The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, in a newly released study, found that nearly 10 million outdoor enthusiasts are considering boat ownership.
The 2010 Special Report on Fishing and Boating, conducted by RBFF and The Outdoor Foundation, revealed that of the 48 million anglers in the United States, 41 million are participating in freshwater fishing, an increase of 2 percent from last year. Other key findings report that fishing is recognized as the top "gateway" activity, spurring involvement in other outdoor interests and "next-gen" anglers, those under 18 years of age, make up more than 23 percent of all fishing participants.
"Although overall participation is down slightly from 2008, we're delighted to see that freshwater fishing, which is by far the most popular type of fishing in the U.S., has been able to reverse a two-year downward trend into a one-year positive increase in participation," RBFF president and CEO Frank Peterson said in a statement.
The study also found:
- 7.3 percent of all Americans over age 16 (approximately 20.5 million) own a boat.
- Bass boats are the most popular boat type at 18.6 percent, followed by deck/pontoon at 14.5 percent.
- The majority of owners (78.5 percent) own only one boat. Nearly 50 percent of boaters purchased their boat new and, of those, 87.2 percent purchased from dealerships. Those buying used boats sourced them primarily from friends and newspaper ads.
- In 2009, more than 50 million participants (17.9 percent of Americans) age 16 and older went boating. This resulted in a total of 705 million boating days in 2009, with 21 average annual days spent on the water.
- After cruising, fishing from a boat is the second most popular boating activity.