The U.S. recreational boat market was valued at USD 17.31 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 28.54 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 8.69% during the forecast period. A rising number of middle-class families, increasing participation in outdoor recreational activities, increasing the high-net-worth individual (HNWI) population, and the preference for premium and luxury products drive the market growth.
The U.S. recreational boat market shipments are expected to reach 510,347 units by 2028. Further, constant product development and bringing in new features are key to achieving high sales growth. New companies are catching up with established vendors and are expected to erode the market share of established vendors during the forecast period. The established markets of the U.S. are expected to witness high demand for recreational boats during the projected period since the commercial adoption of boats has increased in these regions. In addition, the demand for marine infrastructure arises due to the changing market dynamics, such as a higher number of recreational boat users.
MARKET TRENDS & DRIVERS
Advancements in Marine Technology
The marine industry is witnessing an increasing demand for technologically advanced features such as joystick docking control, automatic trim controls, and digital throttle and shift among end-users. Due to hectic lifestyles, end-users have lesser time to develop driving skills and compile practical experience on the water. Thus, their reliance on automatic controls is growing at an unprecedented rate.
Growth in Tourism Industry
The U.S. recreational boat market has increased considerably with the rising tourism industry. Along with the increasing tourism industry, the recreational boat market has shown its potential to grow in the past years, mainly for the sales of cruises, water sports boats, and pontoons. Over these years, the sales of used boats and personal watercraft have also increased, providing an excellent holiday for buyers. In the United States, Florida, Maine, Nevada, Alaska, Tennessee, Minnesota, California, Washington, etc., are some of the best water tourism and sports destinations that attract tourists yearly.
Concept of Rental and Used Boat Services
The rental and used boat services concept has significantly grown over the past years. Nowadays, consumers are well-informed and tend to test-try a product or service before deciding. With the emergence of the sharing economy, consumers want to pay for products or services while using them. Sharing and rental services are hence rapidly gaining popularity around the country as renting does not involve the costs associated with maintenance and repairs.
INSIGHTS BY BOAT TYPE
The U.S. recreational boat market by boat type segments by outboard boats, inboard/sterndrive boats, personal watercraft, superyachts, and other boats. The outboard boat type dominated the market in 2022. Outboard boats are classified based on engine placement. In addition, with technological improvement, the demand for outboard boats has been mostly driven based on the performance of boats. Further, regulations have also played a significant role in the rising demand for outboard boats. The push toward single-fuel policies to promote safety in industrial, military, and other markets is expected to drive strong outboard high-powered diesel boat sales.
INSIGHTS BY POWER
Engine-powered boats held the largest U.S. recreational boat market by power segment. Due to growing coastal tourism worldwide, commercial applications of engine-powered boats will likely witness significant growth in the demand for outboard engines. Developing high-powered motors will further promote the use of these engines in tourist vessels. Furthermore, increasing family tour boat rental practices would boost the demand for these products during the forecast period.
INSIGHTS BY ACTIVITY
The U.S. recreational boat market by activity segment includes cruise tourism, watersports, and fishing. The cruise tourism market by value is projected to grow at the fastest CAGR of 9.04% during the forecast period. Cruise tourism was formerly a glamorous way for the wealthy to fly. Cruise tourism has many forms. World and sea cruises normally use large ships, which might not be affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises. Factors driving the cruise industry's growth across the country include strong economic recovery and growth of cruise ship capacity. The market across the country has significantly rebounded from the effects of the economic slowdown. This, in turn, has provided a big push to the luxury cruise industry.
INSIGHTS BY BOAT SIZE
30-50 Feet Boats, <30 Feet Boats, and >50 Feet Boats are the key boat size segments in the U.S. recreational boat market. The 30-50 feet boats market held the largest segmental share in 2022. Boats of 30-50 feet in size have good sea-keeping ability, storage capabilities, self-steering arrangements, steer well, and an acceptable sailing speed. Several boats come under this category, including cabin cruisers, express cruisers, and performance boats. Boats within this range provide cabins or have a dinette that converts into a sleeping space and allows privacy. 30-50 feet size boats have more storage space, which leads to more amenities and larger tank sizes. The tanks in these boats are sufficient for long-term cruising and allow adding extra tanks if required. For ocean crossing, 30-50 size boats are ideal options.
The Southern U.S. holds a significant share of the U.S. recreational boat market due to the largest population base, which has resulted in growth in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Also, the considerable surge in disposable income in the region has created a high demand for recreational boats in the Southern region. The surge in demand for recreational boats is attributable to the increase in boating sales. Recreational boat sales are increasing rapidly in major states such as Texas, Florida, Georgia, Carolina, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Therefore, it drives the demand for various recreational boats in the region. The growing annual household income is another factor driving the market growth in the region. Furthermore, Texas is the country's second-largest state in population and area. The total population is estimated at 29 million household units, which is expected to support the demand for recreational boating in the country.
The U.S. recreational boat market is fragmented, and the degree of fragmentation is expected to accelerate during the forecast period. There is a significant number of vendors across the country. Regarding market share, a few major players are currently dominating the market. Some companies currently dominating the market are Brunswick Corporation, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), Groupe Beneteau, Ferretti, etc. The competition among these key players has intensified in recent years. The competition among vendors is based on product offerings and pricing. U.S. recreational boat market vendors are using new business models and focusing on developing the portfolio of their established products to drive growth. The focus on yachts is shifting towards luxury products, likely providing vendors with vast opportunities during the forecast period.