Boat buyers in 2015 were much more likely to be white, male, married and well-educated, industry data shows.
That's based on the 2016 Boat Owners Satisfaction Report produced by Avala Marketing Group, which collects and tabulates customer satisfaction data on behalf of the Marine Industry CSI Program.
In the study, Avala reports on the profile of the average boat buyer in 2015 as well as areas that the industry can improve based on CSI survey results.
Some key highlights from the characteristics of buyers in 2015:
- 91 percent were male, 9 percent were female
- 87 percent were married
- 69 percent had no children in the household, 12 percent had one child, 13 percent had two children and 6 percent had three or more children in the household
The report also looked at several characteristics of boat buyers by six boat types: aluminum outboard, pontoons, sport/bowrider/deck, cruiser/express/yacht, saltwater fish and ski/wake. That also revealed some interesting results.
For example, the household income of boat buyers varied greatly:
- The largest income cohort for aluminum outboard buyers was a HH income of $50,000 to $99,999, representing 33 percent of those buyers. Another 25 percent made $100,000 to $149,999. Almost two-thirds of aluminum outboard buyers had an income of less than $150,000.
- More than half of pontoon buyers had income of less than $150,000 and 26 percent had income under $100,000.
- The cruiser/yacht/express segment represented the other extreme, with 86 percent of those buyers having an income of more than $200,000.
- In the ski/wake category, 64 percent of buyers had income of more than $200,000 and 93 percent had income of more than $100,000
- Half of saltwater fish buyers had income of more than $200,000, while 87 percent had income over $100,000
- Forty-nine percent of sport/bowrider/deck buyers had income of more than $200,000, with 77 percent with an income of more than $100,000
On the whole, most boat buyers were college graduates, representing more than half of buyers across all boat types.
Buyers were also overwhelmingly white regardless of segment -- ranging from 90 percent of buyers (cruiser/yacht/express) to 97 percent (pontoons).
Areas for improvement
Avala also reported on some of the specific areas covered in the CSI reports, organizing factors on what it calls the Matrix of Performance Improvements. Those were divided into four categories:
- Focus First - High importance attributes with low satisfaction
- Real Strength - High importance attributes with high satisfaction
- Opportunities - Lower importance attributes with low satisfaction
- Maintainers - Lower importance attributes with high satisfaction
Looking at some of the scores across all categories can show some areas for improvement.
Features that fell into or near the "Focus First" category include ride and handling, helm and instrument panel, and smoothness of the ride in rough water.
"Opportunities" included entertainment system, cabin and interior, fuel economy, ease of maneuvering while docking and ease of handling boat in reverse.
"Real Strengths" included boat cockpit and exterior, overall engine and propulsion, engine reliability, ability to accelerate rapidly, quietness of engine at cruising speed and ability to control boat at high speed.
Falling into the "Maintainers" category were warranty, engine exhaust fumes and ease of trimming boat up and down.
Avala can also provide more detailed information by segment and brand by request. Visit www.avalamarketing.com for more information.