Press Releases

New Industry Study Offers Insights to Enhance Boat Buying & Ownership Experience
COVID-19 Pandemic Triggered High Demand of First-Time Boat Purchases in 2020
We will be using this knowledge to help the industry understand how they can take better care of our boat owners and keep them in boating for the long term.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (February 15, 2022) — The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) today announced the findings from a comprehensive study conducted by Left Brain Marketing, Inc. with individuals who purchased a boat in 2020 or 2021. The study was fielded to better identify and understand challenges associated with boat shopping and ownership experiences.


"This study has helped us identify the boat buyer and boat owner's journey," said MRAA President Matt Gruhn. “We will be using this knowledge to help the industry understand how they can take better care of our boat owners and keep them in boating for the long term."


"Understanding what is driving, influencing and impacting today’s prospective boat buyers and boat owners is crucial to retaining current boaters and attracting the next generation,” said Ellen Bradley, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for NMMA. "Findings from this study will help us, as an industry, improve and enhance all stages of a boater’s journey to purchase and throughout their ownership experience."


See below for the top takeaways from the study:


• Though finding a boat during the pandemic was difficult, boaters were satisfied with the shopping and purchase experience. However, better product training in delivery is desired.


• Boaters are often dissatisfied with the cost and turnaround time for dealer maintenance/service work.


• Used buyers are just as satisfied as new purchasers with their boat but are far less likely to visit a dealer for maintenance or service work.


• Those who visit a dealer for maintenance or service are mostly happy with the quality of the work performed but feel that the cost and turnaround time are unreasonable.


• A vast majority of first time and repeat boat owners intend to remain in boating. However, underutilization and the cost of ownership are key risk factors for defection.


"In addition to what we observed in the study, the data gathered also uncovers common misconceptions among the industry," says RBFF Director of Marketing, Rachel Piacenza. “This research can guide actions for the industry to improve the boat shopping and overall ownership experience."


RBFF, NMMA and MRAA will present all findings and other takeaways in an industry-wide webinar on Wednesday, March 9.


REGISTER HERE for the Enhancing Boating Ownership Experience webinar.



RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase recreational angling and boating participation, thereby protecting and restoring the nation's aquatic natural resources. RBFF's 60 in 60 effort strives to attract 60 million anglers to the sport by the end of 2021. To help recruit, retain and reactivate participants, RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to build awareness of boating, fishing, and conservation and educate people about the benefits of participation.


The campaign websites feature how-to-videos and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots, helping boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan, and equip for a successful day on the water.


RBFF also offers its industry stakeholders many tools including a Fishing License & Boat Registration Plugin to connect their customers with the information they need in just one click, as well as an embeddable Places to Fish & Boat Map to help their customers discover places to fish and boat near them.




At the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, we believe that for the marine industry to thrive, the retail organizations that interact with the boaters in their community must thrive. With that in mind, MRAA works to create a strong and healthy boating industry by uniting those retailers, providing them with opportunities for improvement and growth, and representing them with a powerful voice. For more information, visit or contact us at 763-315-8043. 




The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is the leading trade organization for the North American recreational boating industry. NMMA member companies produce more than 80 percent of the boats, engines, trailers, marine accessories and gear used by millions of boaters in North America. The association serves its members and their sales and service networks by improving the business environment for recreational boating including providing domestic and international sales and marketing opportunities, reducing unnecessary government regulation, decreasing the cost of doing business, and helping grow boating participation. As the largest producer of boat and sport shows in the U.S., NMMA connects the recreational boating industry with the boating consumer year-round. Learn more at and get engaged with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

For further information: Bruna Carincotte,, 703-519-6917