US Recreational Boating Products to Reach $16.7 Billion In 2009

06 January 2006

US demand for recreational boating products -- including boats and separately sold propulsion systems and accessories -- is projected to grow 4.8 percent annually through 2009 to $16.7 billion.

Gains will be supported by an ongoing shift in the product mix toward larger, more sophisticated (and invariably more expensive) boats. The recreational boating market will also be helped by growth in the population of people 45 to 54 years of age, which contains some of the most likely purchasers of high-end boating equipment like cabin cruisers. Another factor that will support gains is the effort by manufacturers and industry organizations to increase interest in boating among women, minorities and other non-traditional boat buyers. These and other trends are presented in Recreational Boating, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Recreational boats, which include powerboats, personal watercraft, sailboats and other boats, will remain the largest segment of demand in 2009 with 60 percent of the total. Inboard cabin cruisers, most of which are high-priced luxury vessels, will see the most rapid growth and will maintain their status as the largest single category of boats in value terms, reaching $3.3 billion in 2009. These boats are expected to benefit from increasing consumer preference for larger, better-equipped marine craft.

Outboard boats are also expected to register healthy gains, driven by the ongoing popularity of boat packages, which combine a boat, trailer and certain accessories into a single unit in order to streamline the buying process.

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