National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) homepage reports there were an estimated 70 million Americans who went boating in 2008.
The NMMA site also reports that Discover Boating, the boating industry’s national awareness campaign, has reported the results from a summer boating habits survey conducted in May of 25,000 members of the nation’s largest boat owners group, BoatU.S.
The survey reveals that when compared to the 2008 boating season, 52 percent of respondents do not expect to change the way they use their boat this summer and an additional 39 percent predict they will actually go boating more if gas prices continue to remain lower than 2008.
With gas prices currently hovering around $2.50 per gallon, much lower than last year’s nearly $4 per gallon, the industry expects this summer to be one of the busiest with boaters taking to the water in record numbers to de-stress and look for ways to vacation closer to home.
The survey also found that more than two-thirds, nearly 70 percent, of respondents said spending time on the water plays a significant role in bringing their families together. For landlubbers without a boat of their own, DiscoverBoating.com, the Discover Boating campaign’s online boating resource, is providing affordable tips on how to try out the boating lifestyle and begin creating lasting memories with friends and family.
“We anticipate Americans cutting down on out-of-town vacations this summer but still looking for ways to afford the activities and hobbies they love – for those who love the water we want to make sure they know how to access the boating lifestyle at all price points,” says Ellen Hopkins, spokeswoman for Discover Boating. “As the 70 million Americans who went boating last year can attest, being on the water can be a great way to soak in the summer weather, spend time with your family and friends and enjoy a vacation close to home.”