Recreational boating demographicsNRBS report details North America boating participation and key boater demographic information based on 2012 data

Marine businesses and other stakeholders in recreational boating now have access to a comprehensive recreational boating participant report available for free download from the United States Coast Guard Boat Safety Division as part of the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

The survey report serves as an important resource for the recreational boating community, providing insights into how boating participation is changing over time as well as valuable demographic and boat type information with geographic breakdowns.



About the National Recreational Boating Safety Program

The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 established the National Recreational Boating Safety (RBS) Program that was designed to “improve boating safety and to foster greater development, use, and enjoyment of all the waters of the United States by encouraging and assisting participation by the several States, the boating industry, and the boating public in development of more comprehensive boating safety programs.”

A primary purpose of the National Recreational Boating Survey (NRBS) is to produce valid and reliable estimates of recreational boating exposure (such as Boat Hours, Boat Day, Boat-Person Day and Boat Person-Hours) that are used to generate risk ratios for boating accidents and fatalities.

The 2012 NRBS report produced a great amount of data about recreational boats and boating on different types and sizes of boats in the country.

According to National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), “key findings from this year’s report note that about 27.3% or 32.3 million of the estimated 118.1 million U.S. households had at least one member who boated in 2012. Just over 20% of those same households owned their own boat. In comparison, the 2011 data  noted that about 29%, or 34.2 million, of the estimated 116.7 million U.S. households had at least one member who boated in 2011.”

Topics covered in the survey findings include:

  • Household Participation in Recreational Boating
  • Individual Participation in Recreational Boating
  • Gender of Recreational Boating Participants
  • Ages of Recreational Boating Participants
  • Adult Participation in Recreational Boating
  • Participation of Children in Recreational Boating
  • Boating Participation on Different Types of Boats
  • Participation in Recreational Boating Activities
  • Days and Hours of Recreational Boats’ Use
  • Boat Use in Different Regions
  • Boating Safety Equipment Onboard Boats
  • Ownership of Different Sizes of Boats
  • Registered and Non-registered Boats
  • Exposure Rates and Risk Ratios

To get the full NRBS report, including helpful charts and statistics, download the full report from USCG.




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