Boating: The Drug of Choice

Published on August 5th, 2019

Australia’s Boating Industry Association president Darren Vaux opened the 52nd edition of the Sydney International Boat Show (August 1-5, 2019) by telling his members and exhibitors from around the world that the industry should adopt a universal promotional message: “Boating: The Drug of Choice.”

Noting that 20% of Australians and 100% of attendees at the annual member’s breakfast participate in boating each year and understand that “a weekend on the water is like a week away,” boating’s benefits are more than anecdotal.

Vaux pointed to a United Nations report showing seven of the top 10 happiest countries in the world also have the highest participation in boating – adding the ironic aside that Australia comes in at number 11.

“Those countries have 50% more participation in boating than we do,” Vaux said, asking, “Is it coincidence? Science? It certainly is an opportunity.”

But according to Vaux, “The science is in and the science is fascinating.”

Quoting from The Blue Market, a book by American researcher Dr Wallace J Nichols, the stress hormone cortisone goes down, while the relaxation hormone serotonin goes up, when people are on the water.

“So, here’s the thing. There’s a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry that invests enormous amounts of money to try and change people’s behavior and the way they feel, but at the end of the day, we know that the only thing you need to do is buy a boat.” Full report.

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