Facts & Figures

Recreational boating by the numbers ... 

  • Total recreational marine expenditures reached an 8-year high of $35.9 billion in 2015, up 2.2% from 2014.
  •  An estimated 238,000 new powerboats were sold in 2015, an increase of 8.5 percent compared to 2014.  
  • Annual U.S. retail sales of new boats, marine engines and marine accessories totaled $17.4 billion in 2015, an increase of 6.9 percent.
  • Americans are taking to the water: 35.7% of the U.S. adult population – 87.3 million Americans – participated in recreational boating at least once in 2014.  

  • Boats are made in America: 95 percent of powerboats sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S.

  • There were an estimated 11.9 million registered boats in the U.S. in 2015.  

  • 95% of boats on the water (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) in the U.S. are small in size at less than 26 feet—boats that can be trailered by a vehicle to local waterways.  

  • It’s not just new boats Americans are buying; there were an estimated 958,000 pre-owned boats (powerboats, personal watercraft, and sailboats) sold in 2015, an increase of 1.9 percent.

  • Boating is primarily a middle-class lifestyle as 71.5% of American boat owners have a household income less than $100,000. 

Source: National Marine Manufacturers Association, 2014 and 2015 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstracts

Click here to access NMMA's U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract.