More than 3,000 boat sales linked to Discover Boating tour

CHICAGO – More than 3,000 boats have been purchased by consumers exposed to the Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour since it was launched three years ago, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a statement yesterday.

These boat purchases made from May 2003 through February 2006 translate into approximately $25 million in new boat sales and $15 million in pre-owned sales, based on the average price of each as calculated by the tour’s title sponsor and organizer, NMMA.

In 2005 alone, during the months of May through November — the tour’s 7-month span out on the road — 832 people subsequently bought boats, both new and pre-owned, according to research conducted by Miami-based firm Info-Link Technologies Inc.

“It is important to note these 832 buyers appear to be people who are brand new to boating or have ‘lapsed’ from boating for an extended period of time,” said Info-Link’s Peter Houseworth. “Our findings also indicate that 35 percent of those 832 individuals who purchased boats as a result of the 2005 tour bought new product, which is 10 percent higher than the overall industry average. Typically, only 25 percent of new boat buyers purchase new product, while 75 percent purchase pre-owned their first time around.”

NMMA has collected consumer contact information since the Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour first began in 2003 by giving visitors an opportunity to participate in a contest to win a new boat. This information was then cross-referenced with Info-Link’s National Boat Registration Database to identify boat purchases occurring subsequent to tour exposure from 2003 through 2005.

The Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour is currently out on the road, visiting non-boat show events throughout the country. Remaining tour stops include:

  • Little Rock Riverfest—Little Rock, AK, May 26-28
  • Strawberry Festival—Troy, OH, June 3-4
  • Riverbend Festival—Chattanooga, TN, June 9-17
  • BBQ Battle—Washington, DC, June 24-25
  • St. Joes Venetian Festival—St. Joseph, MI, July 13-16
  • Columbus Jazz & Ribfest—Columbus, OH, July 21-23
  • Oswego Harbor Fest—Oswego, NY, July 27-30
  • Wisconsin State Fair—Milwaukee, WI, August 3-13
  • Minnesota State Fair—Minneapolis, MN, August 24-September 4
  • The Big E, Springfield—MA, September 15-October 1
  • Georgia National Fair—Perry, GA, October 6-16
  • University of Tennessee Football Game—Knoxville, TN, October 21
  • The 2006 Discover Boating & Take Me Fishing Tour features a 34-foot trailer with approximately 6,000 square feet of display space, in addition to an outdoor showroom housing boats and marine accessories. It is financed by NMMA, the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and industry sponsors, which this year include Indmar, Sail America, Hunter, Premier Pontoons and Yamaha.

    Sponsorship opportunities and boat slips for the tour’s mobile boat show are still available, NMMA added.

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