Boat maintenance biggest reason boaters leave the lifestyle


By Christopher Gerber, Associate Digital Editor
August 16, 2012
Filed under Chris Gerber

I dove into a recent fishing and boating survey conducted by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation and The Outdoor Foundation and found some interesting statistics about who today's boat buyers are and why former boaters chose to give up boating.

If you want to see the full report for yourself, click here: Special Report on Fishing and Boating

Here’s what I learned:

— Boat ownership was up 0.6 percent in 2011 after dropping 0.3 percent in 2010. According to the survey results, 22.6 million Americans own a boat, which translates to roughly 8 percent of the current population. 2.1 percent are considering owning a boat for the first time and 10.4 percent are considering owning a boat again.

— The cost of maintenance and storage was the number one reason for giving up boating (37.8 percent) followed by the cost of fuel (27.8 percent). Time constraints (17.8 percent) and no longer living near water (15.6 percent) were also important reasons that individuals gave up boating. Losing a job or reduced incomes (8.9 percent) rounded out the top five.

— 80 percent of new boats purchased were from a dealership, 4.2 percent were from a broker and 1 percent were purchased at a boat show.

— Individuals who made between $75,000 and $99,000 a year were the most likely to finance a boat (35.7 percent), followed by the $50,000-$74,000 a year income bracket (28.9 percent) and the under $50,000 a year bracket (23.9 percent).

— During the boating season, over half of boat owners keep it on a trailer at their home. 11 percent will keep it on a trailer at a storage facility or marina.

— Though pontoons have been a growing section of the market, they account for 7.0 percent of power boats owned. Multispecies fish boats were the most popular (owned by 26 percent of boat owners), followed by bass boats and cruisers.

— 22 percent of boat owners are considering replacing their current boat or purchasing an additional boat.

— Fishing is the most popular boating activity for men and cruising is the most popular for women. Entertaining, swimming and sunbathing are the next most popular activities for boaters.


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