Boat owners say downturn won’t keep them from boating

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The results of a Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S) membership survey, released today, suggest that 96 percent of respondents said the economic downturn would not lead them to “stop using their boat this summer.” While some boaters are seeing their boating activities curtailed, most remain positive about their boating plans for this summer, according to a statement from BoatU.S.

“Last summer, high fuel prices kept some boaters off the water,” said BoatU.S. President Nancy Michelman. “But this year, despite the economy, our members are largely optimistic and are determined to make good use of their boats.”

The survey also found:

  • 52 percent reported they are not changing the way they use their boat, compared to last summer.
  • If this summer’s gas prices are lower than last summer’s, 39 percent said they expect to go boating more often.
  • Only 1 percent of respondents say they would not boat this year.
  • Some changes in the way respondents plan to use their boat this summer include: reducing cruising distances or selecting boating destinations closer to home (24 percent), reducing the number of boating trips/days (17 percent), spending more time anchored out (17 percent), spending more time at their home marina (13 percent), running the motor less (13 percent), and sharing costs (10 percent).
  • The majority of respondents (30 percent) reported having total yearly estimated boating expenses of $3,000-$5,999, or about the price of a week’s vacation with airfare at Disney World for a family of four. 68 percent reported having boating expenses less than $5,999 annually.
  • 26 percent would sacrifice dining out and 25 percent would give up, reduce or postpone taking a vacation to afford boating this summer.
  • Over two-thirds of respondents (69 percent) said spending time boating brings the family together.
  • 46 percent admitted that as a boater, they had more friends.
  • 72 percent said the boating lifestyle helps maintain or improve their health.
  • The Fourth of July is by far the most favorite summer boating holiday (49 percent).
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