The global boat monitoring market was valued at USD 477 million in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 1,350 million by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 12.25% during the forecast period (2023–2031). Boat-monitoring systems provide real-time information for all boats. It enables owners to track, monitor, and prevent boats from theft. Boat-monitoring devices gather data from sensors and controls, which are transferred ashore so one can view it on the dashboard. Monitoring systems send alert messages through SMS or e-mails to owners. Some devices also enable communication from owners to boats for actions such as turning off engines or turning on air conditioners. Boat monitoring devices have their application in boats, yachts, and other boats such as kayaks, canoes, and smaller boats.
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Increasing Participation in Leisure-Boating Activities in Europe
The European boating industry is one of the world's most dynamic and competitive industries that significantly contribute to the growth of the European economy. The leisure boating industry in Europe has witnessed impressive growth over the past five years. The market for recreational boats has grown a lot in places like Belgium, Croatia, and many others. For instance, Belgium has several water sports centers that support almost any water-related recreation. It is home to over 20 marinas. Inland lakes and waterways are used intensively for various water sports, such as cable waterskiing, wakeboarding, dinghy sailing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, rowing, and kayaking. Belgian authorities are aggressively involved in the growth and modernization of various clubs and marinas.
In addition, Croatia became the first country in the world to officially introduce UberBOAT in the summer of 2017, allowing better connections between islands and the mainland. Due to a massive increase in tourism over the past few years, Croatia was chosen to launch the business. Reportedly, the demand for speedboats is increasing, and more boats are being purchased for UberBOAT services, thereby driving the market growth.
Growing Boat Market
People are increasingly interested in boating as an outdoor activity, especially when other leisure activities, travel, and sports are still negatively impacted by COVID-19. According to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), fishing and leisure boating significantly contribute to the USD 689 billion outdoor recreation economy, exceeding hiking, RVing, and other outdoor recreational activities. In 2020, the economic contribution from fishing and boating was up around 30% from 2019. Meanwhile, in 2022, it was predicted that there would be an increase of more than 3% in boat sales over 2021. Therefore, the rise in boat sales eventually drives the demand for boat monitoring systems.
Volatility in Raw Material Prices Affecting Vendor Margins
Raw materials constitute the most significant cost component in the boat-monitoring systems market. Steel, plastic, and rubber prices, the primary raw materials used to make boat monitoring systems, have climbed dramatically in recent years. The variable pricing of raw materials seriously threatens vendor profit margins. Other operating expenses, such as wages, also show a sharp increase. Rising raw materials costs raise manufacturing costs by an additional 5% to 7%, thus reducing profitability. Chinese manufacturers add more worries to the company's top line. These factors are burdening vendors striving to produce efficient boat-monitoring systems at affordable costs to cope with increasing competition in the market. Therefore, the volatility in raw materials affects manufacturers' profit margins and hinders market growth.
Technological Advancements in Marine Industry
End-users are demanding more technologically advanced features like joystick controls for docking, automatic trim controls, and digital throttle and shift. End users need more time to practice driving and gain practical boating experience due to their hectic schedules. As a result, they are using automatic controls more and more frequently. Manufacturers are using the latest technologies to make existing boats more appealing to the younger generation. The use of new designs and lightweight materials, coupled with the automation of core boat functions, are some of the latest innovations in modern boats.
The speed of innovation is accelerating, especially with the rise of new digital industrial technologies known as Industry 4.0, underpinned by the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) transformation technologies. These systems combine major digital technologies, cloud computing, IoT, blockchain, sophisticated sensors, data capture and analysis, advanced robotics, and AI geared toward transforming the industry. The key players' development of boat monitoring apps also accounts for significant growth in the market. Technological advances in the marine industry should help the market grow in ways that are good for business.
The global boat monitoring market is segmented into monitoring systems and applications.
By monitoring systems, the global market is divided into positioning and tracking, control systems, security systems, and others.
The position and tracking system segment owns the market share and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 13.23% over the forecast period. Position and tracking systems enable identifying, tracking, and monitoring the boat’s location and position and gaining other essential information in stabilizing and maneuvering the route and course. The remote boat tracking system plays a vital role by providing long-range connectivity. With the involvement of the internet, several such boat tracking systems have managed to integrate internet connectivity, providing better services. Boat-tracking systems are available in a wide variety, whereas GPS is the most common among many boat-tracking systems. GPS, as a boat tracking system, identifies the location and the position of the boat in the water and is very helpful when an inappropriate situation crops up. GPS helps boats identify what routes to take and other required information for a boat in its navigation.
Boat control systems improve efficiency and handling with integrated systems. Boat-control systems, such as Yamaha’s second-generation Helm Master EX and Mercury’s SmartCraft, provide features comprising autopilot functions, trolling modes, joystick control with station-keeping options, trim control, digital electronic steering, and even anti-theft devices. Dometic’s 360 Joystick and Optimus EPS provide power steering and close-quarters joystick operation. Some less expensive and easier control solutions, such as stern thrusters, offer better close-quarters handling. These days, control options are available for any boat, including the 20-footers up to the 80- to 100-footers. From Yamaha and Mercury, full-featured boat-control systems can provide functions of a thruster, trolling motor, virtual anchor, and autopilot, along with incremental trolling speeds, power steering, and specific trim control for improved fuel efficiency.
By application, the global market is divided into boats, yachts, and others.
The boat segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.63% during the forecast period. Boats can be categorized into outboard boats, inboard boats, and personal watercraft boats. Outboard boats are classified based on engine placement and are one of the largest-selling boats in North America. The market for outboard boats is also primarily driven by the performance of the boats due to technical advancements. Outboard boats have developed significantly in stroke support (engine component), propelling the demand for boat-monitoring systems to create new-tech outboard boats. Inboard boats are widely used for several purposes across numerous sectors. Inboard is a four-stroke automotive engine adapted for marine use and is mounted inside the hull’s midsection or in front of the transom. The engine turns a drive shaft that runs through the bottom of the hull and is attached to a propeller at the other end.
Yachts are a type of boat that is longer than 30 meters. Italy is one of the key manufacturers of superyachts, which can be engine-propelled or sail-propelled. A sailing boat is a boat that is propelled by sails. These seaboats are also referred to as yachts in western boating and are characterized by their height, design of hulls, form of keels, function, number, arrangement of masts, and method of sailing. There are different sailing boats, such as catboats, cutters, ketches, dinghies, schooners, sloops, and yawls. However, developing market across the globe has started focusing on yachts to support the tourism market. Several countries are focusing on yachting as one of the few alternative forms and choosing to invest capital in this area. In the Mediterranean, Egypt has tried to develop yacht tourism as a strategic option to support the volume of tourism. Therefore, developing various tourism services provided in the region is seen as a strategic vision for vendors for developing boat-monitoring systems.
By region, the global boat monitoring market is divided into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America Dominates the Global Market
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North America is the most significant global boat monitoring market shareholder and is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 11.74% during the forecast period. The US is one of the biggest manufacturing hubs in North America. Over the past few years, it has attracted massive investments for the capacity expansion of existing facilities or new facility setups. The presence of manufacturing facilities of Bayliner, Malibu Boats, and Sea Ray is a significant driver for the growth of the boat monitoring market in this region. Due to increased consumer confidence in recent years, boat makers deliver fresh goods and experiences to draw in younger boaters. According to a boat sales statistic, recent boat sales and recreational boating expenses grew for the eighth consecutive year in 2019. In 2020, boat sales hit their highest level in 13 years, a trend that lasted through 2021. In addition, the demand for new boats increased in 2021 owing to rising interest in outdoor recreation activities and methods of social isolation. Low-interest rates, increasing disposable income, and consumer spending are expected to positively impact boat monitoring system sales during the forecast period.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.04% over the forecast period. Over the last few years, the boat monitoring market in Europe has been witnessing a faster recovery due to its strong global position and increasing exports than the US. One of the most important things driving the growth of the boat monitoring market in Europe is that Europeans have a lot of money to spend. In Europe, end-users are known to have a higher annual savings ratio than their counterparts in the US. For instance, the average Western European saves over 10% of their income annually, three times more than an average US national. These savings enable consumers to spend more on products beyond necessities, such as premium boats with monitoring systems.
In recent years, Asia-Pacific witnessed continuous growth in the spending power of middle-income families. This segment of the population is continuously striving to improve its lifestyle. Consequently, higher spending power and changing lifestyles are expected to increase the penetration of boat-monitoring systems in Asia-Pacific during the forecast period. The abundance of natural resources and the availability of cheap labor, which have helped the region emerge as a global manufacturing hub, are other factors supporting the market's growth in Asia-Pacific. The governments in many Asia-Pacific countries have facilitated world-class manufacturing hubs through considerable investments in every sector. Furthermore, the growing HNWI population and a thriving economic environment are expected to propel the growth of the Asia-Pacific recreational boat market over the forecast period.
The boat market in Latin America has been witnessing turmoil over the last five years. One of the critical reasons for this is the political and economic imbalance. High-interest rates, rising inflation, and fiscal consolation efforts are expected to stunt growth in Argentina over the forecast period. The current political scenario in Colombia is expected to aid economic growth in the region during the forecast period. In Mexico, the new government is expected to avoid radical policy changes, leading to a slump in the economy.
Furthermore, rising global protectionism and the uncertain outcome of NAFTA renegotiations will likely impact boat monitoring sales. However, over the last five years, major players such as Brunswick, Azimut-Benetti Group, and Bénéteau have invested in manufacturing facilities in Brazil, expecting positive returns in the long term. The boating industry in Central and South America is small and entirely dependent on the growth of the global market in the next few years.
The Middle East and Africa witnessed considerable investor traction over the last few years, which is expected to continue during the forecast period. Capital market reforms have led to the emergence of bond investors and market equity. The public and private sectors are anticipated to gain financing due to the influx of portfolio investments. Geopolitical instability in the Middle East and Africa due to extremism and terrorism has harmed market growth in recent years. Globally, Africa is one of the fastest-growing economies. In 2016, West Africa grew by 2.7% due to its diversification into non-oil sectors to generate steady revenue. Moreover, factors such as high foreign direct investment, declination in the inflation rate, and a retail boom can help the recreational boat industry fuel the growth of boat monitoring.
The key players in the global boat monitoring market are Azimut-Benetti Group, Brunswick Corporation, Group Beneteau, Yamaha, Gost, Seas of Solutions, Navis Electronika, Smartswitch, Garmin, Monnit, Kobelt, C-Pod Security Systems, Siren Marine, Mastervolt, Sentinel, Yacht Sentinel, Gem Elettronica, C.Technology, Vanemar, and Barnacle Systems.