Participation Up to 73 Million Americans in 2006

Number of U.S. adults boating last year (1.3 million) supercedes 2005 total; boats in use and boat registration figures also increase

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Boating Participation Increases to 73 Million Americans in 2006

CHICAGO, May 22, 2007 – According to findings published today from the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2006 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, a whopping one-third (73 million) of U.S adults went boating in 2006, a participation increase of approximately 1.3 million Americans from the 2005 total (71.3 million). The newly released Abstract highlights boating sales and participation numbers complied on behalf of the recreational boating industry throughout the 2006 calendar year.

Coincident with the increase in boating participation, the Abstract also made known that the number of boats in use increased by nearly 18 million, and boat registrations improved by 13 million since 2001. What’s more, the industry experienced a six percent increase (an all-time high of $39.5 billion in U.S. sales and services) from the previous year. The report also highlighted that new boat dollar sales were up two percent in 2006 over the previous year.

“We are excited to see boater participation increase to 73 million because it reinforces our belief that more and more people are finding out that getting out on the water is one of the best ways to relax, have fun and enjoy time with friends and family,” says Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “We are proud of the contribution the boating industry and boat owners make to the U.S. economy and the marine industry is dedicated to sharing the fun and relaxation of being on the water with as many people as possible.”

“These increases clearly demonstrate boating is well within the reach of average Americans, allowing them an opportunity to make life long memories with their families aboard a boat,” says Dammrich. “The Grow Boating Initiative is now in its second year, and we believe it will further increase sales in 2008, 2009 and beyond by demonstrating to would-be boaters the many lifestyle benefits of spending time on the water.”

The 2006 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract will only be offered in a hard-copy format and won’t be available until June 1st. If you are an NMMA member, you can expect to receive one free copy of the Abstract, which will be mailed on May 31; additional copies may be ordered at the member-discounted price of $250 each. For non-NMMA members, the Abstract will also be made available for purchase at a cost of $750 each.

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