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US expecting big crowds on the water this summer

US expecting big crowds on the water this summer
US expecting big crowds on the water this summer
Written by Harry Johnson

US boating activity expected to increase in the summer of 2021 compared to last year.

  • Boaters anticipate their boating activity to increase this summer compared to last year
  • 52% plan to use their boat primarily for fishing
  • 24% plan to vacation on/by boat (versus other forms of travel) because of the pandemic

Boaters are planning to increase their on-water activity this summer, according to a recent pandemic-influenced survey of 3,500 US boaters.

Summer Boating Statistics:

  • 52% of boaters surveyed anticipate their boating activity to increase this summer compared to last year
  • 52% plan to use their boat primarily for fishing (65% in-shore / 30% off-shore / 5% freshwater)
  • 30% have found it more difficult to find dockage and/or marina space
  • 20% cite the pandemic as the reason for extending their boating season again in 2021
  • 24% plan to vacation on/by boat (versus other forms of travel) because of the pandemic
  • 35% plan to use their boat primarily for cruising near their home
  • 16% upgraded to a larger boat in 2020 or plan to do so in 2021

With the sale of a record number of new boats in over a decade and an influx of new boaters, industry experts noted that in 2020 owners of new boats were 142% more likely to need ungrounding services, 108% more likely to need fuel delivered to them and 11.2% more likely to need a battery jump. Alternately, new boat owners are 22% less likely to need a tow.

With the number of new boaters recreating on the water, the need for boating education has never been more important. 69% of boaters surveyed are looking for more advice on local navigational assistance, mishap prevention and general boating basics.