Press Releases

New RBFF Study Reinforces the Importance of Hispanics to the Future of the Marine Industry
Boating research explores Hispanics’ attitudes and motivations, challenges and barriers to boating; Maps out key elements in the path to purchase a boat

ALEXANDRIA, VA (February 12, 2015) – A new study announced by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today at the Miami International Boat Show reinforces Hispanic consumers are key to the future of the marine industry. The Hispanic Boating Path to Purchase Research, which was commissioned by RBFF to learn more about Hispanic attitudes and motivations, challenges and barriers to boating, also reveals key elements in Hispanics’ path to purchase a boat.

Hispanics currently represent 17% of the U.S. population, and are expected to grow to 20% by 2020 with a large percentage of growth being driven by youth.
“The opportunity to reach out to Hispanics is clear, but more significant is that these numbers show us the importance of taking action now to ensure this future generation embraces boating and fishing activities and lifestyles, which contribute to state aquatic conservation efforts,“ said  RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “We’re using this research to inform the future direction of our
Vamos A Pescar™ campaign, and educate stakeholders about the great opportunity that lies in front of them.”

The qualitative and quantitative research was conducted with current and prospective Hispanic boat owners, in addition to boat retailers in key U.S. Hispanic markets, with a focus on Houston and Miami.


Attitudes & Motivations

  • As with the general market, exposure to boating generally motivates the desire for a boat. Living near water, fishing or growing up around boating tends to increase this tendency.
    • 34% of owners and 35% of prospects report that owning a boat is something they always wanted.
  • Once there is a realization that a boat is something they can afford, it becomes a symbol of success for Hispanics and an important way to reward themselves for their hard work and achievement (81%).
  • Among Hispanics, “spending time with the family” is the single largest motivator for deciding to buy a boat (43%) as well as “entertaining family and friends” (29%) and using it for fishing (35%).

Challenges & Barriers

  • Despite the positives of boating, the most significant obstacle to boat ownership is the perception of affordability.
  • 29% of owners reported that realizing affordability was one of the key motivators to finally deciding to buy a boat.
  • Among prospects, the top obstacles to buying a boat are related to affordability – “I think the boat's maintenance (repairs, gas, storage, etc.) is too expensive,” “I think boats are too expensive,” “I don't want to borrow for it,” and “I don't think I can afford it”

Path to Purchase –

  • While the desire to own a boat can be common and long-held, realizing that boat ownership can be an affordable reality is a major trigger to actively research and consider options.
  • The consideration, research and shopping phases do not appear to be separated by specific activities; instead, more research is indicative of getting closer to making a purchase.
    • Owners report a consideration/research phase length of 7.6 months on average and a shopping phase of 4.2 months on average, totaling 11.8 months or approximately one year.
  • Dealership visits are an important part of the research and shopping process whether the prospect buys from a dealership, broker or individual; almost half of those who reported purchasing from a dealer claimed they visited three or more dealers.
  • The family, specifically the spouse or partner, is very influential in consideration and in the purchase decision, with two-thirds of owners reporting that their spouse/partner was very or somewhat influential in their decision to buy.
  • Most respondents in the study felt that being able to use Spanish was at least somewhat important in their buying process.
  • Negotiating a good deal was very important to Hispanic buyers (86%).
  • Part of getting a better deal may involve alternative credit options for some Hispanics who may need to or want to finance a boat, but may not have established good credit.

In addition to these insights, the research also outlines implications and opportunities for the boating industry to better engage with Hispanics.

RBFF representatives will be on-site in Miami and available for interviews. Please contact Stephanie Vatalaro at or 703-778-5156 to schedule a meeting. The full study findings will be shared via a webinar on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 2pm ET. For more information about the webinar, and to register, please click here.  

RBFF thanks the following companies for sponsoring its Hispanic Boating Path to Purchase Research: Bass Pro Tracker Marine, Brunswick, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Yamaha.

About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites,, and, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.

For further information: Contact: Stephanie Vatalaro, 703-778-5156,