Borrowing Money

Boating Trends: What You Should Know

Do you have an interest in cruising the open water? You’re not alone. Recreational boating is seeing some of its highest gains in almost a decade.1 But before you invest in a boat, first consider some of the latest trends to ensure your purchase fully fits your lifestyle.

How are boaters hitting the water?1

More than 90 percent of Americans live within an hour’s drive of a navigable body of water.2 And while the yachting industry was slower to rebound after the recession, it’s now seeing promising growth. What’s more, many boats are being outfitted to provide an all-in-one experience, from water sports to fishing, which is also helping drive growth for the industry.3

Boat upgrades and replacements

The length of time before upgrades are needed will depend on the boat you choose and how you use it. Important note to keep in mind: Expect to pay around 10 percent of the original purchase price (including interest charges on the loan) in yearly ownership and maintenance fees. For a used boat, however, upkeep is typically 10 percent of the purchase price plus the cost of any upgrades you invest in. As you shop around, consider that outboard engines—which contain the engine, gearbox and propeller in one single unit—typically have greater fuel efficiency and are often easier (and cheaper) to maintain. 

A typical 25’ powerboat

If you’re considering upsizing, remember a bigger boat means more room (yay!), but there are also other factors to consider. For example, you might not be able to do routine maintenance yourself any longer, and ownership costs will likely jump if you have to pay professionals. It’s important for your boat—and all the considerations that go into ownership—to fit your lifestyle.

Boating technology trends: Technology is quickly advancing in the boating world.

A few of the latest tech trends hitting the boating industry are: 1) New mobile apps that provide weather forecasts, sea conditions and GPS navigation, 2) Digital dashboards that help control the engine, maps, stereo and more with the touch of a finger, and 3) LED customized lighting systems that have timers, color options, underwater features and more. 

Boaters want reliable and enjoyable boating experiences, more conveniences and less maintenance

Since 2008, the boating industry has evolved and is seeing a change in consumer preferences. In response, most boating companies are considering this and determining what that means for future growth (think: new engine models, the latest and greatest technology, etc.). So keep an eye on the horizon: You could see good things and even more updates over the next few years. 

Ready for a new adventure?  

Learn more about marine loans today.

1 “State of the Industry 2017 Boating Industry Webinar,” 2017, InfoLink

2 “U.S. Boat Sales Float Back to the Top, Expected to Surge through 2018,” 2017, National Marine Manufacturers Association

3 “As Summer Starts, U.S. Boat Sales Continue To Climb,” 2017, Denison Yachting

4 “The Cost of Owning a Boat: Budgeting and Financial Planning,” June 14, 2018,

5 “Buying A Larger Boat,” 2014, Boat Owners Association of The United States 

6 “2018 Top Technology Trends in Boating,” 2018, SmartPlug

7 “2018 Boating Industry Movers and Shakers,” 2018, BoatingIndustry

This content does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.