Water weekenders

Discover Boating unveiled extensive new research on first-time boat buyers in a presentation at the recent IBEX show. Discover Boating worked with its advertising agency, OLSON, over the past year, and gathered data from numerous sources including surveys, in-home live interviews and mobile journaling.

The research included surveying 2,000 people interested in buying their first boat. They also studied an additional 75 people (a mix of first-time boat shoppers and individuals who recently purchased their first boat) for two weeks via their mobile phones to understand their day-to-day lives, boating habits and any associated shopping activities.

The presentation showed that there are potentially 85 million or so first-time buyers split into six distinct groups. Each group had an insightful description plus details of how to spot them and how to help them. The largest group of 19.2 million people are 'water weekenders' who enjoy being by or on the water. While they love the water, they didn’t grow up boating. In their social circles, the 'water weekenders' are the ones who plan outings on the boat.  They’re into the boating basics: tubing, cruising, fishing and water skiing. For them, owning a boat is driven by their desire to host friends and family. How to spot them? They started boating relatively recently; they’re more interested in boating activities than the boat itself and they are frequent renters. How to help them? Get them excited about what is to come and do more of what they love and show them the benefits of owning versus renting.


Because of the amount of information presented it’s tough to digest when not accompanied by the speaker who can address each slide. The NMMA is recording it so they can share it with a broader group and will unveil more of the research at MDCE in December.

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