The recent Miami International Boat Show saw two major presentations. The NMMA’s State of the Recreational Boating Industry address identified some industry trends that definitely need to be addressed if the industry is to prosper. They included the fact that boat owners have gotten older, there are fewer owners in their 30’s today and more in their 50’s and 60’s compared to 1998 – this is especially evident in sailors. Exposure to boating as a child increases adult participation – almost 37% of today’s boating participants are those who boated as a child and whose parents owned a boat versus 9.3% of non-participants who boated as a child. Looking at boat owners by ethnicity shows 90% of power boaters are white. By the year 2050 the majority of the US population below the age of 55 will be non-white. The US population is projected to increase by 156.9 million between 2000 and 2050. Of this increase 97.2 million will be Hispanic and 23 million will be Asian.
The Sailing Company’s State of the Sailing Market presentation gave some sobering facts. The number of North American sailboat builders has declined from 146 in 2004/5 to 113 today. Total sailboats built were 6,322 down only 3% from last year. Sailboats 36ft and bigger were down 10% driven by the 36% drop in boats bigger than 46ft down from 89 to 59. Bareboat chartering was down 6% overall over last year. North American destinations fared better with a market share of 34%, a 3% increase at the expense of the warmer islands of the Caribbean which were down 10%.
However, on a less sobering note the presentation pointed out that sailors’ favorite brands of drinks are Mount Gay, Grand Marnier, Jameson and Patron while those of power boaters are Captain Morgan, Crown Royal, Jack Daniels and Jose Cuervo. Cheers!
Posted by: James