Recreational Boat Sales Increase 5.3% Annually Through 2022

Demand for recreational boats is forecast to grow 5.3% per year to nearly $11 billion in 2022. Demand will be supported by a healthy economy, which improves the following:

  • personal consumption expenditures, particularly for durable goods and recreation
  • disposable income and discretionary spending
  • access to credit, via loans and the use of home equity

Demand will be driven by outboard powerboats, which are expected to continue to expand their dominant position over inboard and sterndrive powerboats. Outboard powerboats are forecast to grow at an above average pace through 2022 because of the attributes and benefits of their propulsion systems. These and other trends are presented in Recreational Boating in the US, 11th Edition, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Shipments of recreational boats from US manufacturers are projected to grow 5.2% per year through 2022, reaching $10.6 billion. From 2012 to 2017, the US moved from a trade surplus to a trade deficit and this trend is expected to continue. Exports as a percentage of shipments have decreased substantially since 2012, as rising US demand now captures more of the production from US manufacturers.

Recreational Boating in the US, 11th Edition (published 3/2018, 199 pages) is available for $4900 from The Freedonia Group. For further details or to arrange an interview with the analyst, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600 or email

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