Boating participation expected to increase

WASHINGTON, D.C. – While marine recreational participation rates in the United States are expected to decline, the actual number of participants are forecasted to rise, according to the results of The National Survey on Recreation and the Environment, conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“This is due to the fact that forecasted population growth more than offsets projected declines in participation rates,” NOAA explained in its report, Projected Participation in Marine Recreation: 2005 & 2010.

Motorboating participation is expected to grow from 15.95 million people in 2005 to 16.70 million in 2010, NOAA reported. Motorboating participation rates are expected to decline from 7.04 percent this year to 6.97 percent in 2010.

Sailing participation is expected to jump from 6.69 million people this year to 7 million in 2010, while participation is expected to fall from 2.95 percent this year to 2.92 in 2010, according to NOAA.

Similarly, personal watercraft participation is predicted to increase from 5.77 million people to 5.99 million, while participation rates are expected to decline from 2.55 percent to 2.50 percent.

Using its projection of the number of participants and the total days of participation, NOAA also calculated the estimated percent growth over the periods 2000-2005 and 2000-2010.

The percent growth in participants was 5.77 percent (2000-2005) and 10.77 percent (2000-2010) for motorboating; 5.82 percent (2000-2005) and 10.84 percent (2000-2010) for sailing; and 5.94 percent (2000-2005) and 9.97 percent (2000-2010) for PWC use.

The percent growth in total days of participation was 4.08 percent (2000-2005) and 7.16 percent (2000-2010) for motorboating; 7.97 percent (2000-2005) and 14.33 percent (2000-2010) for sailing; and 5.67 percent (2000-2005) and 9.23 percent (2000-2010) for PWC use.

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