The customer base in boating has been consistently aging for years now — but the pandemic has changed that.
Through mid-2020, the average age of new powerboat buyers decreased by almost two years compared to the same period last year, according to Info-Link Technologies, a Florida firm that tracks new and used boat registrations.
For the first time in a decade, the number of new boat buyers under 40 surpassed the number of buyers over 60, said Info-Link managing director Jack Ellis. The graphs shown depict an average age of buyer in each category; they are simply a mean of all the buyers of new boats in each category.
Personal watercraft saw the average age of buyer drop about a year to 46, and tow boats saw the average age decline to 47. Runabouts and jet boats also declined to age 49.
“Our speculation is that this is being driven in large part by buyers who still have children in the home and are seeking a means of escape to spend time with their families in a more controlled and enjoyable environment,” said Ellis.
“This is of course exactly what we have to sell,” said Ellis. “Our job now is to keep them coming back for more because with all due respect to our cherished customers over 60, these younger buyers are our future.”