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Leisure boat market, post pandemic

Published on March 2nd, 2021

by Adarsh Chourasia, Global Market Insights
Being locked down at their homes for months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic in 2020, people across the globe have again shifted focus towards an outdoor activity to help them get out of the boredom; recreational boating. Being at sea feels more peaceful than being held captive at home along with the work from home mandates.

After the coronavirus pandemic subsides, it would be compelling for individuals to travel to vivid tourist places, augmenting the statistics of boating industry and in turn producing a demand spurt for leisure boats like cruiser, yacht, pontoons, and others. On this note, it would be imperative to mention that the global leisure boat market size is expected to record a valuation of USD 42 billion by 2026.

It is not surprising that millionaires are looking to spend hefty amounts on taking ownership of leisure boats. In fact, according to a report by the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 1 in 10 homes in the United States own a leisure boat. This suggests that United States has emerged as a recreational hub for the citizens of the country allowing them to be involved in all types of activities in the marine industry.

Recently, one of Italy’s leading yacht manufacturing companies – Azimut Yachts – had announced holding an exclusive Private Boat Show for its customers and friends at Pompano Beach in Florida. News reports have stated that the show would feature only about 14 of its most popular yachts including Azimut 78 Fly and Magellano 25 Metri, while also producing a digital launch of its bran new Verve 42.

How has COVID-19 stimulated the growth of boating industry in the United States?
With Americans choosing boating as an escape route against COVID-19 pandemic, the interest in outdoor recreation activities in the country during 2020 has soared to all new heights today. The NMMA, which represents North American recreational boat, marine accessory, and engine manufacturers, reports that the retail unit sales of powerboats in the country rose by an estimated 12% last year compared to 2019. More than over 310,000 new powerboats were exported in 2020.

In fact, post-pandemic and in the realm of 2021, boat sales across the United States are expected to remain at historic levels as producers continue to fill a backlog of orders generated in 2020. Pandemic-related supply chain constraints curbed boat production and shipments for several months in the last year. It is estimated to subside and restore marine production to normal months for 2021, producing an additional interest in safe outdoor recreational activities including boating.

On top of that, with the introduction of certain programs and initiatives across the United States, leisure boating industry is set to amass massive traction over the coming years. For instance, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, the U.S Coast Guard, recreational boating safety advocates, and various local and state law enforcement agencies, are looking forward to launching a nationwide campaign, Operation Dry Water, to help raise awareness and prevent accidents related to boating under the influence.

Cruiser boats: luxury at par during boating
Journey by a cruise sounds quite enjoyable to many. In fact, it is. Cruise cabins and cruisers are considered to be an expensive yet classy mode of transport through sea. While it is a mode of transportation for some, cruisers stand as a recreational luxury for people with high disposable incomes. It does not come as a surprise that cruise industry is one of the fastest evolving sectors of the leisure travel industry.

The beauty of cruiser boats is that it can aptly accommodate families and friends allowing them to enjoy the experience of being at the sea both during the day and night. The boating lifestyle can cover many water activities with these boats right from tow sports to offshore sportfishing and everything and anything in between as well as cruising around with family, friends, and pets.

The cruiser boats of today are well equipped with vivid new-age technologies, that allow them to stand apart in the overall marine industry. However, ongoing technological upgradations in this realm would potentially accentuate the demand for these luxury boats in the years to follow.

In 2020, Canada’s leading electric boats manufacturer and provider – Templar Marine – had unveiled its classic innovation in electric cruising boat- Picnic 21. The novel product emerges to be an extension to the company’s line to 4 models, each with different options and configurations to suit a variety of uses, from daytime to night cruiser to commercial passenger vessel.

The demand for cruiser boats is so well-spread and much acclaimed that even developing countries around the world have laid down their plans to include these luxury boats in their boating activities profile. One such country has to be India.

With the boating activities being at peak in the country, India boating industry is expected to witness a notable thrust in the upcoming years, primarily due to the introduction of new recreational or leisure boats, cruiser boats. In fact, it was observed that the critical COVID-19 pandemic time had compelled people to take a mini vacation and move to beaches and seas for some recreational activities. This prompted the state governments to take considerable action towards augmenting the status of boating equipment.

Speaking of which, the Telangana State Tourism Development Corporation had laid down its plans of introducing an 80-seat cruiser on the Hussain Sagar lake. This decision follows the increasing demand raised by tourists in the state to enhance the state of boating activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic, which evoked a sense of fear and major disruptions in vivid businesses and locked people in their homes for quite a long time, is also one of the reasons expected to produce a significant demand for recreational boating activities across developing economies in the world. That said, the leisure boat market is set to witness a steady transformation in the years ahead.

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