Recreational Boating Market - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecast (2021 - 2026)

The Recreational Boating Market is segmented by Boat Type (Inboard Boats, Outboard Boats, Personal Watercraft Boats, and Other Boat Types), Application (Watersports and Fishing), Power Source (Internal Combustion Engine and Electric), and Geography (North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World).

Market Snapshot

Recreational Boating Market Overview
Study Period: 2018- 2026
Base Year: 2020
Fastest Growing Market: North America
Largest Market: North America
CAGR: >5 %
Recreational Boating Market Major Players

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Market Overview

The recreational boating market was valued at USD 26 billion in 2020, and it is anticipated to reach USD 35 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of around 5% during the forecast period.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and with the travel restrictions and social distancing norms imposed, all recreational activities were avoided. Consequently, the recreational boating market saw a dip in its revenues. With no public movement and the low phase of the global economy, neither new purchases were made, nor any transactions occurred. This forced the market toward economic downfall. 

The recreational boating industry continues to attract large volumes of participants competing strongly with rival luxury leisure pursuits. It is estimated that there are at least 140 million active boaters and watersports participants worldwide, including almost 100 million across the United States and Canada, a further 36 million across Europe, and more than 5 million in Australia.

The growth in the watersports tourism industry is majorly driving the recreational boating market. Rising attraction toward recreation activities and watersports from millennial and post-millennial generations is further boosting the demand in the market studied. However, dynamics in the cost range of diversified boats might serve as a challenge.

At present, the recreational boating industry represents a small percentage of the overall global leisure industry; however, the share of recreational boats is anticipated to grow over the forecast period.

Scope of the Report

The boats designed for recreational purposes are used for watersports, cruising, and fishing applications. The boat type includes inboard boats, outboard boats, personal watercraft boats, and other boat types. Inflatable boats are considered in other segments under the boat type classification of the study. The application type includes watersports and fishing. The power source type includes internal combustion engine and electric. The report provides the market size and forecasts for all the major countries in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Rest of the World. The profiles of major players in the market are also covered, along with their market shares. The market size and forecast are provided in terms of value (USD billion).

By Boat Type
Inboard Boats
Outboard Boats
Personal Watercraft Boats
Other Boat Types
By Application
By Power Source
IC Engine
Electric Power
By Geography
North America
United States
Rest of North America
United Kingdom
Rest of Europe
South Korea
Rest of Asia-Pacific
Rest of the World
South America
Middle-East and Africa

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Key Market Trends

Increasing Watersports and Recreational Activities

The growing interest of people in outdoor recreational activities and increased participation rates across all age groups for the same are some of the major factors driving the recreational boating industry.

Watersports are becoming popular not only for the excitement or adrenaline rush of getting fit but also because of several health benefits. As a result, increasing health benefits associated with water sports are supporting market growth worldwide.

A study from North Carolina State University found that outdoor play and nature-based activities helped buffer some of the negative mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for adolescents. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic fueled the surge in recreational boat sales. New age groups and female boat buyers played a huge role in the growth.

Various players active in the market are updating their product offerings as the demand for recreational activities has increased after the pandemic. For instance, in July 2020, Kawasaki added eight models in the line for 2021; each model in the 2021 range comes with a normally aspirated or supercharged four-cylinder, four-stroke Kawasaki marine engine.

Moreover, companies are also introducing electric personnel boats for clean and silent recreational activity. For instance, in July 2020, Taiga introduced two versions of its Orca electric jet ski, as the electric watercraft space is starting to take shape. The watercraft is offered with a 23-kWh battery pack. Its electric powertrain generates over 134 kW and can achieve a top speed of up to 104km/h.

Recreational Boating Market Key Trends

The North American Region is Likely to Dominate the Market

There is already an uptrend in the domestic boating industry, where people are opting to do watersports in their own country rather than going foreign. This ongoing trend is boosting the watersport industry domestically.

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reported that retail unit sales of new powerboats in the United States increased in 2020 by around 12% compared to 2019, with near to 310,000 new powerboats sold in 2020.

Personal watercraft sales were up by around 8% to 82,000 units in 2020, and wake boats were up near to 20% to 13,000 units in 2020. Boat sales are expected to continue this in 2021 as well.

Additionally, restrictions are likely to continue into 2021, which will fuel the demand for safe outdoor recreation activities, including boating.

According to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), around 100 million Americans go boating each year. Outdoor recreation makes up 2.1% of country’s GDP, generating USD 788 billion in real gross output. Boating and fishing are the largest outdoor recreation activities in the country, totaling near to USD 23.6 billion.

Another country where the recreational boating industry is a major contributor to the economy is Canada. Canadian pastime brings more than 12 million people together on the water every year, thereby generating more than USD 10 billion in revenues and has a GDP impact of USD 5.6 billion.

Recreational Boating Market Growth Rate

Competitive Landscape

The recreational boating market is fragmented and dominated by industry players such as American Sail Inc., Ferretti, Sunseeker, Beneteau, Brunswick, MacGregor, Azimut-Benetti, Hunter, Hobie Cat Corporation, Princess Cruise, Bavaria Yachtbau, and Catalina Yachts. The boat manufacturers are expanding their business to increase their revenue generation opportunities. For instance:

  • In January 2021, Correct Craft said in a statement that it is planning to open a manufacturing facility in Valdosta. The company will be investing more than USD 1.7 million in opening a manufacturing facility in Lowndes County. Correct Craft’s Valdosta plant will be producing wakeboarding and wake surfing boats under its Supreme Boats brand.

Recent Developments

In December 2020, HanseYachts launched two new boats of its Sealine range, C335 and C335v. Both models are offered with an inboard engine of up to 440 hp for a top speed of 31 kt, or twin outboards (2 x 300hp).

In June 2020, Polaris Inc. announced that it made the strategic decision to focus its marine investments and growth efforts on its flagship boating brands. Moreover, it is stopping the production of Rinker, Striper, and Larson FX boat brands at its Syracuse, Indiana plant.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Assumptions

    2. 1.2 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Drivers

    2. 4.2 Market Restraints

    3. 4.3 Industry Attractiveness - Porter's Five Forces Analysis

      1. 4.3.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.3.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.3.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.3.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.3.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry


    1. 5.1 By Boat Type

      1. 5.1.1 Inboard Boats

      2. 5.1.2 Outboard Boats

      3. 5.1.3 Personal Watercraft Boats

      4. 5.1.4 Other Boat Types

    2. 5.2 By Application

      1. 5.2.1 Watersports

      2. 5.2.2 Fishing

    3. 5.3 By Power Source

      1. 5.3.1 IC Engine

      2. 5.3.2 Electric Power

    4. 5.4 By Geography

      1. 5.4.1 North America

        1. United States

        2. Canada

        3. Rest of North America

      2. 5.4.2 Europe

        1. Germany

        2. United Kingdom

        3. France

        4. Rest of Europe

      3. 5.4.3 Asia-Pacific

        1. China

        2. Japan

        3. India

        4. South Korea

        5. Rest of Asia-Pacific

      4. 5.4.4 Rest of the World

        1. South America

        2. Middle-East and Africa


    1. 6.1 Vendor Market Share

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles*

      1. 6.2.1 Groupe Beneteau

      2. 6.2.2 Azimut Benetti Group

      3. 6.2.3 Marine Product Corporation

      4. 6.2.4 Bennington Marine LLC

      5. 6.2.5 Sunseeker International Limited

      6. 6.2.6 Ranger Boats

      7. 6.2.7 Catalina Yachts

      8. 6.2.8 Brunswick Corporation

      9. 6.2.9 Hobie CAT Company

      10. 6.2.10 Bavaria Yachtbau

      11. 6.2.11 Mahindra Odyssea

      12. 6.2.12 Tracker Boats

      13. 6.2.13 Godfrey Pontoon Group

      14. 6.2.14 Ferretti Group


**Subject to Availability

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Recreational Boating Market market is studied from 2018 - 2026.

The Recreational Boating Market is growing at a CAGR of >5% over the next 5 years.

The Recreational Boating Market is valued at 26 Billion USD in 2018.

The Recreational Boating Market is valued at 35 Billion USD in 2026.

North America is growing at the highest CAGR over 2021- 2026.

North America holds highest share in 2020.

Brunswick Corporation, Groupe Beneteau, Azimut Benetti Group, Bennington Marine LLC, Catalina Yachts are the major companies operating in Recreational Boating Market.

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