SOURCE: Freedonia Group, Inc.

November 07, 2007 14:26 ET

US Demand for Recreational Boating Products to Exceed $20 Billion in 2011

CLEVELAND, OH--(Marketwire - November 7, 2007) - US demand for recreational boating products -- including boats and separately sold propulsion systems and accessories -- is projected to rise 5.3 percent per annum through 2011 to over $20 billion. Strong growth in recreation and leisure expenditures will support demand, as will gains in disposable personal income. The recreational boating market will benefit from strong population growth in the 55-64 age bracket, which are key end users of large, high-priced recreational boating products. Lastly, gains will be supported by the efforts of manufacturers and industry organizations to increase interest in boating among women, minorities and other nontraditional boat buyers. These and other trends are presented in "Recreational Boating," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

Powerboats are expected to see the fastest gains in the boat category through 2011, as these boats are more ideal for the aging population due to their ease of operation. Outboard powerboats are expected to post rapid growth, driven by the increasing popularity of boat packages that often include the motor, a trailer and other various accessories that make the buying process simpler for the consumer. Such packages add dollar value to the outboard boat market, as well as a significant level of convenience for first-time buyers. Sterndrive powerboats are also expected to see healthy gains, benefiting from their high performance capabilities, fuel efficiency and durability.

Separately sold propulsion systems are expected to be the fastest growing segment among recreational boating products through 2011. Gains will be supported by evolving environmental regulations which will lead to more stringent emission standards on marine engines. These standards will require continual technological innovation, thereby increasing the overall cost of the engines. Demand for separately sold accessories is also expected to grow at a healthy pace, benefiting from a growing consumer interest in global positioning systems as well as satellite-based communication systems.

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