The Booming Boating Industry of 2020

The Booming Boating Industry of 2020

boating industry

Business owners in practically every industry struggled throughout the year 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic forced businesses to close their doors, while customers stayed at home. However, one industry in particular not only survived the time of turmoil, it thrived in the unknown. The boating industry saw a sharp rise in boat sales during the year 2020.

According to a report from the NMMA,  retail unit sales of new powerboats in the U.S. increased in the year 2020 by an estimated 12% compared to 2019. Additionally, more than 310,000 new powerboats were sold in 2020. The recreational boating industry has not seen numbers like this since before the Great Recession in 2008. A substantial portion of the sales came from first-time boat buyers and consumers who preferred boats under 26 feet in length. There were three categories in particular that drove these record sales:

  • Personal Watercraft – PWCs saw an 8% increase in sales with 82,000 units sold.
  • Wake Boats – Wake boats, which are preferred by new and active boaters, saw a 20% sales increase with 13,000 units sold.
  • Freshwater fishing boats and pontoon craft – Fishing and pontoon boats, which are common entry-level boats, saw a 12% increase in sales with 143,000 units sold. These particular boats also accounted for 50% of new powerboats sold in 2020.

Boating sales are anticipated to remain at historic levels throughout 2021. This could be partly due to the discovery of mental health benefits associated with being on the water, while also the realization that life is too short to not do what you love!

Follow the link below to learn more about how 2020 was an extraordinary year for the boating industry and how the future seems bright for the boating world.


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