Boatbuilding Booms as More Americans Take to the Water:

Press Release
Sunday, June 16, 2013

New data from The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) show 88 million Americans expected to take to U.S. waterways this summer.

NMMA add that recreational boating in the U.S. has an annual economic value of $121-billion.  The industry’s rising tide supports 964,000 American jobs and 34,833 businesses, generates $40 billion in annual labor income and drives $83 billion in annual spending. 

The NMMA, on behalf of the U.S. boating industry, released these findings as part of its annual U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, a collection of data and analysis on the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry.

Additional data highlights include:

New Boat Sales

  • Retail sales of new power and sailboats increased 10.7 percent in 2012 to 163,245, demonstrating a post-recession recovery for the industry. (Note that this number includes inboard, outboard, sterndrive, jet and sail boats).
  • New powerboat (inboard, outboard, sterndrive and jet boat) sales increased 10 percent to 157,300 in 2012.
  • New sailboat sales increased 29.2 percent to 5,945 in 2012

Small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less in size, continued their upward climb with an 11.3 percent increase in the number of new boats sold. Outboard boats are the most popular type of new powerboat sold, making up approximately 82 percent of the market.
Ski and wakeboard boats are seeing healthy growth with an increase of 13.4 percent new boats sold in 2012.
Jet boats, which are small fiberglass boats less than 26 feet in length, are a growing category. Of the 157,300 new powerboats sold in 2012, 4,500 were jet boats. New jet boat sales increased 36.4% in 2012.

“Summer is a peak selling season for recreational boats, accessories and services throughout the U.S. as people look for ways to disconnect from the daily grind and enjoy fun times on the water, “ said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “New boat sales have historically been a barometer for the U.S. economy and the steady sales increases we’re seeing is being reinforced by the slow uptick in consumer confidence, housing and spending. As economic growth continues, we anticipate sustained steady growth through the remainder of 2013.” 

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