The recreational boating industry’s leading trade group, National Marine Manufacturers Association, claimed today findings from its yearly Recreational Sailing Statistical Abstract. The Abstract exposes of the 231.5 million adults living in the US in 2010, 32.4 %, or seventy five million folk, took part in recreational boating. This is the highest proportion of collusion in recreational cruising since 1999 when 33.4 % of adults were boating participators. These 75 million boaters represent an increase of fourteen % compared to the recessionary year of 2009, which saw 65.9 million boaters. NMMA also reports the 75 million North Americans who took to the water in 2010 helped keep the industry afloat. Aftermarket accessory sales increased six % to $2.4 bln (from $2.3 bln in 2009) and spending per boat averaged $147 for 2010, also up six percent from 2009. NMMA notes there are a projected 17,000,000 boats in use in the United States.
“In spite of decreases in new ship sales last year, the industry remains alive and well as existing boaters took to the water in unheard-of numbers and had a willingness to spend on their boats and sailing outings,” notes Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA. “Increases in collaboration and spending on the O.E.M equal good news for the industry as it tells us boating remains a pastime Americans aren’t willing to forego in periods of economic recession.” What’s more, boaters increased their spending on operating costs (insurance, docking, fuel, maintenance and sailing outings) by 3.6 % from $8.4 million in 2009 to $8.7 million in 2010 and on new boat trailers by 15 p.c, from $88 million in 2009 to $102 million in 2010. Impact of Gas Prices In Aug 2008, at the beginning of the recession, when gas costs were last above $4 per gallon, NMMA and Michigan State University’s Recreational Sea Research Center conducted an evaluation of 2,211 powerboat owners who went sailing between Jan and July 2008. The survey discovered that 99 percent continued to go sailing in 2008 regardless of rising fuel costs. Actually cruising participation increased six % in 2008 to seventy million (from 66 million in 2007). “We think boaters to continue sailing this summer as economic signals which impact boating habits, for example patron confidence and consumer spending, are faring far better than they were three years back when we last saw $4 per gallon fuel prices,” notes Dammrich. “Boaters are enthusiastic about being on the water and historically have found paths to adapt to fuel price raises by operating their boats at lower speeds, reducing cruising distances, and reducing idling time so they can still enjoy spending quality time on their boat with buddies and relatives.
For most boaters, good weather and favorable cruising conditions generally overshadow fuel prices when it comes to determining whether to get out on the water.” Ship Sales There were 1,118,130 total power and sail boats sold in 2010 (not including canoes and canoes) a four p.c decrease compared to 2009. New power and sail boat unit sales totaled 188,230 in 2010, a cut back of 10 percent matched against 2009’s dip in unit sales of 35 p.c, signaling that the rate of decline for new ship sales is slowing – a welcome sign for the industry. There were 929,900 second hand boats sold in 2010, a cut of 2.4 p.c matched against 2009, a likely result of continuing stored up requirement for boats and consumers searching for lower price points in the previously owned market. In the new ship market, outboard boats, frequently little fishing or water-based sports boats, fared best, declining just 4 % compared with 2009. There were 112, 800 new outboard boats sold in 2010. In the pre-owned market, sterndrive boats, sometimes boats less than twenty-six feet long remained steady, rocketing .03 p.c compared to 2009. There were 175,800 total pre-owned sterndrive boats sold in 2010. Overall, recreational sailing retail expenditures for boats, engines, trailers, accessories and services totaled $30.4 bill in 2010, an one percent decline from the year before.
Signals of a Recovery Throughout the winter when the industry holds ship shows around the country, NMMA, the biggest boat show producer in the U.S, saw 70 percent of its 15 winter ship shows increase attending, an indicator that purchasers were returning. Echoing these attendance increases, exhibitors at NMMA shows reported improved sales over last year, robust leads and more guests looking to make a purchase. Another signal the industry is climbing out of the recession is a renewed target its countrywide marketing campaign, Discover Sailing free press releases . The campaign, which launched in 2005, is the industry’s official nationwide public awareness effort to help North Americans get started in sailing. The industry credits its campaign with helping strengthen sailing participation in 2006, 2007 and 2008. As a result of the downturn, the industry was forced to cut down efforts in 2009 and 2010. This summer, however, the Discover Boating campaign is being re-ignited with a new theme titled “Welcome to the Water” engineered to spur the existing 75 million U.S. Boaters to share their passion for cruising by inviting their buddies and family to the water.
The campaign will include a new, intensive Facebook effort, web promoting, digital promoting elements and public relations. Regional Rebound The Great Lakes area remained one of the strongest for new boat, engine, trailer, accessory and services sales in 2010 with six out of the 8 Great Lakes states seeing expansion and the remaining two seeing just single digit declines. In order of sales expansion : Pennsylvania increased 11.9 % from $202 million in 2009 to $226 million in 2010 Michigan increased 10.6 p.c from $317 million in 2009 to $351 million in 2010 Ohio increased 5.5 percent from $222 million in 2009 to $235 million in 2010 New York increased 5.3 percent from $381 million in 2009 to $401 million in 2010 Illinois increased 5.2 p.c from $234 million in 2009 to $246 million in 2010 Indiana increased .5 p.c from $144 million in 2009 to $145 million in 2010. The leftover 2 Great Lakes states : Minnesota reduced 5.5 p.c from $305 million in 2009 to $289 million in 2010 and Wisconsin decreased two % from $298 million in 2009 to $292 million in 2010. NMMA’s Recreational Cruising Statistical Abstract also shows 2 out of 10 boaters live in the Great Lakes region which translates into virtually 17 million boaters resident in these states alone, making the Great Lakes region the top region for recreational boating in the U.S. Follow the Sailing Way of living on Facebook and Twitter.
About National Marine Manufacturers Organisation (NMMA) : NMMA is the number one association representing the recreational cruising industry in North America. NMMA member companies produce more than eighty percent of the boats, engines, trailers, accessories and gear employed by boaters and anglers throughout the U.S. And Canada. The organisation is dedicated to industry growth thru programs in public policy advocacy, market statistics and research, product quality assurance and promotion of the cruising way of life. For more information, visit our website .