The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced continued momentum of boat sales and boating demand propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic. New boat sales, which reached a 13-year high in 2020, remain at elevated levels – with sales through March 2021 up 30% compared to the 2020 average; demand is at an all-time high as Americans take to the water in record numbers; and dealers are selling new boats as fast as they receive them at the start of peak boating season.
“As the country returns to a new normal, people are reassessing how they spend their quality time with loved ones, and many are continuing to choose boating as the preferred choice in recreation,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, NMMA president in an announcement. “All signs point to boating demand and boat sales remaining strong as more people discover the mental health benefits, joys and freedoms of being outside and on the water.”
Part of what is driving growth for the recreational boating industry is the uptick in first-time boat buyers of new and pre-owned boats, attracting a wider net of Americans. New data from the NMMA show 415,000 first-time boat buyers entered the market in 2020. These buyers are averaging younger, and are 1.5 times more likely to be women than other buyer groups.
As summer comes into full swing, what are you seeing in your area for water recreation? Let us know in the comments section below!