The global recreational boating market size was valued at USD 32,169.74 million in 2021. It is projected to reach USD 51,908.38 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.46% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Recreational boating is the activity of traveling on a lake, river, or coastline in a recreational boat for pleasure. The recreational boating market is one of the most dynamic in the maritime industry. A recreational boat is essentially a large motorboat outfitted with a cabin, plumbing, and other onboard comforts suitable for living. Water sports, camping, fishing, boat racing, sailing, and cruising are just some of the many uses for these vessels. Recreational boating is usually done to make a vacation more fun. Coated fabrics, plastics, and aluminum are used to construct these vessels. The market is expected to grow because of the growing popularity of water sports for fun and the rise of water-based tourism.
Jet skiing, rowing, rafting, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, power boating, yachting, and boat racing are recreational water sports. Recreational boating facilities are being built worldwide because people are becoming more interested in water sports, and more people of all ages are getting involved. In addition to the thrill or adrenaline rush of getting fit, watersports are gaining popularity due to several health benefits. So, water sports' health benefits are helping in supporting the demand for recreational boating.
Moreover, it has been observed in recent years that artificial water bodies for kayaking and rafting are gaining popularity among enthusiasts of water sports. Additionally, the increasing popularity of sport fishing and motorized watersports, such as jet skiing, sailing, and yachting, contributes to the expansion of the recreational boating market.
In recent years, marine tourism and leisure activities, such as sailing, power boating, yachting, and others, have experienced significant growth due to rising customer disposable income and inclination. In addition, adventure travel is expanding rapidly, and cruise expeditions are observing its effects. Several cruise builders are investing in land-based private islands that enable cruise lines to offer exclusive beach time as an extension of the onboard experience.
Additionally, the natural landscape of countries with a sea/ocean as a border attracts substantial international tourists yearly, particularly from the wealthy population segment. Luxury yachts are often rented during promotional events and meetings in these countries. Advantageous government initiatives and water tourism awareness programs to promote marine tourism create enormous opportunities for the recreational boating market.
The initial manufacturing cost of a boat is primarily higher because of its size and complexity, which necessitates the use of extensive facilities and skilled labor. The cost of a recreational boat rises with its engine's horsepower because of the demand for its superior performance. Boat prices increase even more when you factor in the cost of optional accessories and additions like extra storage, seating, or bespoke interiors.
Additionally, the total cost of ownership rises with things like registering the vessel, paying taxes and insurance, keeping it in a marina or at a dock, performing routine maintenance, and performing an annual overhaul. An example would be the three thousand to ten thousand dollars yearly cost of maintaining one of these boats. As a result, the market is being restrained to some degree as people with lower and middle incomes are less likely to spend money on recreational boating due to the high initial and ownership cost.
The demand for recreational boats is fueled by technological advancements in boat engines, such as direct-injection systems, VTEC systems, selective gear rotation systems, four-stroke technologies, and electronic fuel injection capabilities. Engine manufacturers are developing highly effective and low-polluting engines to meet consumer demand and reduce emissions from boating activities.
In addition, introducing two and four-stroke engines with direct injection technology has boosted the demand for high-tech recreational boats by providing better fuel economy, fewer emissions, and more power. High-powered engine boats are in high demand, and the market is responding by introducing innovations like twin-turbocharged engines with increased torque and power. Consequentially, the recreational boating market is poised for expansion thanks to the persistent development of cutting-edge boating technology.
The global recreational boating market is segmented by power, product, activity, and size
Based on power, the global market is bifurcated into engine-powered, man-powered, and sail-propelled.
The engine-powered segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.78% during the forecast period. An engine-powered vessel, also known as a motorboat or powerboat, is a vessel that is propelled by engine power. Diesel, gasoline, hybrid, and electric are just some of the fuel categories that are used to categorize the many boats that are powered by engines. Boats that run on engines have one of two motors installed: an inboard engine, which houses the combustion engine, and an outboard motor, which houses the outboard motor's gearbox and propeller. Boats propelled by engines are more stable, can be driven in any weather, and travel much faster than those propelled by sail or human power. The rising demand for the products caused by these elements drives the expansion of the market.
The wind is used to propel a sail-propelled watercraft through the water with the help of sail, a length of fabric generally set in a position across the longitudinal axis of the watercraft. The sail lifts or moves toward the side of the boat where the wind pressure is lower, which makes the boat move forward. Sail-powered boats are also less expensive, which is why more and more people prefer them. Compared to boats propelled by engines, it has a smaller negative impact on the environment, higher reliability, and less noise during operation. Additionally, the demand for sail-powered boats has increased due to recreational tourism worldwide.
Based on product, the global market is bifurcated into inboard boats, outboard boats, inflatables, sailboats, and personal watercraft.
The inboard boat segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.84% during the forecast period. Inboard boats have engines either in the middle of the hull or in front of the transom. Inboard engines are car engines with four cylinders that have been changed to work on water. Inboard boats are becoming more popular in the recreational boating market because of the growth of activities like short- and long-distance leisure cruises and recreational sports like wakeboarding over the past decade.
Outboard boats have engines mounted on the transom, the part of the boat outside the hull. The boat is powered and turned by outboard engines. Outboard boats are likely to become more popular because they have more space on the deck, are easier to get to, and can have machines with different amounts of power. Outboard boats are also becoming more popular because they are less expensive, easy to maintain, and perform better. The fact that outboard boats have more space than inboard boats is also helping this segment grow. The introduction of outboard boats with more powerful engines and the rising popularity of outboard boats of that size have contributed to the industry's expansion.
Based on product, the global market is bifurcated into watersports and cruising and fishing.
The watersports and cruising segment is the highest contributor to the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.96% during the forecast period. Watersports recreational boats are built to accommodate water skiers and wakeboarders. The towing capabilities and increased speed of these vessels make for an exciting adventure. Cruise ship designs provide lodging options like rooms, cabins, and amenities. One of the fastest-growing segments of the recreational boating market is watersports and cruising, driven by an increase in interest and participation in outdoor recreational watersports activities among people of all ages.
Fishing refers to the activity of catching fish for food, recreation, sport, or commercial purposes. Fishing is possible in both saltwater and freshwater environments. The forecast period is anticipated to be positively affected by the increasing fishing application due to the increasing urban population and rising income levels. In addition, fishing's growing global popularity can be mainly attributed to the fact that it's now widely recognized as a legitimate sport. The rising popularity of the recreational fishery can be mainly attributed to the increased support of reputable organizations like the American Sportfishing Association and the Billfish Foundation.
Based on the size, the global market is bifurcated into less than 30 ft., 30 to 59 ft., 60 to 79 ft., 80 to 99 ft., more than 100 ft., and full custom.
The less than 30 ft. segment owns the highest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 3.98% during the forecast period. Small sailboats, powered boats, personal watercraft, and others fall into this category. These are typically located on inland waterways like lakes and rivers or in remote beach regions. Market expansion in recent years can be mainly attributed to the popularity of these bots as recreational equipment for activities like sailing, racing, and motorized water sports. These boats are popular because they are well-liked by their owners and inexpensive. In addition, the rising acceptance of water sports like wakeboarding and waterskiing has boosted the demand for these vessels, which has helped propel the market forward.
The range of recreational boats within this definition is 30 to 59 feet. This size of boat is typically able to navigate in calm waters such as lakes, rivers, and harbors that are shallow. There are also larger boats, typically between 50 and 59 feet long, capable of navigating more turbulent ocean waters. As a result of advancements in technology and increased engine power, there has been a rise in demand for boats that fall within this size range. Additionally, boat manufacturers are providing medium-sized boats with two to three-engine capacities and sportier and more luxurious features for higher speeds and better space utilization features, which propel the segment's growth.
The global recreational boating market is bifurcated into four regions, namely North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
Europe is the most significant global market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.18% during the forecast period. The key factors driving the expansion of the European recreational boating market are increased demand for luxury cruisers, an increase in coastal and maritime tourism, and an increase in the number of adults participating in boating activities. In addition, Europe's governments are encouraging various water sports and activities across the continent, such as rowing, sailing, waterskiing, and other forms of recreational boating. It has a positive consequence not only on the market for recreational boating in Europe but also on the market in Europe. According to the European Boating Industry (EBI), approximately 6 million consumers across Europe own boats at this time, and nearly 36 million consumers participate in recreational activities regularly.
North America is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.72%, generating USD 9,219.23 million during the forecast period. The United States of America, Canada, and Mexico make up the continent of North America. Government officials in the region are emphasizing the establishment of championships to boost the popularity of recreational sports as a means of promoting adventure tourism. The primary factors driving the expansion of the recreational boating market in North America are rising customer engagement in water sports and fishing activities, improving economic conditions, and rising per capita income of consumers. In addition, the presence of leading market players such as Brunswick Corporation, Porter Inc., Maverick Boat Group, and others, as well as the introduction of new models of recreational boats, are anticipated to fuel the market growth.
The recreational boating market in Asia-Pacific is expanding due to rising incomes and a rising interest in boating in countries like China, India, Southeast Asia, and South Korea. Recreational boating is a growing industry in the region for many reasons. South Korea's boating industry receives the most investment in all of Asia. The recreational boating industry in South Korea is growing significantly thanks to the government's many programs and the country's massive investment in the sector's growth. For instance, marine analyst Tim Coventry of the Korea International Boat Show claims that South Korea is spending heavily on the R&D necessary to expand its position as a boating hub and cruising destination.
The recreational boating market in Latin America and the Middle East is growing due to the rising high net worth of individuals, tourist beaches, and marine attractions. LMA MENA, the Leisure Marine Association for the Middle East and North Africa, was founded to advocate for and promote the region's leisure marine sector. LMA MENA's primary mission is to promote and protect the interests of its members, the marine industry, and the boating community; a secondary goal is to increase recreational boat ownership and use in the region.
The global recreational boating market’s major key players are
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