In the era of the coronavirus pandemic, finding ways to recreate outdoors has become an important survival tool. Last year, the boating industry saw a record number of new boat owners on the water. New boaters and seasoned boaters alike have changed their social distancing habits naturally while making the most of their love for the recreational outlet. According to a survey of 3,500 boaters by Sea Tow Services International, we can expect this trend to continue into the 2021 summer season.
Nautical behavior influenced by a pandemic:
- 52% of boaters surveyed predict an increase in their boating activity this summer compared to last year.
- 20% cite the pandemic as a reason to extend their boating season again to 2021.
- 24% plan to take a vacation on / by boat (compared to other forms of travel) due to the pandemic.
- 35% plan to use their boat mainly for sailing near their home.
- 16% have switched to a larger boat in 2020 or plan to do so in 2021.
- 52% plan to use their boat mainly for fishing (65% on land / 30% offshore / 5% in freshwater).
- 30% found it more difficult to find dockside space and / or a marina.
âOur member survey has generally been a very good indicator of seasonal boating trends,â said Kristen Frohnhoefer, President of Sea Tow. âLast year, Sea Tow saw a 34% increase in requests for on-water assistance in the summer of 2020, and our national network of captains is forecasting another busy season for 2021.â
With the sale of a record number of new boats in more than a decade and an influx of new boaters, Sea Tow noted that in 2020 new boat owners were 142% more likely to need maintenance services. to land, 108% more likely to need fuel delivered to them and 11.2% more likely to need a battery jump. On the other hand, new boat owners are 22% less likely to need a tow.
âThese numbers are very interesting,â says Frohnhoefer, âthey reflect the fact that new boaters are not yet familiar with things like moving sandbars and difficult-to-navigate canals, or how to manage their fuel, like theirs. more seasoned counterparts – which is becoming the struggling ones and causing them to call us for help. But similarly, these stats demonstrate what we’ve been saying from the start – that when it comes to new boats, on-water assistance is usually needed due to user error, not user error. mechanical failure, because new boats and engines are more reliable than ever. ”
With the number of new boaters recreating on the water, the need for boating training has never been greater. 69% of boaters surveyed seek more advice on local boating assistance, accident prevention and general boating basics.
â2021 is sure to be another flagship year for boating,â says Frohnhoefer, âwith the unofficial start of summer just a few weeks away, we’ll know very soon if these boating trends are in fact here to stay. . “