Grand Rapids Boat Show
February 19-23, 2020
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Recreational Boating Around U.S. and Michigan at a 10 Year High Says National Marine Manufacturers Association

Recreational Boating Around U.S. and Michigan at a 10 Year High Says National Marine Manufacturers Association


Dianna Stampfler, Show Publicist – (269) 330-4228 |
Henri Boucher, Show Producer – (616) 447-2860 ext 1071 |


Recreational Boating Around U.S. and Michigan at a

10 Year High Says National Marine Manufacturers Association

(GRAND RAPIDS, Mich) – Last summer, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) released its 2017 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract which revealed that unit sales of new powerboats increased 5% in 2017, reaching 262,000 – the highest levels the U.S. recreational boating industry has seen in 10 years.

What’s more, total marine expenditures were at an all-time high in 2017 at $39 billion (spending on new boats, engines, trailers, accessories and services), up 7% from 2016. Boat manufacturers are expanding capacity to meet this demand – building new plants and increasing production; supporting recent data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis that U.S. manufacturing gross output increased to $6.228 Trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Numbers have been steadily increasing since 2012. Sales of new powerboats 40-feet and larger were up 10.7% through September 2015 and growth of 6-8% percent was reported in 2016, taking new powerboat sales back to pre-recession levels of 250,000 units.

Michigan continues to hold its own as the #3 state in the country for both sales and the number of registered watercraft – at 901,565 as of February 4, 2019 according to the Michigan Secretary of State. Both rankings are significant given the state has a much smaller boating season that the top two states of California and Florida. However, with more miles of freshwater coastline than any other state as well as 11,000-plus inland lakes and 36,000-plus miles of rivers and streams, there’s no question that Michigan is a boater’s paradise.

According to NMMA, consumers in the Great Lakes State spent $891.7 million on new powerboats, outboard engines, boat trailers and aftermarket accessories in 2017, up 1.6% from 2016. Recreational boating contributes an estimated $7.4 billion to the state’s economy, which includes direct, indirect and induced output generated by marine manufacturers (boat, engine and accessory); their suppliers, dealers and retailers; services such as repairs and marinas; boating activities and trips; and business tax revenue.

NMMA also reports that combined activity supports 1,468 marine businesses and 31,129 direct and indirect jobs here.

Michigan is also home to nearly 30 boat manufacturers – such as Manitou, Four Winns and Tiara – which have built and maintained the state’s rich maritime history.

There’s an expanded outreach for those who work in finance, insurance, storage and related businesses that keep the maritime industry afloat. Then, there are those jobs that provide accessories and services – such as dock builders, lift providers, gas stations, park operators and such.

“The recreational boating industry really is as Pure Michigan as it gets,” says Henri Boucher, producer of the Grand Rap ids Boat Show – the largest and longest-running boat show in Michigan (dating back to 1946). “Boating is a family tradition which has ties to both the outdoor recreation and tourism industries, but at its core are also thousands of small businesses who choose to operate here. We’re proud to play our role in this industry, bringing consumers and dealers together inside the warmth of DeVos Place. Our exhibitors say traditionally as much as 50% of their new boat sales for the year take place at shows such as ours.”

The 74th Annual Grand Rapids Boat Show, February 13-17 at DeVos Place, welcomes nearly 30 regional dealers with more than 400 boats including cruisers, runabouts, trawlers, catamarans, fishing boats, ski boats, pontoons and kayaks, as well as accessories and services catering to Michigan’s active water-loving lifestyle. A West Michigan tradition since 1946, the Grand Rapids Boat Show features more than five (5) acres of boats filling the main exhibition hall, Grand Gallery, Steelcase Ballroom and river overlook areas inside DeVos Place.






74th Annual Grand Rapids Boat Show: February 13-17, 2019

Wednesday, February 13      2:00pm – 9:00pm
Thursday, February 14         2:00pm – 9:00pm
Friday, February 15              11:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday, February 16          10:00am – 8:00pm
Sunday, February 17            11:00am – 5:00pm

PRICES:        $12 adults, $5 children aged 6 to 14.  Kids 5 and under are admitted free.


PARKING:    There is plenty of close by parking – beneath DeVos Place, across the street and connected by skywalk.

For more information, click here.

LODGING:    Experience Grand Rapids | Kent County Hospitality Association | West Michigan Tourist | Pure Michigan  | |  (#GRBoatShow)


ShowSpan, Inc. 

2121 Celebration Dr NE · Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525 · 616-447-2860 · FAX: 616-447-2861 · ·