The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports recreational boating in the United States has an annual economic value of $121 billion. At the same time, the industry employs 964,000 workers at 34,833 businesses, generates $40 billion in annual labor income and drives $83 billion in annual spending.
The NMMA released these findings 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 highlights include increases in retail sales of both new power and sailboats; fiberglass and aluminum outboard boats 26 feet or less in size, continued their upward climb with an 11.3 percent increase in sales. 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 new boats sold 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.
Of the estimated 232.3 million adults in the U.S. in 2012, 37.8 percent (88 million) participated in recreational boating at least once during the year, a 6 percent increase from 2011.