Boat registrations down 1.4 percent

CHICAGO, Ill. – The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today released its 2008 U.S. Recreational Boat Registrations Statistics report showing that nationwide, U.S. recreational boat registrations in 2008 decreased an estimated 1.4 percent compared to 2007.

A total of 12.8 million vessels were registered by U.S. states or documented by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in the U.S. in 2008, compared to 13 million in 2007, the association reported.

Using data for new powerboat registrations compiled by Statistical Surveys, Inc., NMMA estimated there were 270,500 model year 2008 powerboats registered by U.S. states during the year. Approximately 400,000 powerboats were retired from the recreational boating fleet in 2008.

“The Boat Registrations report provides an incredibly detailed look at trends within the recreational marine industry, especially on a state level,” said Jim Petru, NMMA director of Industry Research and Statistics. “Our 2008 report helps us better understand the impact on boat registrations and the overall state of the industry at the start of the U.S. economic recession.”

The 2008 U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics report offers specific detail on registration totals throughout the U.S. (by hull, size and propulsion type) and documented totals by size. Registrations are also broken down within each U.S. region and state by hull material, size and mechanically propelled vs. non-mechanically propelled. In addition, the report provides insight on each state’s commercial boat registrations, and documented vessels by the USCG.

Data collected from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2008, as reported by the individual 50 states is used to compile the U.S. Recreational Boat Registration Statistics report. Other sources include the U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Info-Link Technologies Inc.; and, Statistical Surveys Inc. Boat registration statistics are the basis for allocating Aquatic Resources Trust Fund dollars among the states each year, NMMA pointed out.

Electronic copies of the study, in PDF format, are available at no charge to NMMA members by accessing the Members Only section of Non-members can order the report for $600 by contacting the association at

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