The U.S. recreational boat market was valued at USD 16.26 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 26.18 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 8.26%. A recreational boat is used for several activities, including cruising, watersports, and fishing. Among these, cruising is the country's most popular and preferable activity. The United States has emerged as one of the traditional markets for the boating industry. Strong consumer traction has propelled the growth of the recreational boat market in the U.S. Over the past five years, the boating industry in the country has witnessed strong sales and rising spending. In 2020, in the US, the annual sales of marine products, boats, and services totaled around $49 billion, an increase of 14% from 2019. In 2021 around 1.1 million pre-owned boats were sold. The established markets of the US are expected to witness high demand for recreational boats during the forecast period due to the increased adoption of recreational boats in these regions. The market caters to several opportunities for the vendors.
U.S. RECREATIONAL BOAT MARKET TRENDS
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 the used boat 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 water sports destinations that attract many tourists every year.
Concept of Rental and Used Boat Services
The concept of rental and used boat services has significantly grown over the past five years. Nowadays, consumers are well informed and tend to test-try a product or service before making a decision. 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.
The outboard boat market is expected to be the largest segment in the U.S. recreational boat market.
Due to the increasing technological advancements in outboard motor technology, the demand for outboard boats is rising significantly. These boats are classified based on engine placement. The push toward single-fuel policies to promote safety in the industrial, military and other markets is expected to drive strong sales of outboard high-powered diesel boats.
Engine-powered boat market is expected to be the dominating segment.
Engine-powered boats are one of the most used boats in the US recreational boat market. The rising demand for small and medium-sized vessels for fishing and recreational activities and water sports boats would support the market growth of engine-powered boats during the forecast period. ICE Electric and Hybrid are the two engine types used in recreational boats.
The cruise tourism segment is one of the fastest-growing segments.
Cruise tourism has appeared as one of the fastest-growing sectors of travel and tourism. Florida, California, Texas, New York, Alaska, Washington, and Georgia are some of the major states contributing in the growth of the tourism industry due to the increase in passenger base.
The 30-50 size segment is expected to be the largest segment
Boats of 30-50 feet in size have a good sea-keeping ability, have good storage capabilities, self-steering arrangements, steer well, and an acceptable sailing speed. Several boats come under this category some of them are cabin cruisers, express cruisers, and performance boats. For ocean crossing 30-50 size boats are ideal options where this boat size can better handle the unpredictable and choppy water and currents, also longer trips offshore.
The US market is mainly driven by the high utility of recreational boats for various activities such as watersports, cruising, and fishing. Close to 141 million people in the US are involved in boating events. Further, the US accounts for the largest share of 42% in revenue of the global recreational boat market. Meanwhile, regarding the entry of the new vendors, the US market offers tough competition. In established markets such as Southern US, there has been a noticeable new sales demand. However, there is still significant rental demand for boating services.
On the other hand, emerging markets such as Western and Northeastern US are still developing. Over the last two years, these markets have gained a significant share in the nation’s call. Southern US was the largest market for recreational boats in 2021, with a revenue share of 39.56%. Moreover, the US market has been witnessing intense competition in recent years regarding new product launches and pricing.
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. The competition among these key players has intensified in recent years. The market concentration in developed regions such as the Southern US is high. The competition among vendors is based on product offerings and pricing. Vendors are using new business models and focusing on developing the portfolio of their established products to drive growth. The focus on yachts is heavily shifting towards luxury products, likely providing vendors with vast opportunities during the forecast period.