Die-hard water-skier and wake-boarder Jay Fieser has his sights set on buying a boat in a few years but the super-tricked-out, six-figure models he’s been eyeing just aren’t in the 20-year-old’s budget.
U.S. retail sales of recreational boats, marine products and services totaled $36 billion in 2015. Recreational boat sales plunged 60% during the recession but are now 20% shy of pre-recession levels, according to Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA).
Boat makers want to leave those kind of numbers in their wake, and hope to do so by upgrading boat design and technology and promoting boat clubs and boat sharing to appeal to a generation that in recent surveys has shown more interest in cycling and camping than fishing and watersports.
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