Nearly 89 million Americans went boating last year, one of the largest boating participation figures on record. And the boat sales last year increased to $37 billion, a 3 percent increase from the year before. These figures are released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, according to a report from Kansas City Star.
After several down years in the midst of a struggling economy, boaters are taking to the water like seldom before.
This augurs well for the boating industry. Becca Doyle
, show director of Kansas City Boat and Sportshow says that there was some pent-up demand when the economy was down. Now that things are getting better, boat sales are improving and more people are getting on the water.
There are more than 12 million registered boats in the United States. Americans not only are buying more new boats, they are purchasing more used boats, too. More than 955,000 used units were sold last year.
Boat-loan interest rates ranging from 3 to 5 percent, together with gasoline prices hovering around $2 a gallon, are expected to spur sales, thinks organizers of another event, Minneapolis Boat Show
In addition to cheap gas and favorable loan rates, pent-up demand for new boats is also driving the marketplace, dealers say, after sales plummeted during the recent recession.