RBFF study reaffirms link between boating and fishing

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A study released this week by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation has found that promoting both boating and fishing is good for the market and fishing is a strong pathway to boating, RBFF said.

The marketing research, conducted by Market Strategies, Inc., evaluated three market segments – Boater Only (those who currently participate in boating but not fishing), Angler Only (those who currently participate in fishing but not boating), and Boater + Angler or “Boating Angler” (those who currently participate in both boating and fishing).

Boating Anglers fish significantly more frequently than those who only fish (41.7 times compared to 21.6 times in the last 24 months) and boat more frequently than those who only boat (27.5 times compared to 11.9 times in the last 24 months). Boating Anglers also enjoy boating for both recreation and fishing with a majority (84.6 percent) having gone boating for the purpose of fishing at least once in the past 12 months and a majority (84.4%) having also gone boating for recreational purposes.

Boating Anglers spend more money on fishing equipment and boating accessories ($500 or more each year) compared to those who only fish or only boat and they are significantly more likely to own a boat (54.3 percent) compared to those who only fish (27 percent) or only boat (25.8 percent).

Boating Anglers who don’t currently own a boat represent a greater potential for boat sales compared to those who only fish or only boat, and are more likely to report that how they look at the environment was influenced by their fishing and boating experiences.

A second key finding reveals the directional relationship is stronger for fishing as a pathway to boating than vice versa. Nearly half of Boating Anglers (44.9 percent) said that fishing influenced their decision to get involved in boating and the reason they purchased their first boat was to fish (67.7 percent). By contrast, less than one third (30.4 percent) of Boating Anglers said that boating influenced their decision to get involved in fishing.

“We know that fishing motivates many people to get out on the water in a boat,” said NMMA president and RBFF Board chairman Thom Dammrich. “We also know that half of all boats sold are used primarily for fishing, with another quarter for occasional fishing. These two activities and their futures are strongly linked and RBFF has done a terrific job in getting its boating and fishing stakeholders to work together to create a brighter future for both.”

The national telephone survey of about 1,000 people also collected data about early experiences with fishing and boating, current activities, fishing license sales and more.

“We want to help our stakeholders increase participation in boating and fishing,” said RBFF President Frank Peterson. “This is a comprehensive study with a lot of great data. Stakeholders can use it to their advantage by focusing on the analysis that’s most important to their organization and pulling out the key findings and implications.”

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