Boating really rocks as an economic driver – Florida Times

Drive news service

The National Marine Manufacturers Association announced this month that recreational boating in the U.S. has an annual economic value of $121 billion. The industry’s rising tide supports 964,000 American jobs and 34,833 businesses, generates $40 billion in annual labor income and drives $83 billion in annual spending.

The NMMA, on behalf of the U.S. boating industry, released these findings June 11 as part of its annual U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, a collection of data and analysis on the state of the U.S. recreational boating industry. Additional data highlights include:

■ Retail sales of new power and sailboats increased 10.7 percent in 2012 to 163,245, demonstrating a post-recession recovery for the industry.

■ New powerboat sales increased 10 percent to 157,300 in 2012.

■ New sailboat sales increased 29.2 percent to 5,945 in 2012.

■ Small fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less continued their upward climb with an 11.3-percent increase in the number of new boats sold. Outboard boats are the most popular type of new powerboat sold, making up approximately 82 percent of the market.

■ Ski and wakeboard boats are seeing healthy growth with an increase of 13.4 percent in new boats sold in 2012.

■ Jet boats, small fiberglass boats less than 26 feet in length, are a growing category. Of the 157,300 new powerboats sold in 2012, 4,500 were jet boats. New jet boat sales increased 36.4 percent in 2012.

■ Sales of new powerboats have remained steady during the first half of 2013 and continued growth is expected with the summer boating season. NMMA anticipates sales of new powerboats to grow five percent in 2013.

“New boat sales have historically been a barometer for the U.S. economy and the steady sales increases we’re seeing are being reinforced by the slow uptick in consumer confidence, housing and spending,” said Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “As economic growth continues, we anticipate sustained steady growth through the remainder of 2013.”

The NMMA’s economic value report can be found within the Statistics section’s Research Library on NMMA.org. For excerpts and additional data from the NMMA’s Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, contact Ellen Hopkins at ehopkins@nmma.org.


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