In partnership with agency partner Cutwater, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) conducted research that looked at the feelings and mindset of long-time boat owners, first-time boat owners and potential boat owners to be, their interests and key demographics.
Research findings showed current boat owners are:
- Older than the average American, with a median age of 54, and they are six years older than the US median age.
- High-income and high net-worth compared to the average American.
- More likely to be male than the average American.
- Much more likely to be Caucasian than the average American.
At the same time, demographic trends show this population shrinking as the overall population shifts younger and more multicultural. As a result, next generation boaters are naturally more diverse when it comes not just to age, ethnicity and gender, but in attitudes, behaviors and even location. What’s more, they’re less likely to come from boat-owning families than previous generations.
Three key segments emerged from the research: Traditional Boaters, Growth Segment and Emerging Segment. The Traditional most closely resemble the current boat owner, while the Growth and Emerging segments are opportunities to expand the market for recreational boating, representing 91 million people and more than 1.5x the Traditional Boater segment size.
- Traditional Boaters: This group looks most like today’s boat owners and has the highest penetration of boat ownership and participation in boating activities. They are older and more suburban/ex-urban than other groups.
- Growth Segment: This group pursues boating-adjacent activities at high rates, including powersports, biking and hiking and is younger. In fact, they are younger than current first-time boat buyers, more ethnically and racially diverse and more likely to live in denser areas.
- Emerging Segment: This group is a large, dynamic and affluent segment of the potential future boat owner population. In their daily lives, while they are not pursuing the outdoor activities predictive of future boating, they are doing those activities on vacation with a potential “pull” via rental activity. They are the most diverse, most affluent segment.
For more information, visit nmma.com.