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Boats Market Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By Type (Inboard and Outboard), By Size (Below 20 ft, 20 – 50 ft, and More than 50 ft), By End-user (Commercial and Recreational), By Propulsion (Electric, Conventional, and Others), By Hull (Wood, GRP, Aluminum, Steel, and Others), By Application (Fishing, Water Sports, Sailing, Tourism, Surveys, and Others), and Regional Forecasts, 2024-2032

Last Updated: June 24, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI103854



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The global boats market size was valued at USD 32.47 billion in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 34.25 billion in 2024 to USD 61.19 billion by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.5% during the forecast period.

The boat market refers to the sector of the economy focused on the production, sale, and distribution of various types of watercraft designed for recreational and commercial activities. The recreational boats include powerboats, sailboats, personal watercraft (such as jet skis), and paddle boats used for leisure activities such as fishing, cruising, watersports, and relaxation. Commercial boats are used for commercial purposes, such as fishing vessels, passenger ferries, tour boats, water taxis, and workboats for activities such as transportation, tourism, fishing, and offshore operations. Increasing awareness of pollution generated by boats will compel manufacturers to adopt technological changes during production to minimize pollution. Additionally, surging interest in recreational boating will drive the growth of the boat market.

The COVID-19 pandemic sent shockwaves across numerous industries affecting supply-demand dynamics. However, the market remained resilient while displaying strong growth during 2020. In the U.S., boat sales skyrocketed during the pandemic and this growth continued in 2021 while showing no signs of slowdown. As people were working at flexible times, they shifted toward outdoor activities. Thus, the rising demand for recreational boating led to market growth during the pandemic period.

Boats Market Trends

Favorable Trends Associated with Marine Tourism to Bolster Market Growth

A positive outlook for marine tourism industry will support market growth during the forecast period. Marine tourism positively influences economic growth in various aspects. It generates employment and significantly contributes to local economies. Moreover, it provides multiple sociocultural benefits, including strengthening communities and promoting sustainable tourism. Many countries across the globe are formulating policies to enhance the coastal tourism sector in the wake of issues associated with climate change and environmental degradation.

In January 2021, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) finalized the Blue Economy Strategy Plan, 2021 - 2025, to accelerate the growth of the American Blue Economy. This strategy will focus on five pointers, ocean exploration, tourism and recreation, marine transportation, seafood competitiveness, and coastal resilience. Such initiatives will boost product demand over the next few years.

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Boats Market Growth Factors

Growing Interest in Recreational Boating and Water Sports Activities to Drive the Market Growth

Increasing consumer spending and high disposable income levels will boost the growth of the recreational boating sector in the future. People engage in various recreational activities, including sailing, swimming, diving, wakeboarding, and other water sports. Few people utilize them to spend time with family or friends and arrange parties.

The demand for outboard boats is soaring among recreational consumers due to their versatile operational capabilities. These are cost-effective, easy to maintain, and have fast acceleration & high cruising speed. Moreover, these provide quick handling, excellent low-speed maneuverability, and a tight turn ratio.

The tourism industry plays a significant role in driving the demand for recreational boating and water sports, especially in coastal regions, lakeside destinations, and island resorts. Tourists and travelers seek memorable experiences such as boat tours, sailing excursions, snorkelling trips, and fishing charters, contributing to the growth of the recreational boating sector. This development drives the market growth during the forecast period.


Environmental Concerns Associated with Boating Activities to Hamper the Market Growth

The boat industry generates a noticeable impact on the marine ecosystem. In heavily trafficked waterways, their presence may lead to the growth of algae and sediments, thereby obstructing sunlight and spoiling the water. Additionally, it deposits can alter the water's chemistry, making it more alkaline or acidic.

Chemicals used to clean, run, and protect boats often get mixed with water, severely affecting the surrounding environment and killing or weakening wildlife. In July 2011, European Commission proposed legislation to minimize the harmful impact of boats on European waters. It specified strict limits for nitrogen oxide (NOx), particulate matter, and hydrocarbons (HC) for small marine vessels.

Boats Market Segmentation Analysis

By Type Analysis

Positive Outlook of Recreational Sector to Drive the Outboard Segment

Based on type, the market is categorized into inboard and outboard.

The outboard segment held majority of market share in 2023 and is projected to continue its growth throughout the forecast period with the fastest CAGR. Engines in outboard boats are lightweight, fast, and easier to service. More space is available for storage or seating as engines are situated outside the boat. They have low maintenance costs. The propeller and drive unit can be removed entirely from the water, which helps minimize the risk of erosion.

These are generally cheaper and have a simple winterizing process for engines. Fishing enthusiasts and speedboat users prefer outboard boats due to their tight turn ratio and low-speed maneuverability.

By Size Analysis

Favorable Trends Associated with Fishing and Recreational Sectors to Propel Market Growth

Based on size, the market is segmented into below 20 ft, 20 – 50 ft, and more than 50 ft.

In the below 20 ft segment, fishing boat, dinghy, personal watercraft, and inflatable boat are considered. These are subjected to meet specific regulatory requirements. For instance, a backfire flame arrestor is necessary if the boat has a gasoline-powered engine. Enclosed engines must have ventilation systems implemented per Coast Guard standards. The positive outlook of the global fishing industry, coupled with rising aquaculture production, will drive the segment’s growth in the future.

Boats within the 20 – 50 ft segment must possess one personal flotation device of type I/II/III/V for each person on board. In addition, one throwable Type IV device is needed on board. Many people use these for sailing. Sailing offers numerous health benefits, such as promoting cardiovascular fitness, increased agility, and concentration improvement. Moreover, it reduces stress and increases spatial awareness. The rising number of wealthy people worldwide will propel the sales of yachts in the future.

By End-user Analysis

Changing Consumer Interests to Gain Thrill-Seeking Experiences to Augment Market Growth

Based on end-user, the market is segmented into commercial and recreational.

A recreational boat is manufactured or operated primarily for outdoor activities. These are used for numerous activities, including sailing, fishing, cruising, and others. In addition, these are utilized for various watersports such as wakeboarding, diving, snorkeling, parasailing, surfing, rafting, and others. Many people use them to host parties and events and take short vacations. Growing demand for recreational activities in the wake of gaining adventurous experiences and spending more time with family & friends will drive product sales in the future.

Rising government expenditures to strengthen maritime security will boost the sales of patrol boats in the future, thereby bolstering market growth. Moreover, the commercial fishing sector's positive outlook will positively influence commercial boats' sales by 2032.

By Propulsion Analysis

Strict Regulatory Environment to Boost Penetration of Electric Boat

Based on propulsion, the market is segmented into electric, conventional, and others.

Boat manufacturers are expected to ramp up the production of the electric boat as these manufacturers are shifting toward batteries to produce emission-free products. The rising proliferation of clean drive technology will boost the growth of electric boats. They contain fewer moving parts with no engine oil or gas requirements. Moreover, they will produce less noise and are subject to low maintenance. 

They produce more torque and efficiently convert stored kinetic energy into power. They are eco-friendly and do not produce any emissions. A strict regulatory environment associated with conventional boating and rising fuel prices will pave the way for the future growth of electric boat. Huge investments by various manufacturers and supportive government policies will augment market growth in the future.

Gasoline propulsion offers a more power-to-weight ratio and produces low noise. Superior efficiency and long life expectancy will drive the future growth of gasoline propulsion systems. Rising environmental sustainability awareness will generate the future need for sailboats and solar-powered boats.

By Hull Analysis

Recyclability and Lightweight Characteristics of GRP to Propel the Market Growth

Based on hull, the market is segmented into wood, GRP, aluminum, steel, and others.

GRP boat type can be seaworthy and sustained for up to 50 years. Complex hull shapes consisting of steps, variable degree deadrise, and bow flare can be made with fiberglass. They are easier to maintain and provide steady and quiet working on the water. The rising popularity of marine recreational activities will bolster the segment’s growth.

Aluminum is steadily gaining traction in boat manufacturing due to its lightweight capabilities and easy workability. Aluminum helps in saving a lot of money where no paint is required other than below the waterline. Aluminum offers superior shear strength, better fuel economy, and quickness out on the water. They are less expensive and have a long service life.

By Application Analysis

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Rising Involvement of People in Water Sports Activities to Augment the Market Growth

Based on application, the market is divided into fishing, water sports, sailing, tourism, surveys, and others.

Water sports include cable skiing, kiteboarding, knee boarding, parasailing, rafting, wakeboarding, water skiing, and others. These activities offer great enjoyment and pleasure, and many people opt for these activities in search of adventure. The demand for watersports activities is increasing due to rising consumer interests. The participation of people in adventure water sports is expected to grow in the future, thereby propelling market growth.

Sailing is an excellent leisure activity to spend time with family & friends away from the crowd. Leisure boating promotes mental health by offering relaxation and happiness. The sight of water aids in inducing neurochemicals, thereby promoting wellness. Additionally, it improves cardiovascular health and offers significant exposure to sunlight. These benefits mentioned above will propel the segment’s growth.


North America Boats Market Size, 2023 (USD Billion)

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The North America boats market size was USD 16.58 billion in 2023 and is projected to retain its position throughout the forecast period. The U.S. outdoor recreation economy generated USD 374.3 billion, accounting for 1.8 % of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to Outdoor Industry Association, in 2017, 49.0% of the U.S. population participated at least once in an outdoor activity. In 2022, the number of Americans participating in outdoor recreation at least once increased to 55%. Such favorable trends associated with the rising interest of people in recreational boating and water sports activities will bolster the market growth during the forecast period.

Europe held the second-largest market share in 2023 and is likely to witness the fastest market growth in the coming years. Supportive policies to accelerate the growth of marine tourism will propel the market growth. The European Union’s “Integrated Maritime Policy” will support the development of coastal tourism and marine economic activities. Moreover, favorable trends associated with the fishing industry in Northern Europe will support the market growth.

Asia has the largest number of billionaires, more than 35% of total billionaires across the globe. The rising prosperity of emerging economies and the expansion of income levels of the middle class in developing countries will create favorable conditions for market growth. The rest of the world exhibits strong market growth potential owing to favorable fishing and recreational trends.

List of Key Companies in Boats Market

Mergers & Acquisitions of Small Players to Offer Competitive Advantage

The competition in the market is driven by the presence of leading key players such as Brunswick Corporation, Groupe Beneteau, Malibu Inc., Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Polaris Inc., Azimut Benetti Group, and Marine Product Corporation. Major players are acquiring other minor players to strengthen their market position. Additionally, many boat manufacturers are investing in research & development activities to develop new products.   

Partnerships & Collaborations are Accelerating the Growth of Groupe Beneteau

Groupe Beneteau is one of the largest boat manufacturers in Europe. The company provides approximately 180 recreational boat models serving many applications from sailing to motor boating, monohulls, and catamarans. In July 2022, Groupe Beneteau and Vision Marine Technologies launched a partnership to integrate Vision Marine Technologies' revolutionary high-performance outboard motors into several models in the Group's portfolio



  • In December 2023, India introduced Barracuda, its fastest solar-electric boat. Barracuda was designed by Navalt and can be deployed actually in the rough seas as a workboat to ferry up to 12 passengers and cargo. The 14-metre-long, 4.4-metre-wide vessel can attain a top speed of 12.5 knots (23 kmph) and has a range of seven hours on a single charge.

  • In October 2023, the Department of Economic and Community Development and Malibu Boat announced that the company would invest USD 75 million to expand manufacturing operations in East Tennessee. Malibu Boats would produce 770 new jobs in Roane County over the next five years as the company locates some of its Cobalt boat brand production in an existing facility at the Roane Regional Business and Technology Park.

  • In October 2023, Blue Innovations Group (BIG) announced the launch of its flagship product, the R30 electric boat. The R30 is a 30ft electric boat with a 221kWh battery pack, 800bhp dual-motor powertrain, integrated UI, and solar charging capability.

  • In August 2023, Polaris Marine introduced two new concept electric pontoons under its Bennington and Godfrey Pontoons brands. The conception vessels were constructed on the 26-foot, 6-inch 2024 Bennington L-Series Bowrider and the 23-foot, 11-inch 2023 Godfrey Monaco 235 platforms. The concept vessels were picked for demonstration due to the capability to place the batteries in a central location.

  • In April 2022, Sportsman Boat and Yamaha Motor Finance Corporation, U.S. announced a new multi-year exclusive financing agreement. From July 2022, Yamaha Financial Services will become the exclusive inventory and retail financing provider for Sportsman Boat.


The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies, product types, and leading product applications. Besides this, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.

An Infographic Representation of Boats Market

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 7.5% over 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Billion)


By Type

  • Inboard

  • Outboard

By Size

  • Below 20 ft

  • 20 – 50 ft

  • More than 50 ft

By End-user

  • Commercial

  • Recreational

By Propulsion

  • Electric

  • Conventional

  • Others (Sailboat, Solar, and Others)

By Hull

  • Wood

  • GRP

  • Aluminum

  • Steel

  • Others (ABS, PE, and Others)

By Application

  • Fishing

  • Water Sports

  • Sailing

  • Tourism

  • Surveys

  • Others (Rescue, Patrol Boats, and Others)

By Geography

  • North America (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

  • Europe (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • U.K. (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • France (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • Italy (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • Germany (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • Northern Europe (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • Rest of Europe (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

  • Asia Pacific (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

  • Rest of the World (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • Latin America (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

    • Middle East & Africa (By Type, By Size, By End-user, By Propulsion, By Hull, and By Application)

Frequently Asked Questions

Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was USD 32.47 billion in 2023 and is projected to reach USD 61.19 billion by 2032.

The market is expected to register a CAGR 7.5% during the forecast period (2024-2032).

Rising demand for recreational boating to drive the market growth.

North America led the market in 2023.

By application, the fishing segment is the leading segment and accounted for a dominant market share in 2023.

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