Although boating is often perceived as an activity for the wealthy, the truth is that the majority of boat owners are middle class. Despite the tough economy, more than one-third of American adults, or 75 million people, went boating in 2010.
Boat manufacturers have adjusted to buyers’ needs during a recession to meet the demand for affordable, fuel-efficient boats. Today, 96 percent of boats on the water are 26 feet or shorter — and sales of entry-level boats are growing. Visitors to the 2012 Progressive Insurance New York Boat Show can find reasonably priced kayaks and paddleboards for sale, plus a variety of boats that can be financed for less than $250 a month. The new Boating on a Budget Showcase offers financing tips, free seminars, and special bargains on boats for every budget and interest.
“Boats are a great investment for a family because it’s a way to socialize and spend time together,” says Ellen Hopkins, a spokeswoman for Discover Boating. “A lot of my friends who grew up boating said that one of their best memories was going out with their dads on Sundays and fishing — it’s a unique way to bond. It’s like a minivacation, even just being on a kayak on the water.”
Ways to save on boating
Here are some tips to save on boating
Rent a boat from a local
marina, join a boat club or charter a boat.
ownership with friends or family.
Invest in affordable
kayaks, rafts and paddleboards.
Get a deal on boater’s insurance
by taking a boat education course.
Find a list of qualified
marine lenders on the National Marine Bankers Association
website at www.marinebankers.org.