The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) recently announced that in 2011 U.S. retail sales for recreational boats, accessories and marine services increased six percent to $32.3 billion, new power and sail boat retail sales increased 0.8 percent to 214,405, and boating participation increased 10 percent to 83 million. The recreational boating industry has not seen an increase in retail sales since 2006, and the jump in participation is the largest proportion of adults (34.8 percent) who went boating since 1997, when 35.8 percent participated.
The NMMA's annual Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is the U.S. recreational boating industry's most comprehensive compilation of statistics and research. The new data signals the beginning of a recovery for the U.S. recreational boating industry. Leading a recovery are sales of aluminum power boats (primarily fishing and pontoon boats), which were up four percent in 2011.