Boating’s lost week

A recent study from GfK Public Affairs (h/t to NMMA) caught my eye earlier this week.

The key takeaway is what they're calling "America's Lost Week." Over the last 15 years, the average American has gone from taking more than 20 days of vacation to 16.

This is a big deal for boating because we know that we're in a constant battle for consumer attention and time. Add to that to the fact that boating is not cheap and the investment starts to look less and less attractive to more and more people.

As we all know, boating is a great family activity, but one that requires a time commitment. Unless you live on the water, it's tough to get out there on a regular basis. And with less vacation time, well, you know the rest.

And, honestly, based on the people I know, that seems high -- 10 seems more like the real number in my circle. That's scary in and of itself, because the people I'm spending time with should be our target audience heading into their prime years for boating -- late 30s to early 40s with kids. And the free time is about zero.

But what we do want is more time with our kids and that's where smart marketing can come in -- messaging that appeals to family time and activities. Efforts that focuses on ways to make boating easier from maintenance and storage packages to boat clubs. And yes, messaging that emphasizes affordability and transparent pricing.

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