Does the millennial generation enjoy boating? In an article in Trade Only Today, Jack Ellis, managing director of Info-Link Technologies, draws attention to boat ownership’s sharp decline between 2005 and 2015 (roughly 41 percent) in the category of ages 20 to 39. There are several good explanations, but mainly, they still love boating if they can charter, borrow, or tag along with family and friends instead.
With 20 percent lower incomes and half as many assets, millennials have 50 percent of the net worth of their parents at the same age. Student debt also took a heavy toll. They don’t need more payments, and if they don’t have the cash, they won’t buy. However, participating in boat sharing with friends using wake boats for large groups and activities can be just as fun, and when it comes to sailing, older fiberglass boats small enough to trailer may make perfect sense. It’s all a matter of perspective.
This generation doesn’t have trade skills in mechanics and building either. They are nervous about breakdowns and repairs. Owning a boat requires maintenance and fuel costs, and while some millennials may be comfortable picking up basics and finding the necessary mechanical knowledge online, the sharing economy makes it easier to borrow and rent expensive assets.
The 20- to 39-year-old crowd love boating for typical reasons:
- the opportunity to socialize
- create memories and adventures
- unplug from work
Since they generally postpone marriage, children, and buying cars and homes, it makes sense that boat ownership will be delayed too. In the meantime, they take part in boating without the responsibility of ownership while watching high-performance boats on poker runs and sailing-lifestyle vlogs on YouTube. Eventually, the obstacles of cost, priorities, alternatives, and mechanical ability will wane.
McGlynn, F., 2017. Why Aren’t Millennials Buying Boats?
Haynes, R. 2016. Trade Only Today Online,
Photo Credit: Photo by Jessica Tuttle on Unsplash