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4 Signs It’s Time To Sell and Upgrade Your Boat

6 Ways America’s Outdoor Recreation Act Could Improve Boating

The 6 Biggest Boating Trends We’ll See in 2022

The 6 Biggest Boating Trends We'll See in 2022

Last year was eventful with the rise of both COVID-19 vaccines and the omnicron variant, as well as increasing fuel prices, supply chain problems, massive employment gains, and the dramatic effects of climate change. One positive change we saw was boats becoming more energy-efficient and luxurious in style and amenities. There is no better time than now to buy and own a boat, especially if you’ve been waiting for an environmentally-friendly or overly attractive model.

What else can you expect from the boating world in 2022? Here are Boatline’s top six speculations of the trends that are on the horizon in the new year:

1. More Boat Sales, More Boat Owners

The pandemic’s stay-at-home and social distancing recommendations have had an interesting benefit over the past couple of years: more people are going outside! It turns out there really is a limit to how much Netflix we can binge, and getting outside was a great way to have fun while still staying safe. According to Statistical Surveys Inc., 2020 saw more boat registrations than any year since 2007 and, despite inventory shortages, 2021 still saw many more boat registrations than the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

In 2022, we’ll continue to see high demand for boats with a pool of shoppers consisting of those who were not able to find a boat in 2021 and are continuing their search, those who are considering boating for the first time, and those who have a boat and are looking to upgrade to a new or bigger model. As the industry works overtime to increase boat production and meet this high demand, we anticipate that we’re in for another year of healthy growth in boat sales and registrations. This also means another competitive year for buyers so as long as inventory remains limited.

2. More People Out on the Water

It’s going to get crowded in our lakes, rivers, and coastal areas this year.The desire to get out of the house is not only motivating more people to buy boats, but it’s also motivating folks who already had boats to make the most of their vessels. Lots of boat owners who had their watercraft in storage or used them infrequently were reminded by the pandemic of the freedom boating provides and have been taking them out more and more.

Finally, non-boat owners will be out there too, as boat rentals will continue to be popular recreation for those driven outdoors by the pandemic, those who are considering entering the boating world, and those who want to buy a boat but haven’t found one yet due to the inventory shortage. With veteran boaters, new boat owners, and boat renters all cutting through the waves, it’s going to be a busy year out on the water.

3. Water Sports Will Be Popular

As more people enjoy the benefits of boating, more people will seek out the thrill of water sports. Boating isn’t just for relaxation, but for having fun too, so expect to see more adrenaline junkies out on the water. And why not join them? Water sports like wakesurfing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, waterskiing, and tubing can be fun for the whole family or friend group!

We expect to see fishing increase as well in 2022. In fact, fishing has seen tremendous growth since the start of the pandemic. Nearly 55 million Americans went fishing in 2020, an increase of 4.6 million participants from the pre-pandemic year of 2019 and the highest number ever recorded since participation tracking started in 2007. With roughly 18% of the U.S. population going fishing at least once per year, we think fishing will continue to be popular in 2022 and saltwater fishing boats and freshwater fishing boats will be popular purchases.

4. Boating Clubs Will Get More Members

With the rise in boating popularity, we will see a surge in the popularity of boating clubs. As social distancing guidelines continue to loosen, clubs are likely to see more members join throughout the year. If you want to join a boating club to befriend like-minded water enthusiasts, this is the year to do so; you’re likely to be joined by a number of fellow new recruits with whom you can meet, socialize, and even travel.

5. More Opportunities for Buying & Selling Used Boats

As manufacturers continue to recover from pandemic-related production and supply chain disruptions, it may still be difficult to quickly find or purchase new boats. This means used boat sales will continue to be a popular buying alternative in 2022. If you can’t find the perfect new boat this year, consider purchasing a used boat to hold you over until that sparkling new model becomes available. Used boats are also a great entry point for new boaters entering the lifestyle.

In a market of high demand and low supply, 2022 will also be a great year for people looking to sell their used watercraft. If you’ve got a used boat that you don’t use or want to upgrade from, it can be a valuable asset. In this year’s competitive market, you should be able to sell your used boat for a solid price or trade it in for a high value.

6. More Electric Boat Options

With rapidly growing concerns about climate change and fluctuating fuel prices, electric boating is the future of water travel. There are already a few models on the market that are fully electric, and more research is taking place every day with the aim of making electric boats as accessible as electric cars. We expect to hear more announcements about technological advancements and new models in 2022. Perhaps this year you’ll decide to get ahead of the curve and purchase one of these futuristic vessels.

For all its negatives, the pandemic does seem to have positively bolstered the boating industry, with more boat sales, people on the water, and electric options than ever before. In 2022, we’re optimistic that we’ll see more ups than downs. Use this year on your boat to relax, make family memories, and reconnect with old friends. And if you’re looking to buy or sell a boat, whether it’s new or used, get started today on!


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Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith
is the Content Manager at Trader Interactive, managing marketing content development for ATV Trader, Boatline, Commercial Truck Trader, Cycle Trader, Equipment Trader, RV Trader, and more. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to marketplace buyers and sellers.

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