Research funded by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), examined the socio-demographics, psychographics, finances, boating attitudes and interests, as well as the barriers and motivations to boat buying, among the boating public. The research found that there are 91 million potential boaters that are younger, more educated and more ethnically and racially diverse than previous generations of boaters divided into three segments:
- Core: They look most like today’s boat owners and have the highest penetration of boat ownership and participation in boating activities. They are also older, family-oriented and more suburban/ex-urban than other segments.
- Growth: Represents the best opportunity to bring in younger boaters and grow boating. They are pursuing boating-adjacent activities at high rates, including powersports, biking and hiking. They are younger than current first-time boat buyers, more ethnically and racially diverse, and are more likely to live in denser areas. They are adventurous, social and tech-savvy. This segment also feels the most overwhelmed by the boat buying process.
- Emerging: Large, dynamic, and affluent group that is not pursuing outdoor activities that are predictive of future boating in their daily lives, but they are doing those activities on vacation with a potential “pull” via rental activity. They are the most concerned with the emotional return on investment (e-ROI) and have the least familiarity with the basics of boat ownership.
The research found that a key challenge was that many people—particularly females and people of color—do not feel represented in boat marketing. Economic uncertainty also remains top of mind for next generation boaters. To view a webinar that discusses the research and its findings, click here.