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Recreational Boating (US Market & Forecast)


Total US market to reach $10 billion by 2016

By 2016, the US recreational boating market (including boats, propulsion systems and accessories) will rebound from its depressed 2011 levels, with demand rising 7.5 percent annually to $10 billion. Demand will be driven by gains in consumer spending and disposable income, while the recovery in financial markets will enable more consumers to buy boats on credit. Growth in the 55-64 age bracket will also support demand, since boat purchases become more likely just prior to retirement and consumers in that age group have the disposable income to purchase larger, more expensive vessels. In addition, the industry's effort to sell the “boating lifestyle” to women and minorities should expand the market.

Boating products are luxury items, often purchased on credit or by borrowing against the value of a home, and therefore the recreational boating market was decimated by the economic downturn which began in 2007. As a result, the downturn provoked the worst recreational boating industry contraction in nearly 50 years, with a sharp drop in demand and a number of bankruptcies among participants. Following this collapse, the remaining industry players are attempting to gauge the “new normal.” This will include determining not only how far retail boating product demand will recover, but also how much stock boat dealers will maintain and how many dealers and boatbuilders will even survive.

Boat demand to rise 8.8% annually through 2016

US demand for recreational boats is projected to increase 8.8 percent annually to $6.6 billion in 2016, benefiting from the economic and credit market recoveries, as well as dealer restocking and pent-up demand from consumers who delayed purchases during the downturn. Powerboats are expected to post above average gains after recording especially sharp declines in the 2008 to 2011 period. The value of powerboat demand will also benefit from technological advances such as newer propulsion systems and more advanced electronics.

West region of the US to exhibit most rapid gains

Of the four US census regions (Northeast, Midwest, South and West), the West will register the fastest gains in recreational boating demand through 2016, growing more than eleven percent per year to $1.7 billion. Growth will be aided by aboveaverage gains in the population segment of those 45 or older and strong GDP growth. The South will remain the largest regional market and also exhibit aboveaverage growth through 2016, benefiting from many of the same demographic factors as the West. In addition, the region's mild climate and long warm water coastline will continue to support demand.

Study coverage

This Freedonia industry study, “Recreational Boating” presents historical demand data (2001, 2006 and 2011) plus forecasts for 2016 and 2021 by material, product, market and US region. The study also assesses market environment factors, evaluates company market share, and profiles 39 US industry players, such as Bombardier Recreational Products, Brunswick, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, PBH Marine Group and Yamaha Motor.

This study can help you:

  • Determine your market & sales potential
  • Learn more about industry competitors
  • Assess new products & technologies
  • Identify firms to merge with or acquire
  • Complement your research & planning
  • Gather data for presentations
  • Confirm your own internal data
  • Make better business decisions

Freedonia's methods involve:

  • Establishing consistent economic and market forecasts
  • Using input/output ratios, flow charts and other economic methods to quantify data
  • Employing in-house analysts who meet stringent quality standards
  • Interviewing key industry participants, experts and end users
  • Researching a proprietary database that includes trade publications, government reports and corporate literature

Table of Contents




  • General
  • Macroeconomic Outlook
  • Demographic Outlook
  • Consumer Trends
    • Personal Income & Expenditures
    • Recreational & Leisure Expenditures
    • Consumer Financing Environment
  • Recreational Boating Consumer Profile
  • Recreational Boat Retail Sales
  • Recreational Boats in Use
  • Inventory Levels
  • Pricing
  • US Recreational Boating Market, 2001-2011
  • Technology
    • Engines
    • Electronics
  • Regulatory & Safety Issues
    • Emissions & Noise Issues
    • Wildlife & Environmental Protection Issues
    • Safety Issues
  • World Recreational Boating Market
    • Canada
    • Europe
    • Rest of the World
  • US Recreational Boating Foreign Trade
    • Imports
    • Exports


  • General
  • Plastic
  • Resins
  • Reinforcement Materials
  • Aluminum
  • Coated Fabrics
    • Tops & Covers
    • Sails
    • Upholstery
    • Inflatable Boats


  • General
  • Recreational Boats
    • Traditional Powerboats
      • Outboard Powerboats
        • Demand by Material
        • Demand by Length
        • Producers
      • Inboard Powerboats
        • Cabin Cruisers
        • Runabouts & Other Inboard Powerboats
        • Producers
      • Sterndrive Powerboats
    • Personal Watercraft
      • Regulatory & Safety Issues
      • Producers
    • Sailboats
      • Demand by Length
      • Demand by Design
      • Producers
    • Other Recreational Boats
      • Jet Boats
      • Canoes
      • All Other
  • Propulsion Systems
    • Outboard Propulsion Systems
      • Regulatory Issues & Technology
        • Producers
      • Inboard & Sterndrive Propulsion Systems
        • Regulatory Issues & Technology
        • Producers
  • Boating Accessories
    • Navigational & Electronic
    • Trailers
    • Other


  • General
  • Regional Demographic & Economic Trends
    • Population Patterns
    • Economic Outlook
    • Personal Consumption Expenditures
  • US Regional Demand for Recreational Boating
    • Northeast
      • New England
      • Middle Atlantic
    • Midwest
      • East North Central
      • West North Central
    • South
      • South Atlantic
      • East South Central
      • West South Central
    • West
      • Mountain
      • Pacific


  • General
  • Industry Composition
  • Market Share
    • Brunswick
    • Yamaha Motor
    • Bombardier Recreational Products
    • PBH Marine Group
    • Other Important Producers
  • Competitive Strategies
  • Product Development
  • Manufacturing
  • Distribution
  • Marketing
    • Brand Awareness & Loyalty Marketing
    • Lifestyle & Other Marketing Strategies
  • Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Cooperative Agreements


  • American Honda Motor, see Honda Motor
  • American Suzuki Motor, see Suzuki Motor
  • Atlanta Marine Electronics, see Viking Yacht
  • Attwood, see Brunswick
  • Avon Inflatables, see Zodiac Marine & Pool
  • Baja Marine, see Fountain Powerboat Industries
  • Bayliner Marine, see Brunswick
  • Beneteau SA
  • Bombardier Recreational Products Incorporated
  • Boston Whaler, see Brunswick
  • Brunswick Corporation
  • Cabo Yachts, see Brunswick
  • Cannon, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Carlisle Paddles, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Catalina Yachts Incorporated
  • Caterpillar Incorporated
  • Chaparral Boats, see Marine Products
  • Construction Navale Boreaux, see Beneteau
  • Correct Craft Incorporated
  • Crestliner, see Brunswick
  • Crownline Boats Incorporated
  • Cruisers Yachts, see KCS International
  • Crusader Marine Engines, see Pleasurecraft Engine Group
  • Cummins Incorporated
  • Cummins MerCruiser Diesel Marine, see Brunswick and Cummins
  • Diversified Marine Products, see Brunswick
  • FinCraft Boats, see J&D Acquisitions
  • FLIR Systems Incorporated
  • Fountain Powerboat Industries Incorporated
  • Four Winns, see PBH Marine Group
  • Garmin Limited
  • General Motors Company
  • Geonav, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Glastron, see PBH Marine Group
  • GM Powertrain, see General Motors
  • Godfrey Marine, see Nautic Global Group
  • G3 Boats, see Yamaha Motor
  • Harris Kayot Marine, see Brunswick
  • Hatteras Yachts, see Brunswick
  • Honda Motor Company Limited
  • Hunter Marine, see Morgan Industries
  • Hydra-Sports Boat, see MasterCraft Boat
  • Interphase Technologies, see Garmin
  • J&D Acquisitions LLC
  • Jeanneau America, see Beneteau
  • Johnson Outdoors Incorporated
  • Kawasaki Heavy Industries Limited
  • KCS International Incorporated
  • Kellogg Marine Supply, see Brunswick
  • Land ‘N’ Sea, see Brunswick
  • Larson Boats, see J&D Acquisitions
  • Lowe Boats, see Brunswick
  • Luhrs, see Morgan Industries
  • Lund Boat, see Brunswick
  • Mainship, see Morgan Industries
  • Malibu Boats LLC
  • Marine Products Corporation
  • MarineMax Incorporated
  • Marquis Yachts, see J&D Acquisitions
  • MasterCraft Boat Company
  • Mastry Marine and Industrial Supply, see Yanmar
  • Mercury Marine Group, see Brunswick
  • Meridian Yachts, see Brunswick
  • Monterey Boats Incorporated
  • Morgan Industries Corporation
  • MTU Detroit Diesel, see Tognum
  • Nautic Global Group
  • Necky Kayaks, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Ocean Kayak, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Old Town Canoe, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Palm Beach Towers, see Viking Yacht
  • PBH Marine Group LLC
  • PCM Marine Engines, see Pleasurecraft Engine Group
  • Pleasurecraft Engine Group
  • Poly Marquis Yacht, see J&D Acquisitions
  • Precision Propeller Industries, see Yamaha Motor
  • Princecraft Boats, see Brunswick
  • Pro Map Technologies, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Pursuit Boats, see S2 Yachts
  • Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts, see KCS International
  • Ranger Boats, see PBH Marine Group
  • Raymarine, see FLIR Systems
  • Regal Marine Industries Incorporated
  • Rinker Boat, see Nautic Global Group
  • Robalo Boats, see Marine Products
  • Sea Fox Boat Company Incorporated
  • Sea Ray Boats, see Brunswick
  • Silverton Marine, see Morgan Industries
  • Skeeter Products, see Yamaha Motor
  • Smoker Craft Incorporated
  • Starcraft Marine, see Smoker Craft
  • Stratos Boats, see PBH Marine Group
  • Striper Boats, see J&D Acquisitions
  • S2 Yachts Incorporated
  • Suzuki Motor Corporation
  • Tacktick, see FLIR Systems
  • Techsonic Industries, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Tiara Yachts, see S2 Yachts
  • Tognum AG
  • Tracker Marine Group LLC
  • Triton Boats, see PBH Marine Group
  • Triumph Boats, see J&D Acquisitions
  • Trophy Sportfishing Boats, see Brunswick
  • Tuff Torq, see Yanmar
  • Viking Yacht Company
  • VM Motori, see General Motors
  • Volvo AB
  • WayPoint Technologies, see Johnson Outdoors
  • Wellcraft, see PBH Marine Group
  • West Marine Incorporated
  • Yamaha Motor Company Limited
  • Yanmar Company Limited
  • Zodiac Marine & Pool
  • Additional Companies Mentioned in Study



  • Summary Table


  • Macroeconomic Indicators
  • Population & Households
  • Personal Consumption Expenditures
  • Recreation & Leisure Expenditures
  • Consumer Financing Environment, 2001-2011
  • Recreational Boat Retail Sales
  • Recreational Boats in Use by Type
  • Recreational Boat Pricing
  • US Recreational Boating Product Market, 2001-2011
  • US Recreational Boating Foreign Trade


  • Plastic Consumption in Recreational Boat Production
  • Aluminum Consumption in Recreational Boat Production
  • Coated Fabric Consumption in Recreational Boat Production


  • Recreational Boating Product Supply & Demand
  • Recreational Boat Supply & Demand
  • Traditional Powerboat Supply & Demand
  • Outboard Powerboat Supply & Demand
  • Outboard Powerboat Demand by Boat Length
  • Inboard Powerboat Supply & Demand
  • Inboard Cabin Cruiser Supply & Demand
  • Runabout & Other Inboard Powerboat Supply & Demand
  • Sterndrive Powerboat Supply & Demand
  • Personal Watercraft Supply & Demand
  • Sailboat Supply & Demand
  • Other Recreational Boat Supply & Demand
  • Propulsion System Supply & Demand
  • Outboard Propulsion System Supply & Demand
  • Inboard & Sterndrive Propulsion System Supply & Demand
  • Boating Accessory Supply & Demand


  • Recreational Boating Regional Market Profile, 2011
  • Population by Region
  • Gross Domestic Product by Region
  • US Personal Consumption Expenditures by Region
  • US Recreational Boating Demand by Region
  • Northeast: Recreational Boating Demand by Subregion & Product
  • New England: Recreational Boating Demand
  • Middle Atlantic: Recreational Boating Demand
  • Midwest: Recreational Boating Demand by Subregion & Product
  • East North Central: Recreational Boating Demand
  • West North Central: Recreational Boating Demand
  • South: Recreational Boating Demand by Subregion & Product
  • South Atlantic: Recreational Boating Demand
  • East South Central: Recreational Boating Demand
  • West South Central: Recreational Boating Demand
  • West: Recreational Boating Demand by Subregion & Product
  • Mountain: Recreational Boating Demand
  • Pacific: Recreational Boating Demand


  • US Recreational Boating Product Sales by Company, 2011
  • Selected Acquisitions & Divestitures
  • Selected Cooperative Agreements



  • Comparison of Retail & Manufacturers' Level Boat Sales
  • Recreational Boats in Use by Type, 2011
  • US Recreational Boating Product Market, 2001-2011
  • US Recreational Boating Product Imports by Source, 2011
  • US Recreational Boating Product Exports by Destination, 2011


  • Recreational Boating Product Demand by Type, 2011
  • Recreational Boat Demand by Type, 2011
  • Traditional Powerboat Demand by Type, 2011


  • Geographic Distribution of US Recreational Boating Demand, 2011


  • US Recreational Boating Product Market Share, 2011
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