More than 415,000 first-time boat buyers of new and pre-owned boats entered the market in 2021, on par with 2020 and at levels the industry hasn’t seen since 2007, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Info-Link, a market intelligence firm serving the recreational boating industry.
First-time boat buyers accounted for 34 percent of boat sales in 2021, driving growth for the recreational boating industry and further reinforcing heightened demand for boats since the outset of the pandemic.
“This is the second consecutive year we’ve seen the number of first-time boat buyers surpass 415,000–reaching pre-recession levels–an encouraging indicator of growth for the boating industry,” notes Jack Ellis, managing director, Info-Link Technologies. “We expect the trajectory of first-time boat buyers to soften as boat sales begin to normalize following a record couple of years. However, 2022 should see healthy levels of new boat owners enter the market as manufacturers work to refill the pipeline and fulfill the backlog of new orders.”