BoatUS releases annual statistics

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Boat Owners Association of The United States has given everyone a behind-the-scenes look at the numbers for the organization.

Total membership is 566,022 and each member pays annual dues of $24. The average BoatUS member’s boat is 28 feet long and most own an average of two vessels. Average years of boating experience for the membership is 27 years.

When BoatUS members take to the water, 76 percent day cruise while 59 percent fish, 44 percent overnight cruise and 26 percent participate in watersports.

The organization’s publication, BoatUS magazine has a reported readership of 915,746 and its editors have won 48 awards in the Boating Writers International Contest since 1997. The editors have produced 32 how-to videos and there are 23 features in the BoatUS App that the association says save time and money.

BoatUS members can turn to 1,238 partner network businesses for discounts and there are 376 partner marinas that offer discounts on fuel.

For towing services, there are 605 vessels in the TowBoatUS fleet at 308 locations throughout the U.S. There are 41 TowBoatUS locations on the Great Lakes alone. TowBoatUS’ 24-hour dispatch center took 71,069 requests for on-water assistance and 99 percent of those calls were for routine services such as battery jumps, fuel drop-offs and soft ungrounding services. The average breaking strength of a TowBoatUS response vessel’s tow line is 12,000 pounds.

BoatUS Unlimited Trailer Assist will travel up to 100 miles to haul a boat trailer and it’s tow vehicle to the nearest repair facility or safe area for an annual $14 fee. There are 13,077 roadside assistance companies across the country that offer BoatUS Unlimited Trailer Assist service and 43 percent of them respond to flat-tire calls. Wheel bearings make up 24 percent of the calls with axles accounting for 10 percent and tow vehicle making up 5 percent.

If a boatowner gets stuck on the water without a BoatUS membership, he will pay an average of $785 for a tow. A BoatUS member with an Unlimited Towing Membership pays zero for a tow.

For boat insurance, the total value of all boats insured through BoatUS is $8,469,499,268. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program will pay 50 percent of a marina’s haul-out coverage to help avoid damage from an approaching hurricane (up to $1,000 total).

In 1983, the first BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team was established to assist Houston Yacht Club following the landfall of Hurricane Alicia. Last year, the first BoatUS Catastrophe Team arrived in Florida two days after Hurricane Irma’s landfall. BoatUS and GEICO Marine paid 95 percent of the claims from Irma by December 2017. Thirty-eight TowBoatUS companies from across the nation mobilized to join the organization’s catastrophe teams in salvage and wreck removal after last year’s hurricanes.

In government affairs work, BoatUS is the only boatowner organization with a full-time government affairs staff member and the association works on an average of 12 boating-related issues each month. BoatUS works with an average of 239 groups to support boaters’ interest. BoatUS members receive an average of 1,004,722 email action alerts and last year, BoatUS Government Affairs staff attended 389 federal and state agency meetings.

For boating safety, 1,401,217 students have taken the BoatUS Foundation’s online boating safety course to date. More than 1,000 students have taken the BoatUS Foundation Spill Prevention Training for Marinas online course and 551 participants completed the BoatUS Foundation’s On-Water Training courses. There are 550 locations across the country that participate in the BoatUS Foundation’s Kids lifejacket loaner program and 101 emergency position indicating rescue beacons and personal locator beacons are available for rent.

Through its BoatUS Consumer Protection facilitated returning to $43,600 a BoatUS member using the dispute mediation program. The group helped resolve 333 consumer issues and there were 11,883 total issues between consumers and the boating industry documented in the BoatUS Consumer Protection Database since 1988.

Finally, BoatUS has 645 total employees at its national headquarters in Alexandria, Va., dispatch centers and insurance sales/claims offices in Costa Mesa, Calif., Jacksonville, Fla., and at the BoatUS Foundation headquarters in Annapolis. There are 12 unpaid volunteer positions and six full-time journalists at BoatUS magazine.

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