Pleasure Boat Accident Rate Increase Expected through 2022

In addition to the recent upward trend in the health of the United States economy comes an uptick in the sales of pleasure boats/recreational boats. And with a larger quantity of boats on the water, there is a larger aggregate for boat accidents.

According to a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm, recreational boat demand is predicted to increase by 5.3% per year, totaling approximately $11 billion by 2022. See Recreational Boating in the US, 11th Edition. This movement in recreational boat economics seen is a shift from several years ago. From 2012 to 2017, a trade surplus of pleasure boats in the US turned into a trade deficit. This trend in over-supply is expected to only increase, as demand continues to proliferate. Interestingly, recreational boat exports among total export shipments have dramatically decreased since 2012, being that the demand anew in the American frontier has attracted production from U.S. pleasure boat suppliers.

Which Pleasure Boats are Expected to Lead the Way?

According to The Freedonia Group’s report, outboard powerboats are predicted to expand their superior position over inboard and sterndrive powerboats. The primary reason for the superiority and above average increase in demand is due to technological advancements made in outboard powerboats’ propulsion systems. Technology has also allowed new features for recreational boats like joystick controls, digital throttles, virtual anchors, and digital dashboards. Bringing on board these innovations have created an allure and demand for new clients to enter the pleasure boat market.

Price Sensitivity For the Win

Given the higher demand for pleasure boats since 2012 to 2017 and to attract a new demographic, US companies have loosened pricing, releasing entry-level models, called Rec Lite models, including WaveRuner EX series and the Sea-Doo SPARK. Through these new releases, US companies have been have to accumulate even more demand in the pleasure boat market.

Study Coverage

This study presents historical data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts for 2022 by product (recreational boats, propulsion systems, boating accessories) and by region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) in units and US dollars. Recreational boats include outboard powerboats, inboard powerboats, sterndrive powerboats, personal watercraft, sailboats, and other types of boats. The study also evaluates key industry players, market shares and analysis of consumer survey data.

The Freedonia Group report covered the market for recreational boating in the US by product and region. Products were separated into recreational boats and propulsion systems and accessories used in recreational boats. Boats in the study included: Outboard Powerboats, Inboard Powerboats, Sterndrive Powerboats, Personal Watercraft, Sailboats, Other Boats. Propulsion systems and accessories included: OEM Outboard Propulsions Systems, OEM Inboard and Sterndrive Propulsion Systems, Repower Propulsion Systems, Boating Accessories. Regions in the study included: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West.

If you have been injured while on a pleasure boat anywhere in the continental U.S., contact the maritime lawyers of O’Bryan Law immediately for a case consultation. We represent victims of pleasure boat injuries throughout the United States. You may be able to seek compensation for your hardships under the General Maritime Law.


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