The Washington-based industry trade group also reports the nation as a whole saw a 36-percent increase in yearly boating-related economic impact since 2018, the last time the study was conducted.
Its Pennsylvania-specific statistics indicate the $4.5 billion estimate includes direct or indirect support for more than 16,300 jobs and 557 businesses across the commonwealth. It also represents about $566 million in annual PA sales of new boats, engines, trailers, and accessories.
“With summer on the horizon, we’re anticipating healthy boating participation,” association President Frank Hugelmeyer said. His organization believes more than 85 million people will “take to the water in the U.S.” this year. Americans continue to exhibit an “appetite for the outdoors and unique experiences,” it noted.
Nationwide, the group claimed:
- New powerboat sales remained steady through the first quarter of 2023. The market is returning to pre-pandemic levels following two years of historic growth;
- During 2022, about 260,000 new powerboats and more than one million pre-owned boats were sold. They ranged from small aluminum and fiberglass fishing boats, to pontoons, family cruising, and watersports boats;
- A majority (95 percent) of the 12 million registered boats in the U.S. are smaller than 26 feet in length. Most are towed by their owners to local waterways; and
- Most (95 percent) recreational boats sold in the U.S. also were made in the U.S.