Boating makes a splash in the Big Apple economy

Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show
The Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show will welcome hundreds of business from the NY and Tri-State area. Credit: Getty

Last year in New York State, the boating industry was a $5.8 billion industry. President Thomas Dammrich of the National Marine Manufacturers Association has the details on the economic impact of boating in New York.

Many people will be surprised to hear that New York boating is such a big industry. What is included in the $5.8 billion total?
That figure is the combined effect of direct and induced costs. Direct boat sales account for a relatively small portion— about $550 million. The rest comes from a lot of different things —other costs of owning and maintaining a boat, equipment, accessories, and even things like trips to the grocery store to buy supplies before a boat trip. When it’s all added together, nearly $6 billion of New Yorks economy each year comes from boating.

How many businesses in New York deal with boating directly?
New York is the fifth biggest boating state in the country. There are just under 1,900 boating-related businesses licensed in New York State, including boat dealers, boat builders, and boat storage businesses. These businesses directly employ around 15,000 people. And since most New York area boaters boat locally, they support local economies where they dock.

Are these trends expected to continue?
Last year, in 2012, we saw a 20 percent increase in boating product sales and expect to see a similar increase for 2013. There’s a boat for every budget, and some can be financed for as little as $250 a month. Boat loan rates are extremely attractive right now, so it is a good time to buy.

How does the New York Boat Show fit into the industry at large?
It is considered a national industry indicator. Some local boat dealers make a full 50 percent of their annual income through Boat Show sales. Many manufacturers debut new models or accessories — we expect to see great new GPS technology, for example. And of course, around 20 percent of attendees are looking to buy a boat – and the best way to do that is at a multi-dealership boat show.


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