterways.
The NNMA expects ski, wake boats, pontoons and personal watercraft to be more and more in demand this year—up 5%-7%, while cruisers between 22’ and 32’ are on an upward trend as well.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis February 2018 released the following stats at the Miami International Boat Show:
- US GNP is up 2.8%
- Outdoor Recreation (including boating and fishing) is up 3.8%
- Boating and Fishing alone are up a full 4%
- Outdoor recreation share of overall economy represents 2% (higher than mining)
- Mining contributes 1.5% of GDP
- Agriculture accounts for 1% of the GDP
All the marine trade publications’ articles are full of positive outlooks by all the leaders in the industry. They are saying things like:
- “I see positive momentum in the marine industry”
- “we are making it easier for new boaters to get involved”
- “we’re confident in the growth outlook for 2018”
- “2017 performance and economic trends, point to a generally positive 2018”
- “we have embraced the concept of ease of use”
- “most in this industry will experience healthy growth in 2018 (and likely 2019 and 2020)”
- “consumer confidence at a 17 year high”
- “attendance at boat shows both large and small has been increasing”
- “a broader measure of interest in boating and boat buying can be seen in Google trends over time”
- “the future looks bright for the boating industry in 2018.
- “Consumer confidence is strong, boats and engines are selling and there’s nothing better than being out on the water”
- “We’re projecting a strong 2018”
According to Trade Only Today, 2017 finished on a high note. Statistical Surveys, Inc. states that the boat industry saw its highest unit sales count in 2017 since the recession.
Electric boats saw a 25.7% increase in sales, followed by Custom yacht sales up 10.3%, Pontoon up 7.8%, Outboards up 6.0%, and PWC up 5.1%. The biggest reduction is sales was sailboats, down an unbelievable 26.7%.
With so much optimism and enthusiasm about power boating,
all the signs are indicating it is a great time to go boating and
a great time to get into boating.
The whole industry is there to help you.
So, step off the dock, come on aboard and join the fun of family boating.
Boat Buying Tips
For seasoned boaters wanting another boat, or first time buyers, arm yourself with knowledge and avoid the costly boat buying mistakes.
Docking and Handling Made Easy
To shorten the learning curve to handle and dock your new boat,
- Get the right instruction
- From the right instructor
- Practice the right instruction
Then, you’ll dock like a pro in no time.